Monthly Archives: September 2011

Another Success

This morning I received the following email:

From……: RA
Email…..: (removed)

Dear Sirs maybe you can help me I am looking for my cousin Dr. (name removed) who is a pediatrician in David. I am trying to find him after 20 years. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated for he is my only living relative. Could you tell him to contact me at (email address removed)

I looked the name up in the David phone book and called the number. A man answered and I asked if he was the doctor. He said no. I asked if he knew the doctor and he said it was his father.

I told him I had received an email from the doctor’s cousin and I was going to provide the person, that wrote me, with the phone number.

I just received the following email.

Thank you my friend may god bless you that’s my cousin

Now that makes me feel good.

Spanish/English Living Will

A Chiriquí Chatter reader sent me a JPG of a living will that is in English and Spanish. It has set in my “ToDo” list for some time. To be honest, I had forgotten about it. This morning I bumped into the individual that had sent it to me and he thought it had got caught in my Spam Trap.

No, it got caught in my “I’ll get to it” trap, which is just as bad.

My suggestion is that it may be a starting point. I would still verify with a Panama Lawyer that it would be valid in Panama.

Click on the image to get a PDF form.

Thanks to the reader that sent me the file, and the reader that provided the PDF.

Potrerillos Neighborhood Watch Report: 9/30/2011

I received the following for posting. All have been entered into Chiriquí Watch. I encourage all residents of Chiriquí to use the Chiriquí Watch site to record problems of this nature.

Potrerillos is starting to see criminal activities pick up including a dangerous armed robbery in a nearby town.

Another nasty traffic accident to report:
On Wednesday 9/28/11 at about 5-PM a serious traffic accident occurred between 2 vehicles owned and operated by residence of Potrerillos occurring directly in front of the now empty Potrerillos Police Substation. This time it involved two white SUV’s and both sustained major damage. According to the Police investigation one SUV was speeding South bound down the road at a extremely high rate of speed (something very common around here) when the driver a 18 year old female from Potrerillos Arriba attempted to pass another vehicle positioned in front of her when she lost control and collided with that second SUV in what was described as a side impact.

The 18 year old driver sustained major internal and external injuries and lost a lot of blood, so much that Officers for Dolega PD had to quickly donate many units blood to save her for bleeding out and dyeing in hospital. The young drivers condition is grave and information received indicates that it is uncertain whether she will survive the seriousness of her injuries. The status of the other vehicle operator was not provided but was assumed to be ok.

Despite the serious nature of these automobile accidents and the frequent Roving Police Check Points residents of Potrerillos remain defiant and continue to operate their vehicles with little regard for the safety of themselves and those around them. There have been 4 lives lost so far this year in Potrerillos resulting from vehicular accidents.

New Case:
On Sunday 9/25/11 a passenger riding on a public bus that services the Via Boquete rout was robbed at gun point when 3 local punks believed to be from the Algorrobos area placed a hand gun up against an unsuspecting passenger on the bus and robbed him of his blackberry cell phone and several other unspecified items of personal property. The armed robbery which went undetected occurred while the bus was in motion and the 3 perpetrators described as Panamanian males quickly exited the bus near the Algorrobos Township and disappeared from sight after committing there crime. No suspect information was provided other that the individuals appeared to be teenagers.

Next New case:
On Wednesday 9/21/11 an American Homeowner from Potrerillos Arriba who wishes not to be identified discovered that his residence was targeted by thieves when a window located on the backside of the residence was busted out in an attempted burglary (attached). Information received along with an investigation reviled that the perpetrator(s) disabled several outdoor motion lights removing the light bulbs in an attempt to create concealment in the hours of darkness. The thieves also erected a crude platform from rocks gathered from around the property in an attempt to reach the bathroom window (which they broke out). Fortunately the home was equipped with robust security bars that remained intact and appeared to have stopped the thieves from successfully entering the residence. Police Officials from Dolega were notified for follow up investigation. Anyone who may have information or knowledge of those responsible are encouraged to contact the Dolega PD. You may also communicate your observation to the Potrerillos Neighborhood Watch Group.
Continue reading Potrerillos Neighborhood Watch Report: 9/30/2011

Don’t You Get Bored Living in Panama

No I never get bored. Sometimes I think I put in more hours than I did when I had a paying job. It seems like there is always something going on.

