I think I saw this posted on Facebook today. Huffington Post had this piece on Mexican food. It just about killed me to look at the photos. I do need an enchilada. Refer back to my post on TexMex Mexican food..
1) “Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”
2) “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
3) “If I had my time over I would do the same again. So would any man who dares call himself a man.”
4) “I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.”
5) “Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”
6) “A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.”
7) “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”
8) “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
9) “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
10) “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
11) “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
12) “Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.”
13) “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
14) “I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days.”
15) “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”
If you have never seen the movie Invictus, you should watch it. It is a great movie about a very great man. This is the spirit that should invade all men. RIP Nelson Mandela.
Today is the day that the US recognizes the Thanksgiving Holiday. It is probably an appropriate day for me to give thanks for the friends and family that bless my life everyday. I have been a very fortunate man. I can’t imagine living a more enjoyable life.
It is nice to have a day that is dedicated to giving thanks. However, I think the challenge is to recognize that everyday that you are able to open your eyes is a day to give thanks.
Many will be with family today. The majority of my family is in the US, but I have a wonderful family in Panama as well. In addition to that, I have an extended family that has grown because of the Internet. My entire family is in my mind and heart, whether nearby or far away.
As you read this, take a moment to say a silent “thank you” for how lucky you are. Call your friends and family and tell them you are happy they are a part of your life. Pass out smiles today with all the enthusiasm you can muster.
Enjoy today and every day that follows as if it might be your last. Life is short and no day should be wasted.
In closing, let me share the following video with you.
Yesterday I had an email asking if I would still buy the iRobot Braava now that we have had it for a couple weeks.
Granted, we haven’t had it long enough to know its long term durability. However, for the amount of time we have had it, I think it has been the best piece of technology I have ever bought. Bar none.
The only qualifier I will reiterate is that it is not a vacuum. It has no suction and removes dirt by using pads. These are Swifter pads that are sold in PriceSmart and some other stores. It should be obvious, but I will restate it. This machine will not work on carpets.
However, since carpets are an exception in Panama, in my estimation, it works much better than the vacuum type robots. iRobot also makes a model called the Scoba. It both vacuums and mops. However, it puts water on the floor and then sucks it up. From all the research I did, it leaves a lot of water on the floor.
Since iRobot Braava does not have the vacuum, it has fewer parts to wear out. I am expecting it to require less maintenance than the vacuum type models.
I came close to buying the LG robot that is at PanaFoto. It is vacuum, but it also does dry mopping by attaching a swifter pad.
Lilliam’s main desire was to eliminate the mopping chore. While the LG model used a dry swifter mop too, Lilliam wanted water on the floor. However, if you want a vacuum or have carpeted surfaces, then LG might be a better fit. I will say that the LG unit that PanaFoto carries is not the latest unit. The latest unit in the US is around $800.
The LG units, the iRobot vacuum models and the iRobot Scoba models are much more noisy than the iRobot Braava.
I bought the 380i Braava model, which is the top model. I chose it because it comes with a rapid charger and has a water dispensing unit for wet mopping.
The GPS cube seems to do a good job mapping out the area to be cleaned, and Dolly (our name for the iRobot) eventually cleans everywhere. She cleans under furniture, below beds, basically any place that has around a 3 inch clearance. Dolly is unbelievably quiet. I mean, there is virtually no noise. None, nada, zilch.
Another significant detail is that the cost is 1/2 that of most robot vacuums models. Currently, the Braava model is not sold in Panama and I had it brought in from the US. It is not a large unit and I think would be able to be brought as carryon luggage. If the word gets out, Panama may choose to start importing it.
Lilliam has been visiting in Costa Rica for the last week. This afternoon, Dolly is cleaning all the floors. She may finish up tomorrow, while I am picking Lilliam up at the Frontera.
My only concern is that, when Lilliam sees how clean the floors are, she will give Dolly a kiss and not me.
Last week, I was notified, about 7:00 PM by the U. S. Embassy in Panama City, that a US citizen had been in a traffic accident near Tole and had been taken or was being taken to a local private hospital in David. I think the Embassy had been notified of the 911 call. The Embassy asked if I could identify which hospital and to see if the individual needed assistance.
I called both private hospitals (Mae Lewis and Hospital Chiriquí) and neither had the individual. I then called The Regional Hospital, since that is where many patients are taken if they have been in an accident. The individual was not there either.
I notified the Embassy that none of the major hospitals had the individual. The Embassy replied that it is possible that the patient might still be in transit to David and they would call the numbers I gave them in another 30 minutes.
Within the next hour, I received an email, saying the patient was in Hospital Chiriquí and had friends at the hospital and they were closing the case.
