The Bridge is Open

The bridge to Boquete on the InterAmerican Highway is now open. Unfortunately, the access entrance off the InterAmerican Highway is not open. In fact it appears that there are still electric polls in the street. Hope it doesn’t take another year to open the access roads beside the bridge.

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On My Way Back Up

This is the first day in two weeks that I can say that I feel better then the day before. I don’t know what I had, but it threw me for a loop.

Lilliam has been an excellent caregiver. I don’t know what I would do without her.

She took over the duties of checking on the stroke victim. He probably thought she was easier on the eyes than me anyway. He may be disappointed when I see him next.

I am not 100%, but for the first time in a while I am optimistic about tomorrow.

I haven’t been a complete shut-in as I did get out for a noon lunch last Thursday with some good friends at the Terra Resturante. Maybe that was what I needed and it may have been the start of my recovery.

It has been a while since i had been there and the food was great. I should mention that there is remodeling going on there and they are building a wood fired pizza oven outside and I can hardly wait to try a wood fired pizza.

I need to be 100% soon, because we are planning to be in Texas in October. My grandson’s football team suffered their first loss of the season last night. I am looking forward to see him on the field.

Lilliam will get her first taste of Texas High School Football. She will also get a small taste of Texas fall weather.

I haven’t forgotten about the posts I promised. I have over 200 photos related to Tom McCormack that I am sifting through. His next container should be on the way and may even be in Colon now. I don’t have much time to get his post up before I leave, but I will try.

I intend to do a better job with writing when I get back from Texas. I obviously am in the mañana frame of mind.

I have over a year’s worth of time into a book I have been working on. It is based on my experiences since I moved here and lessons learned from my volunteering as a Warden for the U.S. Embassy in Panama City.

I actually intended to have it out by now, but, like other things, it has been over taken by day to day living. Maybe I will also put that an a hotter burner when I get back.

Enough rambling for today. Just thought I would let you know I am still alive and my world is still good. I hope you all are having a great day.

The BBC in England is looking for families hoping to relocate to Panama

I was contacted by the BBC related to a new series it is planning which will allow some participants that are considering moving to Panama to have a free trial so to speak.

I considered this worth posting because I prefer people having given Panama a reasonable try prior to making the final jump.

Culture, climate, language and other experiences are better understood with time rather than by reading in some promotional media that is profit motivated.

If you live in the UK and have been considering Panama as a destination, you might want to contact the BBC. The BBC’s information follows.
Wanted in Paradise Advert - PANAMA

A Baby Needs O Positive Blood

I received a request to post the following:

Hello Boquete and David,
We have a 3 week old baby in the Maternity hospital that needs ongoing O POSITIVE platelets from 1 pint per day until they can operate.
We are calling our Blood Donors list but many have been out of the country in the last 6 months which disqualifies most of them.
If you are O Pos, qualify with the requirements on the website below, and can go to Hospital Jose Domingo de Obaldia to help in the next few days or even next week, you will be able to do a wonderful thing for this baby.

Frist go to this site and prequalify yourself. http://www.boquetehealth.org/blood_donor.html
One difference from the above qualifications is that the cut off age is the day you turn 65.
And also you must NOT have been out of the country in the last 6 months. Unfortunately the US and Costa Rica included.

If you qualify, then call the father who will meet you at the hospital’s Banco de Sangre to walk you though the system.
The father, Bill Fitz, speaks Spanish and English. His number is 6616-5775.
You might know some Panamanian friends that will go.
Bill & Lourdes are happy to compensate if needed.
The test does not take very long but the process might take up to 2-3 hours if there are many people there when you arrive.
You might want to bring something to read.

You must be at the hospital between 7 am and 12 noon. Preferably 8 – 10 to meet with Bill, the father.
You must not eat breakfast or any food before you go.
You can and should drink water.
Bring your Panamanian cedula or ID card AND your passport (very important).
If you happen to be in David and have not reached Bill, give the lab the baby’s info Matthew Fitz, Cedula # 4-872-1597

The maternity hospital is the tall white building (part of the lower roof is blue) a little before Price Smart but on the opposite side of the street.
As soon as you enter the main entrance of the hospital, walk to the left and the blood donation window is a few yards down on the right with a sign “Banco de Sangre”.

Even if you can not go till next week please call Bill at 6616-5775 to make arrangements for then.
Matthew may still need platelets next week until he is strong enough to have the operation.

God Bless you all and this little baby too,
Andrea and Charlotte
Volunteers for Boquete Hospice Blood Donors list
To be added to the Blood Donor list email andreainparadise@gmail.com

Major Downtime

The last couple of days have been frustrating for the Chiriquí Chatter Website.

The site has been up and down several times and I do not know what the problem has been.

However, it does show that I have mellowed over the last 11 1/2 years in Panama. When I first started blogging in 2003, if the site did not function, I stressed out. Now, I just say “if it is up it is up and if it isn’t then it isn’t.” Kinda like other things at my age.