Having a blog increases the chances of getting involved in a new activity. On the 26th I received a comment on one of my one-liner posts. Earlier on the 26th, there was a terrible accident in the Volcan area. The person writing me was living in Wisconsin and wanting to find out information for his Panamanian wife. She had heard that her brother was involved in the accident.

I deleted the comment and the individual and I continued communicating via email and by phone using my MagicJack.

I made a couple calls and withing 30 minutes was talking to a relative of the deceased brother. Sad conformation, but at least the wondering was over.

Normally I would hear about something like this, where a U.S. citizen needs information in Chiriquí, by being contacted by the U.S. Embassy. This time Google provided the contact.

For lunch today, I am meeting with Ryan Grassley, who made the incredible video I posted a while back.

He has been making some more videos and the last I saw was really fantastic. I will be posting more about his video’s later.

When the blog is idle or has less posts than normal, it probably doesn’t mean that nothing is going on, but more likely enough that I haven’t had time to post anything. For me, I would rather be busy than idle.

Everyone spends their retirement days differently. I feel fortunate to spend mine the way I do.

Potrerillos Public Safety Advisory 9/26/2011

Potrerillos continues to experience traffic accidents caused by drunk drivers.

On Friday night, 23-SEP-11 actually early Saturday at approximately 3-AM an drunk driver lost control of his vehicle in Potrerillos Abajo and slammed into a concrete and chain link fence. The incident occurred about ¼ mile below the Potrerillos Gas Station when the driver described as a Panamanian male from Potrerillos Arriba approximately 28 years old left the roadway and rolled his SUV over and ending up in the private property of a Local Resident. The suspect vehicle traveled approximately 90 feet through thick vegetation before crashing through and destroying a section of perimeter fence on private property (attached). The driving conditions were ideal that night, dry pavement, clear skies, now traffic. The vehicle was traveling uphill when it shot off the road in what was described as an excessively high rate of speed before spinning around and rolling before coming to a stop on its wheels in the yard of a home, this according to the Dolega PD.

Information received indicates that there were 3 occupants in the SUV at the time of the incident of witch none of them were using seat belts. It was reported that one of the passengers received medical attention at the seine but was unclear if he required transport to hospital. According Police Officials alcohol and excessive speed were contributing factors. Recognizing the fact that driving in Panama is a dangerous necessity there are simple things that one can do to protect them selves.

Installing a dash board car camera in your vehicle is a cost effective way to protect your interests and document driving events. Mr. Williams from Chiriquí Chatter based in David has installed one and has found multiple uses for his unit including documentation of his daily driving activities. I also have a similar unit installed in my vehicle and have recorded many short digital motion picture clips of dangerous drivers and hazardous road conditions. Anyone living in Panama or contemplating relocation here may find this technology useful. Contact Don @ for more information about his recordings.


Continue reading Potrerillos Public Safety Advisory 9/26/2011


Today, I made a withdrawal of $600 from the ATM in El Rey so that I could make the deposit in Hal’s account. I walked directly to HSBC across the street and gave the money, I had just taken from my ATM, to the teller and asked for two receipts, one for $500 and one for $100.

The teller counted the money and there was only $500. Luckily, I had an extra $100 and was able to make the entire deposit.

I returned home and verified that my bank had only distributed $500. Now my problem with the ATM is that it should have rejected my transaction and given me a message stating that there was a $500 limit.

Instead it said nothing and dispensed $500. I remember now that this has happened to me before and I had forgotten. I thought it was worth mentioning again, so that others would be mindful of this and not just assume that you receive what you request.