In my last post I was thinking about what has changed for me in the ten years since I moved here. I forgot to mention the things I used to take for granted. You open the faucet and expect water to come out. Here in Panama, however, this is often not the case. We have learned to save water, to shower at midnight when the water is on, and use very little water when it’s not (which is a good idea all the time too). I have bathed in water dripping from the roof, which is surprisingly cold. Many use nearby rivers but I’m too lazy to trek down to ours. We have installed a reserve tank and pump so it’s not a problem anymore, but even that isn’t a guarantee. Twice our house (which at the end of the line) had the meter clogged with mud and debris so the water couldn’t flow. The first time we contacted the water company and nothing happened, and we were without water for a week. Then we learned it’s best to call a plumber and he had it going that day. Whew. You don’t realize how much you depend on having clean water available! When we are without it makes me think of all the people in the world who never have clean water.
We’re in the city of David so our other utilities are pretty reliable, but that isn’t the case everywhere. Many have to deal with frequent power and internet outages. Our roads are pretty good all the way to our house but in many areas, roads are bumpy and in poor repair. There are even roads that are one lane now because part of the other lane washed out. We’re used to our roads but it’s always a surprise to go back to the US and see all the well maintained roads with curbs, painted lines, road signs, streetlights, and no potholes. We’re just starting to get some street signs here and more traffic lights are badly needed.
We take all our fresh produce for granted here. We go back to the US and there is SO much of everything. Would you like big carrots, small ones, orange, white, purple, organic? Everything looks perfect and costs a lot. Here it may not be perfect but it’s fresh, delicious, and locally grown. Enrique comes to our house every week with his truck loaded with whatever he bought early that morning. This was $24 last week – (from the left) cucumbers, tomatoes, mamon chinos (rambutans), potatoes, cauliflower, onions, beets, brocoli, lettuce, carrots, green beans, chayote (a summer squash type veggie), zapayo (a winter squash type veggie), and bananas.
I haven’t tormented you all with bugs and wildlife for a while. I spend a lot of time in my “outside office” and see a lot of visitors, especially at night. This really pretty bug was here the other night. I used to have a lizard that visited every night looking for the bugs that came to my desk lamp. While we were gone my neighbor cared for the dog and the house, and turned off every light, every power strip, everything! 🙄 When we came back, I didn’t see any more of the lizard. But the other night, this smaller, different one showed up so maybe he’ll be back and I’ll have another desk lizard.
We’ve been really busy with the music. Chris, our drummer, has been away and the venue said they’d rather have us as a duo than replace us with another band. So, we had to hustle and put together evenings with midi backing tracks and the drum machine. We use both at home for practice but to play in public, we had to be super organized so everything would run smoothly. This is where we play. The first picture is the venue, the Boquete Brewing Company, pretty wet with rain but people were still coming out to enjoy the evening which we appreciated. The second is our stage setup ready to go.
Last week I tried video recording us and it came out better than I expected. Chris is back now and will be with us this weekend, so we are very happy. I’ll have to try recording us again with all of on stage.
Since our band is Monkey Nerve with the three of us, I figured Dos Monos (Two Monkeys) would work for the duo. Monkey Nerve is that nerve in your body that when you hear fun music, it makes your body twitch, your feet tap, and you have to start dancing.
It’s been raining so much here! I wish we could share with all the people who are drying up for lack of rain. It’s been raining here all afternoon so when you are finished rehearsing, what do you do? I’m in my “outside office” writing to you all in my blog. 😊
In a few months we will be begging for rain. I’m glad we are mostly home so it’s easy for us to relax and enjoy these rainy afternoons.
Nicely written. I had one of those big bugs on my patio door. I convinced it to stay outside and it luckily complied. We need to get you a Panamanian bug book so you can identify all these critters for us!
Good idea! I have books on birds, reptiles, trees etc. but a bug book is a wonderful idea.
When it rains,you ha be e water tanks to catch the water don’t you??
Yes, we can collect rain water. I wait until it’s been raining enough to clean the roof, but the roof is super clean these days! That time when the city water didn’t flow for a week, the rain water saved us.