Chilly and Wet in Panama

The rain is back! It came in with a sudden roar. The weekend was sunny and really hot. Even I was complaining about the heat in day after day of upper 90’s temperatures.

Monday started out cloudier. We were out for lunch and when we returned we saw really dark clouds to the north and it looked like heavy rain moving in. By the time we got home it was pouring. I needed to go across to the south side of town so I hoped I could leave the rain behind, but no such luck. I drove in heavy traffic and a blinding rain that was quickly flooding the streets all the way. The rain finally eased up later in the afternoon but it didn’t stop raining completely until late evening, and even through the night and into the morning we had intermittent light rain.

Tuesday was pleasantly cloudy but it didn’t rain until after dark. Then, it was one of those pounding rains that makes so much noise on a tin roof that it’s hard to even hear yourself think.

This morning, Wednesday, I spent the morning in Boquete where it was breezy and chilly. I was happy to get back to David where it was partly sunny and pleasantly warm. Later in the afternoon though, the rain moved in and the air quickly cooled down.

I know you all are laughing, but for those of us accustomed to the really hot summer weather, this feels very chilly.

I am currently sitting on my terrace wrapped in a thick beach towel to keep warm! We haven’t wanted to use the oven because of the heat but today it sounds like a very good idea.

The rain pours off the roof

It is amazing how quickly things get green! I’ve worked at removing the weeds from the front yard so the nice grass could fill in. We’ve watered it some to keep it alive but it still has looked brown as much as green. Now though, in two days it’s almost entirely green. My neighbor’s brown yard that didn’t get watered at all is also totally green.

This the color of Panama in the rainy season – everything lush and green.

I planted perennial peanut  in the back yard, and I have gradually removed the weeds as the peanut took over. Joel has also been working hard to get out clumps of weeds before the rain encourages them so the yard is going to look good. Perennial peanut is a great ground cover, attractive, low growing, and needs minimal care when established. We replaced our grass in Florida with peanut and eventually threw away our lawn mower. Ours here was suffering in the hot, dry Panama summer though. Joel had been watering it a bit and it was looking better, but look at it now! I’m seeing the same thing all over town, patches of very green perennial peanut sprouting yellow flowers where just days ago, it looked baked and pitiful.

Happy perennial peanut and purple gingers.

The purple gingers are also flowering. They die back in the summer, but as soon as they get some rain they put up these beautiful, interesting flowers. This year they seem to be making leaves at the same time instead of later, but we should enjoy the green foliage with purple veins all season.

I can run on! I only wanted to say the rainy season started in a big way, and here we are 600 words later 😀 My friend gave me some slippers for Christmas, so I think this is a good time to close here and go look for them.


About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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25 Responses to Chilly and Wet in Panama

  1. Sunni Morris says:


    Your big thermometer looks similar to the one I have on my patio. I’m not laughing at all because 75 is chilly after it’s been in the 90’s and near 100. I can understand exactly what you’re saying.


  2. Those purple gingers have an amazing gift! Surprise surprise – start enjoying!


    • Wow, seriously! I have heard that they can be eaten but not being sure, I didn’t want to try. Thank you so much for this information. Would you believe, we were traveling somewhere and a little guy was selling these in a parking lot. I recognized the flower and bought one and they have multiplied and done very well in our yard. I will definitely have to look into this more and use them for our health as well as their beauty. Thanks 🙂


      • When at home, I make a large batch of guayusa tea each day and I also add diced ginger and curcumin and dried stevia… After about a month, I could tell a difference in my joints, which was a pleasant surprise/relief!

        i have painted those flowers/foliage twice and never knew until later what a jewel it truly is!


        • I am also thinking about painting those flowers. They are irresistible 😀 I’ve also been taking a water color class lately and I am learning so much, and I think these flowers might lend themselves well to that too.
          My husband complains about his joints. Hmm… I wonder if I could get him to drink the tea. This is also great because the plants need to be thinned this year, and now they can be put to good use!


          • pineapple and papaya both have enzymes that benefit joint pain… and i cut out potatoes and got amazing relief from joint pain years ago… i can eat them every so often and they don’t affect me, but four or so times a week – yow, the stiffness creeps back…

            chikungunya, however, is evil, and the side effects via stiffness remains two years later… even much-younger people still suffer…
            I hope your watercolor study goes well! You might find that special tumeric in watercolor here:


            • Beautiful! and the thunbergia mysorensis too. There is some growing on the patio where we have our watercolor classes. And that butterfly, how beautiful. wow. OK, thank you, I am inspired and will get out my paint today.
              Potatoes? Never thought about them, though I rarely eat them because of the carbs. It seems wheat doesn’t agree with a lot of people also. Pineapples and papayas as medicine? Great idea 😀 I will be happy to take them every day. Are you still suffering from the chikungunya? What a horrible disease with so much lingering pain.


              • 2 years ago may 1st…. turned out to be a ‘co-infection’ of dengue and chikungunya.. yes the ‘chik’ lingers in the joings.. i just had breakfast with friends, and luchi, probably 40 years old, said that he has pain his elbow joints…


                • Both?? Oh good heavens. Are you immune to Chikungunya once you’ve had it? I know you are immune to dengue, but only the variety you got and there are three varieties, right?


