Category Archives: Panama Journal

I’m Still Here – Are You?

I am still here, but have just been too lazy to post anything. Sometimes, I just get in the “I Don’t Wanta” state of mind and would accomplish nothing if it weren’t for Lilliam’s “Yes, you’re gonna” frame of mind being stronger.

Maybe it is the heat and lack of rain. We were talking last night and I can’t remember the winds being so high this time of year. When you couple that with the lack of rain and the heat index causes me to just affix myself in front of the TV and veg out.

Thank goodness for NetFlix. I did watch the NCAA finals over the Internet the other night. USTVNOW was acceptable for free, but not sure I would want to pay for it.

Sure, we have eaten out several times and I have photos to post and will one of these days.

My granddaughter had a great trip to Nicaragua and I have photos of her excursion (also on my “to post list”).

My grandson submitted his paper, justifying a graduation gift. He beat the June 1st deadline and is now in the process of answering my followup questions.

I have had a couple Embassy related activities that have moved me out of my chair for short periods of time.

I have continued my daily pool exercise. We did move the time from the morning to the evening, because the sun is hitting too much of the pool to early in the day and the evening being cooler.

I have also been doing some reading about Panama, specifically the Panama Canal. Obviously the importance of Panama was established when the Panama Canal was created. I have intended to read the book by David McCullough entitled “The Path Between the Seas“. For what seems like forever.

I came close to buying it several times and even considered getting it as an audible book. Each time I got distracted by living and it never happened.

On one of Lilliam’s and my trips to the U.S., a good friend gave me a copy. Unfortunately, when we returned to Panama, Lilliam took the book out of the suitcase and put it somewhere.

Several times, I asked about the book and Lilliam didn’t remember where it was. Two days ago I decided to make a thorough search and low and behold, I found it in an unlikely place. It was on a shelf with several other books of mine. Sort of like hiding in plain sight.

If you are planning on living in Panama, this is almost required reading. It is one of the best written books I have ever picked up. When you begin this book, you are immediately transported back into the mid 1800s. The descriptions are vivid and the politics of the era give you a glimmer of the importance of what will follow. David McCullough has a style that keeps you turning each page.

You feel as though you know each individual as you travel with them. This is more than a history book. If you live here, it will be pure entertainment.

I think I have about written all the words I have in me for today. Time to turn on iTunes Radio and see where David McCullough takes me today. The French are just getting underway with their ill conceived plan for the canal.

Thanks to my friend for this wonderful gift. It has been perfect for the current “I don’t wanta” mood that overtook me.


It is a sad thing when parents abandon their children. It is even sad when birds abandon their unborn.

For several days we have watched as a pair of fairly large birds built their nest in a branch of a palm tree in front of our house. We watch as they would sit on the eggs.

However, last night things took a turn for the worst. Apparently the weight of the birds was too much for the Palm branch and this morning we saw it hanging low. At the base of the branch you could see the fracture.

Lilliam and I took some cord and raised the branch back to normal, but I doubt that the birds will return.

Lilliam is sad.


Chiriquí – American Football League

I received the following for posting.

Dear Don,

Chiriqui has an American Football League. Our Team would like to invite your readership to our next Pre-Season Game which will be held at the San Cristobal Stadium in David City on the 18th of April, 2015 @ 5:30 pm. Bring the family and enjoy the games. Full contact American football will be played. There will be a $1.00 (one dollar ticket fee).


Anthony Bustamante
Bulls Football Team
David City


Breaking News

As many of you may be aware, there has been a tremendous infusion of immigrants from China in all of Latin America. as well as tremendous investments in money.

I saw this on my last visit to Costa Rica, where China had built a new soccer stadium in San Jose and all the police cars had been provided by China.

You may have read about the new canal that is being planned in Nicaragua, all in association with China.

Because of China’s tremendous investment in Nicaragua, Nicaragua has mandated that the official language of Nicaragua will become Mandarin. It makes you wonder how long it will take for the rest of latin America to follow suit.

I understand this is a topic to be discussed on April 10, 2015, during the Summit of the Americas in Panama City.

To see more on the new regulations being imposed on Nicaraguan citizens, read 100% of the following article.


After ten long years, the first TV I purchased in Panama died. I think it went quietly in its sleep, because one morning it just didn’t respond anymore. RIP!

