Monthly Archives: January 2007

la Frontera (Paso Canoas)

I took a trip up to the Frontera this afternoon; I had some jeans I needed to exchange at Almacen Wong Chang. If you go to the Frontera, this is one of the stores you want to visit. While I was in the Frontera I took a few photos. This is just a small portion that you will see, but it will give you a taste of this area.

Parking is always a problem. I had to park down by a PIO PIO chicken restaurant because all the parking in front of Wong Chang was full. This is the store across the street from the PIO PIO.

Continue reading la Frontera (Paso Canoas)

Norm Did It Again.

Norm wrote another post on the Gringos of David Yahoo group and rather than re-post it here, I think I will just give you the URL so you can go there and read it. I think you will find this post of his on Bugaba as interesting as the one he did on the current Fair in Bugaba.

Also if you are not familiar with this Yahoo group and are a gringo thinking of moving to this area, the Yahoo group will be another source of information.

How are you TOEFLing Today

Well, Natalie and I have had two days getting organized and starting some of the exercises that are intended to prepare her for the TOEFL exam. It has caused me to do research into TOEFL and better understand why it is needed. I also am getting a better appreciation of the difficulty of the exam and the skills that are required for a person to pass the exam.

There are two typed of exams. There is a Paper Based Exam and a Computer Based Exam. While both test the same areas of competency, they obviously are administered differently. The latter requires the individual to have some basic computer skills.

TOEFL has four areas that are tested. They are Listening, Structure, Reading and Writing. The main focus of TOEFL is to allow a college to determine if a student, whose primary language is not English, can take classes in that university and obtain a degree. The fee for taking the test is $150. Therefore you need to feel you are prepared before you go take the TOEFL test. Continue reading How are you TOEFLing Today

What happened to Chatter?

Sometimes I receive communications that just incites me to be a better person. It makes me want to go out and help everyone. This morning I received such a message. One of my local readers was kind enough to take the time to drop me a note. It follows:

What happened to Chatter?

Iy appears to me, rather than providing information to us gringos, you’re going commercial and making it difficult to find out information aout Chuiqui.
What gives?

Are you in the website development business now?
Or you showing off your talents in setting up your blog?

You have lost youe original purpose, whatever that was.

My real complaint is navigating your UNUSER FRIENDLY site.
Get back to the basics or GET OFF!

Resident of David, Panama

The only problem I have with such constructive criticism is that it is so deep, that my shallow mind is having a hard time really understanding the intent of the criticism.

What does this reader really expect to find when he comes here? What information is he having a hard time finding. I personally think that commercial websites are well organized and make it easy to find the information they are promoting. How this site could ever be considered a commercial site is beyond my comprehension. If I post about a business it is because I am using it and think there might be a chance others might benefit. If they are not interested then I am sorry I wasted their time.

No, I am not in the website development business. If the purpose of his comment was to convince me to put up a site for him, I don’t do that sort of thing. I do this as a hobby and to have fun. Most of the time it is. Yes sometimes I do write about the technical side of the blog. Theme changes, software upgrades etc. That happened to be what was on my mind that day and I wrote about it. I wish I were smart enough to put a filter switch on the blog so that only the things of interest to each particular reader appeared. Sorry again – I haven’t found that option in the software.

My original purpose was to have fun recording some of the things I run into each day. It is satisfying my needs.

I am sorry that this user and possibly others find the navigation of Chiriquí Chatter difficult. If I had some insight into what was causing the most problems with navigation, I might be able to solve it, but unfortunately this comment didn’t provide it.

Well I guess it is time for me to go have breakfast. That is sort of how I “get back to basics”. So for now I will just “GET OFF”.

The Sparrow Flew The Coop

Yesterday I received this email from Yvette which is related to a previous post.

Hello everyone:

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but unfortunately I had to cancel the Boquete “Sparrow” Event… After speaking to Anayansi over the weekend it was the best thing to do for various reasons.

1) Anayansi and her husband thought that the tickets were too high, should be $15 and $20

2) She told me that she could not guarantee that the place would be full because there is simply a lot going on in Boquete already… Jazz Festival and soon La Feria De David.

