All posts by Don Ray

About Don Ray

US retiree living in David, Chiriquí Panama. David, Chiriquí Warden for the US Embassy in Panama City.

MSTORE Comes To Plaza Terronal

For those of you living in Chiriquí that have moved away from the Dark Side, I have news of an Apple Store that is coming to Plaza Terronal. Google Map.

One of the workers said it should be around eight more days until the store is ready.

Plaza Terronal already has PanaFoto and MultiMax which sell Apple products, but now there will be a store dedicated to Apple products. I hope they will be carrying the iPhone.

The sign on the window says it is an authorized distributor. I will be interested to know if they are also an authorized service center.

It Is A Small Small World

Sometimes I get reminded just how small the world is. For the last several days I have been communicating with a family member of a U.S. Citizen that I am trying to assist for the U.S. Embassy in Panama City.

During yesterday’s conversation at some point I mentioned that I used to work for EDS. Then she said she used to work for EDS too, but now worked for GM.

We continued discussing the individual’s situation. There were several issues we needed plan out and we covered them one by one.

When we had covered all the issues, I changed the subject and asked if she happened to work for GM when GM bought EDS and EDS took over all of GM’s information processing infrastructure.

She said she had been hired two weeks before the EDS acquisition. During that period, I had just accepted a new position in Virginia working as the technical director on an Army contract that EDS has just won. However, when the GM acquisition happened, EDS’s whole world was turned upside down. We had 13,000 employees one day and the next day we had doubled in size.

No one knew where they were going to be working from one day to the next. I was part of the transaction team and went to Detroit for a few day to help transition the GM employees to EDS employees.

These were exciting times. Challenges and opportunities were around every corner. It was similar to moving to Panama as a retiree now. Challenges and opportunities around every corner.

I think we decided that we had both retired from EDS at the same time.

So as I was taking my evening swim yesterday, my thoughts moved to how small the world is. Here I am living a very enjoyable life in Panama, far removed from my old life back in the U.S..

What are the odds that I should find myself helping a person that I worked with for 15 years and never had the pleasure of meeting. Yes we were in different parts of the country, but still I think that is pretty incredible.

I really love my life. Here I am approaching 73, but I am still active, I am in good health, I have a wonderful wife, and it seems like a month never goes by but what I feel like I have been given an opportunity to do something worthwhile.

Life just doesn’t get any better than this.

Pretty sure I’m meant to be a weekend person. The lifestyle suits me.

We all have our bridges. We’re either crossing them, burning them or jumping off of them.

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
In the middle of opportunity lies me, taking a nap.

Casita Young – Volcan Rental

I received a request to post the following:

Hi Don,

Our casita next to our home here in Volcan is vacant again and immediately available.
If you are able to run this in Chiriqui Chatter, we will surely appreciate the favor.
Great for a single guy or gal who wants to be up in the cooler mountains and seeks a secure living space with everything paid for and included in the rent.

Thanks so much,


Casita Young – Rental in Volcan

  • Available immediately
  • One bedroom, one bath casita with kitchenette
  • Furnished with couch, table & chairs, queen size
  • bed w/bedding, fast internet (wired and wireless),
  • refrigerator, microwave, TV, DVD player, some
  • dishes & silverware.
  • Electricity, water, internet, trash removal, lawn
  • care, use of two clothes washers and a gas dryer
  • are all included in monthly rent.
  • Off-road parking
  • Quiet neighborhood
  • Fenced with locked gate, security iron-barred door and windows
  • Large yard with room to garden.
  • Reliable water delivery (both city and filtered)
  • Bus two blocks away
  • No pets
    All of the above including all utilities for $300.00 a month, paid monthly, in advance. Six month lease. First and last month’s rent plus $150.00 security/cleaning deposit in advance. Rent for less than a six month’s lease is $350 a month with first and last month’s rent plus $150.00 security/cleaning deposit in advance.

Contact: (English speaking preferred)
Rich Young 6432-3819
Nancy Young 6571-8495

Los Tejidos in David

IMG_0552One of Lilliam’s many hobbies is sewing. Yesterday she wanted to go downtown to buy some fabric at Los Tejidos, which is across from Parque Cervantes. Click HERE for a Google Map. Obviously the location shown on the map didn’t come out completely correct, because the store is not in the Park, but directly across the street on the opposite end of the block from Romero’s.

IMG_0551Anytime Lilliam wants fabric, needles, thread or other sillier, it seems this is where we wind up.

She was commenting how much cheaper the fabric was here than the fabric she bought when we were in Austin last year.

I never pass up an opportunity to take a photo of a beautiful young lady. Yesterday the opportunity arose when the cashier modeled with two parakeets that I had seen caged in the store.


If you happen to stop in Los Tejidos, tell them you learned about them from Chiriquí Chatter.

There are a lot of bargains to be found in downtown David. It may be a little difficult to find a place to park, but it can be a lot of fun once you are parked.

Panama Living Will Update

This week has provided two more learning experiences. In the past, I have written that if you have a Living Will, it would have to be in Spanish to be valid in Panama. I falsely assumed that your wishes would be taken into consideration in case of a situation where your life was only being maintained by artificial means, provided you had a legally executed document.

This week I have seen that the hospitals in Panama will not honor a legally executed Living Will or Power of Attorney specifying healthcare. These documents would be honored in hospitals in the U.S..

This may be enough to cause pause for some people considering moving to Panama. The understanding gained this week is that the hospitals will maintain life no matter the wishes of the individual or the individual’s family.

It is obviously financially beneficial for the hospital to keep a patient as long as possible, however, I do not know if this is a Panamanian law or if it is just universally observed.

In the past I have been involved with several cases where an individual has had an operation in Hospital Chiriqui and run up a bill of $30+ thousands of dollars. When the patient had run out of money, then the hospital transferred the patient to the Regional Hospital to die, while running up another bill. Continue reading Panama Living Will Update