                  • si…. in the year 2000, i encountered my first introduction to dengue,and in 2015 had the lovely introduction a second time… the blood tests confirmed ‘both’ infectionos when i was last sick, and i also had the classic rashes and later joint pain from chikv. there is a classic ‘walk’ that people suffering from chikungunya have.. one can step up, like from the street to a curb or up the stairs.. but oh oh oh, stepping down requires a certain flex in the ankles that made me – at times- decide, ‘it’s not worth it.’ like doing downstairs to get somethng!

                    hair loss, skin peeling – dozens and dozens of times… the reporters don’t realize how crippling chikungunya can be…

                    hopefully once around it all chik can do.. and with dengue, yes, i have to more to dodge….


                    • So, there is one more variety of dengue you haven’t had yet. If your body can develop immunities, one would think they could make vaccines. It would save a lot of pain and suffering, and even death. So far though I believe only yellow fever has a vaccine.


                    • the blood test two years ago showed that i had an active dengue and also showed i had a previous one..positivo positivo.. if years ago i ‘just had the flu’ it would have shown positivo negativo…. the antibodies have to kick in before either shows positive…

                      repellent or dengue? repellent!

                      Liked by 1 person

  3. jim and nena says:

    Hola Kris,
    THIS is Panama! haha
    At least it looks like the rainy season is more on schedule than years before. The temperature always felt like it dropped at least 10 degrees (5.5 grados) at the beginning of a shower. We have one of those programmable thermostats in the house but it is always set at 77F year round.
    I love how the whole place turns green overnight it seems.


    • Usually it comes in gradually, some rain, some days without rain but not this year. It just started out like it was October! There was more rain last night too. Yes, everything is green like you said, overnight.


  4. peggyjoan42 says:

    Enjoyed your photos. Had to laugh – 80 degrees and you are wrapping up. I once had friends who lived in hot Phoenix, Arizona. They moved to Mt. Hood, Oregon. When they went back to Phoenix to visit years later they could not stand the heat. You adjust to a climate and that is the climate your body tolerates. Nice post Kris. Stay warm.


    • I’m OK at 80 but when it dips down into the 70’s and my feet get cold, then I’m chilly. Yes, especially after being accustomed to the intense summer heat, it’s a change. Days are much better now though. It’s noon and only 84 which suits me perfectly. I never liked the cold even as a kid.

      Liked by 1 person

      • peggyjoan42 says:

        I want that perfect place to live that stays 80 degrees days and 65 degrees nights. Ha No such place.


        • Indoors with climate control! Seriously, here you can choose your elevation for temperature you like. As you go higher though you might have to deal with more rain, fog, and wind depending on exactly where you are. One side of the mountain, or someplace just on the other side of a valley can be different – micro climates is what they say here. But if you like to be outdoors a lot you can probably find just the right spot where it’s good a lot of the time.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Felipe says:

    Two weeks ago when we were checking out El Valle I have to say looking online and seeing that average rainfall is 140″ intimidated us. We get 275″ of snow now where we live (and love it), but that much rain is a lot to think about, and I’m from the US Gulf Coast originally. But I loved how green things were two weeks ago and would amaze at it being any greener. Love the pics of your plantings. Keep us updated on the rainy season. Very interesting.


    • El Valle is one place I haven’t visited yet, and different parts of Panama are different but pretty much everywhere gets a lot of rain. Here in David it’s pretty predictable – sunny and pleasant in the morning, clouds moving in after noon, and rain sometimes in the late afternoon or evening and cleared up again by bedtime. Sometimes a very impressive amount of rain can fall in a short time, but that never lasts long. Always carry an umbrella for either the sun or rain, and do your errands and running around in the morning whenever possible. When it rains later on it’s a perfect time to relax at home.

      You might try and track down some El Valle folks to ask what it’s like there, but generally we have found that if you work around the expected rainy times of day it’s not a problem.


  6. Dashaina says:

    Hi Kris!
    We live in Bocas del Toro province waaaaaay far out from the main tourism…anyway. I was reading your post about fabrics today and the lack of patterns and wanted to chim in a suggestiong, in case you are still here sewing! I usually do a google search for whatever it is I am trying to make and usually can find a free printable or very reasonably priced printable with some really good read and video tutorials on using the patterns. I found for the cost of a printer and ordering some big ink refill bottles (I refill my cartridges myself) it was reasonable to just print the patterns from home! I love it! Anyway I was also wondering if you happen to know what type of fabric they sell around here? In Bocas province they seem to sell basically one kind (cheap) and it seems to be a poly blend I think. Anyway I’m going to burn test it tomorrow!! Have a super day!.



    • It’s so pretty over on your side of the country!
      Printable patterns? I never thought about that. Thanks so much for the tip!
      They seem to sell pretty much every type of fabric here in a variety of price ranges. I can think of 4 stores within a few blocks of Cervantes park downtown (in David). If you come here to shop let me know and I’ll give you specific directions so you can find them easily.

      Liked by 1 person

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