It’s like a switch was flipped. One day was summer and the next was not. It was really hot for days, upper 90’s, dry, intense sun, and a lot of the plants were crispy and crunchy. On Wednesday afternoon we had a short but intense downpour. Then, Thursday, we had rain, lots of rain, a steady rain well into the evening and light rain overnight. Friday, yesterday, was cloudy and then rainy in the afternoon, and there was more rain in the evening. It’s suddenly cooler too. I like the warm weather but it was getting to be too much even for me, and these rainy season upper 70’s-low 80’s temperatures are very welcome.
Seasons are a bit different here. Summer starts in mid December. Rain is infrequent and then hardly happens at all until mid April. School summer vacation is December until mid February. A lot of home repairs and improvements go on in summer because they don’t get rained on in the afternoon.
I ran across this interesting website that explains the weather in this area. Apparently, because of the changing tilt of the earth, we are in a tropical, equatorial weather pattern most of the time. But during the summer we get pushed into the subtropical band of weather which is dry and windy. Boquete Weather and Climate (Boquete is the town up the road from us in the mountains, but the weather info applies to the whole area)
So, that’s the weather. In other news, I haven’t written as often here because there still isn’t much going on. What did we do this week? Well… same as last week, and the week before. I forget that just because it’s routine to me, it may still be interesting to people who only see our area and our lives through what I share here.
Some friends were curious about our outings to the fruit and veggie market. Most of the produce is grown in this province up in the mountains, so we are lucky to have a great selection of fresh produce available every day. I was going to go to the market but it’s started to rain, already, and it’s only 10:30 AM. But we sure appreciate the rain. (I know we could take the car, but half the point is to get some exercise) If we go tomorrow, and if I remember to take my phone for some photos, I’ll share more about that tomorrow.
Speaking of friends, there was a group of us in Florida that got together fairly regularly and had lot of fun times together. We have reconnected on Zoom now, and nothing has changed. IMO, that’s real friends, people who care about you through good times and bad, and are still there even if you haven’t talked for literally years. Yes, my friends, you know who you are and I appreciate every one of you!
In COVID news, things here are better. The numbers are getting lower, both the overall number of infected people and the number of people in hospitals, so that’s very good news. They are still aggressively testing, hoping to find the asymptomatic people who can unknowingly spread the virus. People coming from South America are automatically quarantined in a hotel/hospital on arrival for 5 days and then retested, in the effort to keep the variants out of the country. They are also randomly testing infected people for variants, and contact tracing continues as well.
Vaccines are arriving but not at the rate they were expected. But vaccinations have been underway for a month in a very organized fashion for people over 60, teachers, and people with chronic health conditions. They started in Panama Province (Panama City) where there have been the most cases, and they are now working in Panama West (suburbs of Panama City). Chiriqui (where we are) is next so we’re waiting! They have been using Pfizer vaccines, but the news says they are also getting vaccines from Covax, AstraZeneca, and they have been talking with Russia and China about getting more vaccine from there so hopefully at some point soon, the pace of vaccinations can increase.
Everyone is tired and Panama is no exception! People are tired of restrictions, of not seeing friends and family, of worrying, of being isolated. But, we’re glad to be here. People seem much more likely to cooperate with what needs to be done to prevent the spread of the virus, and our statistics show the results. But we are all looking forward to better times! It will happen, not today, but it’s coming. Hang on, and take care of yourselves and each other.