Tuesday night, I received another email stating that there was another US Citizen in Hospital Chiriquí and they had been requested to contact the family in the US, but could not do that until they had a signed Privacy Act Waver and could I get it. I replied that I would get it Wednesday morning.
I was able to see the patient yesterday and obtained the PAW, which I sent to the Embassy.
If you reside in Panama, it would be wise for you to have a PAW in the hands of some trusted person in case you are admitted to the hospital due to some unforeseen event. If you are in a coma, you won’t be able to sign one and that really makes it difficult for the Embassy to help.
If you are a US citizen, either living or vacationing in Panama, it also is a good idea to register in STEP.
I am posting these two incidents above, because I hear so much negativity about the support given by the Embassy to US citizens living here. I see behind the scenes and am well aware of many things that are done to help people in need and no one ever knows about it.
Now by writing this, I am not saying they are going to hold your hand for every little problem that befalls you living here. Your deciding to live here is not their responsibility.
Color me lucky. Let me paint the picture. Last night I had to run out for a few minutes. On the way back, in front of Super Baru, the traffic was not moving. While stopped, I decided to see if I could take a photo of the gas prices at the station in front of Super Baru.
The traffic started moving and I didn’t have time to put the iPhone securely in my pocket. I decided to make a quick stop at El Rey to buy a couple D cells for the gas hot water heater. I hate taking cold showers.
It only took a couple minutes in El Rey and then I returned home. About two hours later, I needed to make a call and reached for my iPhone. Now where did I put it. Maybe I left it in the car after taking the photo in front of Super Baru.
I decided to go check the car. As I exit the house, I hit a bench by the front door, trip and fall hitting my right hip. Luckily, nothing broken, just bruised my hip and my dignity. Didn’t do my back any good either. When I was able to get up, I checked the car – no iPhone.
I try what I normally do when I lose it in the house and call it. I hear nothing. Next step is to open up the “Find My Phone”app and see where it was. When I saw its location, I knew I must lost it at El Rey and it was no longer there.
What to do? Using the “Find My Phone” app, I recorded the iPhone as lost, put in the house phone and recorded a message that a reward would be paid for recovery. Sure, like anyone would call!
In less than 30 seconds the house phone rings. I hand the phone to Natalie because I am sure the caller will be speaking Spanish and my Spanish is worse on the phone. It was a young man calling and he said he had found the iPhone in front of El Rey.
He asked Natalie about the reward and I told Natalie $50. He said he would meet us in 20 minutes at El Rey. Not knowing what to expect, I alerted the El Rey security that we would be meeting a person that was returning a cell phone and wanted to be prepared in case they were needed.
The young man arrived with his mother, brother, and girlfriend. It was a very pleasant meeting. He is a student in Universidad Technologia, and obviously from a good family. It was a pleasure meeting him and his family.
He said his grandmother had liked the music on the iPhone, which was actually coming from iPhone Radio. I told him to send me an email and I would get his grand mother some CDs.
My thanks go out to Jonh Stevens Vergara. Honesty and integrity mean a lot to me and Jonh exemplifies the highest level of both.
Getting older seems to make me more accident prone, both physically and for losing things. At Lilliam’s and Natalie’s advice, I am ordering this new iPhone case. Maybe if I have the iPhone tethered to me I will be less likely to lose it.
All is well that ends well. However, it is even better when it involves meeting a young person who is more interested in doing what is right that making a quick buck.
Let me introduce you to Jonh and his girlfriend. Hopefully, Panama’s future rests in the hands of individuals like Jonh.
This is a new pizza place that has recently opened and they sell pizza by the meter or portion thereof. We ordered the speciality of the house. In fact we ordered 1/2 metro for three people. It provided take home for another meal.
It is always good to have more choices for take-home. HERE is a google map to Morelli’s. If you stop in tell Fabio Morelli that you heard of Morelli’s on Chiriquí Chatter.
Yesterday, I received the following email from a Chiriquí Chatter reader related to an email he had received from the Panama Tourism Office. Thanks to the reader for sharing this information.
Hi Don Ray
this is part of an email that I received from the tourism office of Panama which may be of benefit to the permanent tourists who go to Pasa Canoas to renew their passport stamps.
Recently the officials there have been asking for an air ticket to your country of residency along with the economic solvency requirement of $500.
This email states that the normal requirement is any ticket leaving Panama, by land sea or air. It does not matter where the ticket is to.
In another part of the email he stated that he is going to investigate what is happening in Pasa Canoas.
Today at 10:04 AM
Nuestras disculpas por lo sucedido en Paso Canoas
Dentro de las normas de Panamá, se requiere que las
Personas que entran a Panamá por tierra, aire o mar,
Tengan su boleto de salida , ya sea por tierra, mar o