Monthly Archives: April 2015

Howard Hill Benefit

I received a notice that there is a benefit that is going to be held for a friend of mine in Boquete (Howard Hill), and I was asked if I would post the benefit.

I will add a personal note. I have known Howard for several years. I met him because of an Embassy case I was called to support. The case was a difficult case and without Howard’s help, the individual’s situation would not have ended well.

I have known Howard to be a giver and not a taker and I am happy to call him my friend. He has been a real asset to both the Panamanian and the English speaking communities.

His situation is unfortunate and not of his own making. Without some help from his friends, Howard’s life will be cut short.

Following is the write up provided by the benefit organizers.

During working life, Howard Hill did a wide variety of things, including developing instructional media for a university system, and writing grants to bring federal money into children and family programs in western North Carolina.

His twelve years of retirement have largely been characterized by volunteerism. Howard was a founding member, and twice president of the Rotary Club of Boquete, wherein he was involved in numerous projects to improve school facilities and learning conditions in Boquete area schools, as well as school and water projects in Bocas del Toro province and the Comarca. He has variously been a donor and volunteer with many of the local civic organizations, providing free photography and sound systems, or just an extra hand, for the Handicap Foundation, Amigos de Boquete, Animales de Boquete, BCP, and the Boquete Biblioteca. However, due to catastrophic personal losses in 2007, Howard leads a very simple existence, and was left without means to afford health insurance.

Howard currently does not have health insurance and is suffering from a worsening case of congestive heart failure. He immediately requires various costly treatments and surgeries, and his life is on the line.

To reach our goal, your support is fundamental, and we greatly appreciate anything you can do for Howard.

Joanna Dodge, one of the organizers, has set up an INDIGOGO fund which may be contributed to via the Internet.

If every day is a gift, I’d like a receipt for Monday. I want to exchange it for another Friday.

Healthcare Is Cheaper in Panama – REALLY?

You will often see statements such as “YOU CAN LIVE BETTER FOR LESS IN PANAMA!” and “Healthcare is cheaper in Panama”. I just saw one of these statements in another blog I read.

I know that statements like those will be a huge incentives for many to take the leap and move to Panama.

I will examine both of those statements from my perspective. For “You can live better for less” to be true, you have to identify what “living better” means to you. It is a very subjective thing and the more money you have the more likely the statement is true. If I had enough money, I could enjoy living almost anywhere.

Living in Panama has provided Lilliam and I the opportunity to take several cruises, visit more places in Europe than I had visited prior to moving here, and splurge on some technology that I might not have been able to buy had I been living in the U.S.

However, does that mean I I am living better for less in Panama? Some of the real enjoyment came from being outside of Panama! Some of my technology doesn’t work to its fullest in Panama because the the technology infrastructure in Panama is not always reliable. Continue reading Healthcare Is Cheaper in Panama – REALLY?

If you are what you eat, then my dog is a calculator.

Let’s Get Real About Retiring in Panama

This morning I happened on one of the blogs I read called “Rewired and Retired in Nicaragua”.  I enjoy reading blogs from other Latin American countries for comparison. The current post was called “Let’s Get Real About Retiring in Nicaragua”.

While I do not believe that Retiring in Nicaragua and retiring in Panama are the same, one thing is glaringly the same. The portrayal by many sources, such as International Living, leaving the reader with a very rose colored illusion of paradise. That may be the grass is greener on the other side of the fence syndrome.

“Let’s Get Real About Retiring in Panama” would be a good name for a book. I have worked on a book for the last two years and every now and then I open it up, reread what I have written, correct some punctuation and spelling and maybe add a few more lines. Then I close Scrivener and let it cure for a while more.

I have searched for a title for what I have written and “Let’s Get Real About Retiring in Panama” may represent it as well as anything. Continue reading Let’s Get Real About Retiring in Panama

Gran Bingo Anual de Casa Esperanza

I received the following email today and this is a very worthwhile organization. I wrote up Casa Esperanza quite a while ago and Here Is The Post.

Asiste este jueves 30 de Mayo al Gran Bingo de Casa Esperanza
Club David desde las 7:30 p.m.
Muchos premios, cultura y tradiciones
Donación: Bl. 25.00
Casa Esperanza Website is


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Derechos Reservados 2015

Better Call Saul – No- Better Call Happy Pet


I have been watching “Better Call Saul” (The spinoff from Breaking Bad) and got confused. This situation definitely needed Happy Pet.

The other night Lilliam asked me to feel a spot on Koki’s belly. It felt like a piece of wire just piercing her skin from the inside. The spot wasn’t red and didn’t look irritated, but what ever this was shouldn’t be there. Very strange. Of course Lilliam’s I can fix anything state of mind sent her running for her tweezers.

After a couple attempts giving gentle tugs, it was obvious this needed more professional attention.

Yesterday we took Koki to Happy Pet. Dra. Patricia said it looked like a staple was inside her and it would take an incision to remove it. Dra. Patricia asked Lilliam if Koki had been spayed. She had about 5 1/2 years ago.

We were told to come back in a couple hours.

When we returned after lunch, we talked to Dr. Sam. He said it appeared that this was there following her spaying at the free spaying clinic we had taken her to in David.

With the wire clip or what ever it was removed, Koki showed no ill effects. We got some antibiotic cream to put on the incision for the next 8 days. Koki acts like she never had anything wrong with her.

All is well that ends well.

“You can’t sleep either?” Says a voice from under your bed.

Cable Onda Out This Morning

Cable Onda went out this morning (Cable TV, Telephone, and Internet). All were functioning when I got up, but went out about 7:00 AM. My backup is always my cell and luckily it is rare for both providers to be out at the same time.

Not a good time for those working via the Internet in Panama or those wanting to make VOIP calls to the U.S.

This is not as serious an outage as not having electricity or water and my outages of those services are usually no more than four times a year.

It is a beautiful day outside. The sun is bright. The birds are singing. A few dogs are barking and pretty much , all is right with the world.

Lilliam thinks it is good for me to take a break from TV and the Internet now and then anyway.

We have plans to eat lunch with a good friend today, so I am confident it is going to be a great day (with or without Internet and TV).

TV returned after an hour and a half. Internet returned ten minutes later. A friend said her service had been going on and off all morning, so there must be work going on are someone has been stealing cable.