I would feel better, if I understood the problem, but I am not going to lose any sleep not knowing.

For the loyal followers, if you want to know the current status of CC, you can view the Chiriquí Chatter Status Site.

Issues When living in Panama

Three recent U.S. Citizen involvements have provided me with some experiences that may be worth sharing with others, especially those new to Panama or planning on moving to Panama.

The first involves being a victim of crime in Panama. Living in Panama is much different than living in the U.S. and reporting crimes and crimes actually being solved can be very frustrating. One thing I have seen, related to several cases I have knowledge of, is that it often requires the victim to continue to be involved with the police, if anything is going to cause a crime to be solved.

In this first situation, I was asked the correct procedure to report a crime and how to notify the U.S. Embassy of the crime. I forwarded the information to the Embassy and they responded to the U.S. victim and included a document specifying the process to follow if you are a victim.

I am putting that document on my server and it can be downloaded by clicking HERE.

The second involved a U.S. citizen that had recently moved to Panama and had planned on using a debit card that had his Social Security payments deposited on it every month. He had used this as his method in the U.S. and it provided him a means of accessing his funds without having a bank account. Continue reading

Calle De Los Muertos

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In David, there is a system for the streets. The Avenidas run East and West and the Calles run North and South.

Typically the Avenidas don’t have stop signs and the Calles do.

There is an exception on Calle C Sur, which is also know as Calle de los Muertos (Street of the dead). Most people know it as the one-way street that exits on the InterAmerican highway beside Cochez.

Yesterday, I had to go to Hospital Chiriquí for some lab work and came home by way of Calle del Los Muertos.

You have to be very careful when you use this street. Since it is the only one-way street running north and not south, people sometimes get confused. Sometimes they turn onto the street going the wrong direction.

As the accident yesterday shows, sometimes they just forget that they have to stop at this street, since they are on an avenida without stop signs.

Apple’s New Thingy

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Yesterday’s worldwide announcement from Apple was live on the Internet at noon Panama time (9:00 AM PST). I have a couple observations.

First, the streaming was very flawed. It began with two languages being broadcast, both English and I assume Chinese. While a little disruptive, i was able to ignore it. It did show that Apple has a high interest marketing in the Asian marketplace.

Second, the streaming would periodically backup and replay a previous few seconds that had already been broadcast and then continue. Kinda like a streaming stutter.

The problems eventually disappeared, but these types of problems have not appeared in previous streaming broadcasts from Apple that I have watched. Those that watch it now on the Apple Website will see it uninterrupted and in a single language.

Now for the announcement and other observations. Basically all things that were announced had been predicted for weeks, some in better detail than others. Continue reading

Update

It has been a while since I have posted anything. I have not been very good at recording what is going on and probably won’t be much better until some time in November.

Heather was with us from August 28th and left on September the First. She was here because Bugabita scheduled a special Danza del Moros y Christianos to complete her research. I have some videos that I took and will post when I get the time to edit them.

The dance came off without a hitch even though there were a few tense moments. Around 5PM on Saturday August 30, we were having a tremendous electrical rain storm. I didn’t know if the event would be canceled or not.

When we left for Bugabita, it was still sprinkling, however it stopped before we arrived at the presentation area.

Between 7:30 PM and 8:00 PM, the dancers were getting ready with makeup and putting on their outfits. All of a sudden the electricity went out and we were in solid darkness. You never know what to expect when a Panamanian electrical outage occurs. It could be minutes, to hours to days.

Luckily, within 5 minutes, the electricity came back and everything went smoothly from then.

Chris Smoot attended to help with photo taking and Heather has promised a series of guest posts on her experience researching and completing this Doctoral project. With her posts, she will include a lot of Chris’s photos. Her documentation will be filling in a real void because not much has been recorded to the level she has gone into. This is an important historical event that has gone on for a long time and many in Panama and more outside Panama have never heard of it.

I am also working on a post related to Tom McCormack’s work and plan to have it posted before I leave for the U.S. in October. He has his next container arriving in David the middle of October. I will try to post more information when I receive it.

I spent three days working with the stroke victim last week and will return tomorrow to access this week’s needs. He has been without telephone for over three weeks. I have made two trips to Cable & Wireless and still have not resolved the problem. Tomorrow will require another trip to raise the level of criticality. This is also the time of month that I have to pay all of his bills.

His care taker is scheduled to go to Panama City for one day in October. I am not sure how her absence will be covered. All I know, is it wont be me, because I will not be in the country.

On another note, I will mention that I have a friend a few blocks off who is realizing the lack of building codes or noise regulation in Panama. Next to her, in a residential area, a house has been remodeled over the last year and is now holding religious ceremonies two three nights a week. It involves loud music, chanting and begins around 9PM and has gone until early in the morning.

The police have said they are not responsible for noise and many neighbors have complained to authorities. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Once again, this is not one of those once in a while parties that happen everywhere in Panama; this is a religious group who designed the remodeling for this specific purpose. Luckily, the noise doesn’t carry all the way to my house.