It was in the forth bedroom and was really a guest TV, so I decided to just move other TVs around and get a larger on for the living room. No sense buying new TV for a room that gets used a couple times a year.

It may be worth sharing my search and cautions for newcomers to Panama.

I have seen some people recommend buying new TVs in the states and shipping them here, the thought being that Panama is not as technology current as the U.S.

I don’t think that is a good idea. It is hard enough to get warranties honored on products purchased in Panama, and a TV bought in the U.S. is even more risky to get warranty work done in Panama. Continue reading RIP TV

Too Good Not To Post

I just received a call from my Uncle Horace, who is 98 years old and will be 99 on May 3rd. On March 6, he had a knee replaced. Today he told me that he is now scheduled to have the second knee replaced on May 22.

Prior to his operation he drove to his farm, which is about 20 some miles from where he lives, every day that he could. The only thing that kept him from going was if there was ice or snow on the road.

I told him today, I bet he was ready to get back in his pickup. He said he was more than ready. He said he would crawl into it, if he had to.

He had a colonoscopy a month ago and the doctor said all was fine and to come back in 3 years.

Today he was telling me some things that were going on in the area that he had just read in the newspaper.

I never talk to him but what I am amazed and inspired. He has filled the role of my father figure since my dad died a day before my 12th birthday. 

He told me he had just finished his morning therapy and before he went to the bathroom, he thought he would call me.

I told him I wasn’t sure that my name coming to mind when he was needing to go to the bathroom was a good thing. He laughed. 

What Happens When Expats Die in Panama Without Heirs

A question came up on Boquete Ning, that may be of interest to others. The question follows:

I’m just wondering…( and please don’t take this wrong)
Much of the  expat community in Boquete as well as in other places in Panama are 60, 70 and some 80 years of age. What will happen 15-20 years from now? Do the elderly move back to their native USA, Canada or Europe? What happens when an elderly expat dies in Panama has no heirs and owns personal property? I know in the USA a public administrator does their diligence to locate next of kin and distributes assets. What about in Panama for expats?

I will give you my experiences from the U.S. Expat side, having dealt with a few cases for the U.S. Embassy as the David Warden.

First is the question of with more age, do the expats return to their home country. That is, as you would expect, and individual decision. A lot depends on whether they have family in the U.S. I have known several who started having health problems and their family convinced them to return.

It also depends on the individuals financial condition. Assisted living in the U.S. can run from $3,000 (if you are lucky) and up and many living on social security can’t manage that expense on their earnings. If they can’t live with their family, then they may be forced to fend for themselves in Panama.

I have been involved with several that were in their upper 80’s that had decided to live out their life here and did.

Now to the question of what happens to a deceased’s assets, owned in Panama, if there are no heirs. Again, it depends on what planning has been done by the individual. Continue reading What Happens When Expats Die in Panama Without Heirs

Continuing The Three P Program

I mentioned last week that I had started a new exercise program. I have since named it the Three P Program.

I have it scheduled for 6 days a week. Sunday is a free day.

My alarm goes off at 7:00 AM. I am usually awake by 6 and relax, meditate, and listen to the birds serenading in the trees. Sometimes I hear a rooster off in the distance.

When the alarm goes off, it is time to begin the Three Ps. It is always good to keep things orderly and on schedule. That way my day goes well. First I need to go pee, next poop, and then head for the pool.

At my age, it is extremely important that I don’t get them out of order. Sometimes it turns into the 4 P program, because it may require some Patience waiting on the first two Ps.

The temperature of the pool was around 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Seemed much cooler when I entered it. Great way to start the morning. There was a slight breeze when we started and it has continued to increase since then. It is now blowing pretty hard.

This morning, after the 3Ps were completed, I checked my email. The Internet was down. I checked the phone and it was down too. I knew that the TV was working because Lilliam had it playing on the terrace to listen to the news while we were in the pool.

I decided to give it an hour before calling Cable Onda. Luckily, the outage was only about a half an hour. Of course I have no idea how long it was down before I had checked my mail.

Yesterday, Lilliam asked me which day we were going to the fair. Now that was a surprise. I had about decided that I might pass it up this year. She said she wanted to go later in the day this year. It was unbearably hot the last time we went.

It will be interesting to see if we make it. I did pull out my camera and checked the battery charge. I try to always be ready whenever she says lets do it.

Well, I am off to start the rest of my day. I hope you have a great day and take a little opportunity to smell the flowers.