Sparrow is very expensive and there is absolutely no way that I could entertain those rates and have enough to pay him and see a profit… He is a very big card even at his age so when she told me that, then there was no other alternative so I am presenting him only in Panama, I simply do not wish for him to go to Boquete and have 100 or 200 people in a place that is so big, trust me it would not cover the expenses of bussing everyone, Sparrow and his expenses and such…

Perhaps at a later date, I will put something less expensive for Boquete for he his way too expensive and I thought that it could be full but now it is not a guarantee so to make sure that no one loses, I rather withdraw…

I want to thank you (all) for looking out for me, for helping me and for being there when you were and I am sorry that I have to do this but I simply do not see any other way…

I will be in touch and perhaps pick a time when there is not that much activity in Boquete, I do want to get that way and we do get a lot of calls from Chiriqui people wanting us to take Los Combos Nacionales to Chiriqui so perhaps that is doable at a later date. If anyone cares to advice as to when is the best date to have something in Boquete, I am interested in knowing the best times to have an event there.

Thanks a million!


An Inconvenient Truth – Outstanding

Thanks to Tony Singh for sending me the email the other day, which I published on the 28th about tonight’s showing of An Inconvenient truth.I went to the showing tonight. It is a film that can’t help but scare the living daylights out of you. Now I could have waited and rented the DVD when it came to David, but I was also interested in how many of the Panamanian people would turn out and see the film. There were over 60 people that watched the film. I think 90% to 95% were Panamanians. I helped raise the gringo representation.

I highly recommend that everyone see this movie. I also think you should have your children and your friends and anyone you can convince that might not see it otherwise, to go see it.

After watching it, I thought to myself that the world was probably lucky that Al Gore lost the presidential election to George Bush. Had he been president, there would still have been a 9/11 and he would have been consumed with that problem. He might have made better decisions, but I do not think he would have had the time or opportunity to make the contribution that he has made with this film. And the overall effect of global warming will be more significant in the long run than anything that happens in the middle east.

At the conclusion of the film, a couple Panamanians spoke. One said he felt that this film needed to be a required film that all students should have to watch to better understand their need to make changes for the future.

It was the other man that spoke about a related subject that Panamanians and specifically Chiricanos need to be more concerned about which is protecting the purity of the water. He said that because of money effecting Panama governmental decisions, more and more of the water of Panama is being contaminated and that has to change. If you see the film, it has multiple references to the US governmental decisions being affected by special interest groups. One reference was the tobacco industry and reports being generated for a long time that tobacco was not a health hazard. That was compared with the oil and auto industries in the US saying that too strict regulations would be bad for the US economy.

We are a generation of people that have been lucky to live in the best of times. Because of mistakes that have been made and mistakes that are continuing to be made our children’s futures may not be so pleasant. It really gives one pause to think.

Before everyone left they said that the movie would be shown for the next four Mondays. I am really pleased to see such earnest effort to make this information available in a setting where they discuss the film afterwards. Nothing will happen if we all just see the film and go home and forget about it. These are important problems that need to be dealt with now and not later.

Another Entertaining Find

Today my post about some of Jimmy Buffett’s lyrics received a comment from a reader about some lyric’s of Toby Keith. While searching for the Toby Keith lyrics I came across a site with a large number of songs, Country & Western as well as others, and spent a lot of time playing them.

Some of these I hadn’t heard in longer than I can remember. I am going to let you sample a couple and if you have fun you might want to do as I did and just sit back and click one after another. They are all MP3s so it will take a little time for them to load, but it will be worth it.

One of my lifetime loves has been dogs. I have had a bunch and with everyone that passed, I almost couldn’t bear to get another, but because of the unconditional love that each provided, I would. This first talking song/poem is recited by Walter Brennan and is called Old Shep.

This next One is called Teddy Bear and is recited by Red Sovine. It is another of those talking song/poems that were popular back in the 70’s when CBs were the rage. If you listen to this one and it doesn’t put a tear in your eye, you need to go see the doctor to see if your heart has been removed.

One thing I always enjoyed about C&W songs is that you could understand the words and the songs always told a story. Do you remember Ridin’ With Private Malone by David Ball?

And then there is the one by Toby Kieth that caused me to find this site. I ain’t as good as I once was but I’m as good once as I ever was.

Check at out the main page to find a wealth of entertainment.

Feria de la Candelaria Bugaba

There was a post on the Gringos in David Yahoo Group that I thought deserved a second post here. I would like to get a little time and go up and see it. Maybe you would too.

Here is Norm’s post:

Feria de la Candelaria Bugaba
Enero 26 al Febrero 4

Bugaba, aka La Concepción, is hosting the annual Feria de la Candelaria. I caught the horse parade last year and it was fantastic. Continue reading Feria de la Candelaria Bugaba