Category Archives: Panama Journal

Blow the Man Down

Boy oh Boy, the winds have been brutal lately. The dry season in Panama is definitely not my favorite time of year. This is the time of year, I consider turning on my AC. I usually don’t because I can get by as long as I have a fan on me.

I do keep all the curtains drawn, to keep as much heat outside as possible. I definitely try to spend as little time outside in the direct sunlight as possible.

I just had a couple of pieces of new technology delivered the other day. I had ordered an Electronic BBQ/Oven thermometer to tell me the correct temperature of doneness has been reached. No more guessing.

The other item was an inside and outside electronic thermometer. I have considered buying a weather station for years, and have not been willing to shuck out the money. However, just having a thermometer is telling me a lot.

What it has shown me is that I need to hurry up and get my broken front door fixed, so I can get air flow through ventilation going again. I had been keeping the door’s window shut because I was afraid of more breakage and am finding it makes several degrees difference in temperature.

This is the time of year in all the lower areas of Panama that one needs to drink plenty of fluids.

I got a call Thursday evening from the Embassy about a U.S. Citizen in the Polyclinica receiving an IV for dehydration. He was from Las Lomas. By the time I was able to get there to get a PAW signed, so the Embassy could contact family members, he had been released.

I hope I don’t get another call related to him, because i am sure it will be a more serious dehydration. This is another U.S. veteran living alone in Panama. Aging in Panama without family can be hazardous to your health.

On another note, we having new issues, with Robert, the stroke victim. He also has not been drinking enough liquids and also not eating enough. The doctor said that it was going to be necessary to use a nasal feeding tube to get him built back up.

Yesterday was the procedure and Natalie and I were there. Natalie had to hold his hand while the tube was inserted. Not a pleasant experience for patient not others. I waited outside, because I figured also having to deal with a fainted gringo would not be good.

Once the tube was inserted, it was much easier to get nourishment into Robert. The procedure is supposed to be for 10-15 days.

This morning, I got a wakeup call from the head nurse, that Robert had removed the tube last night and the doctor is coming again to replace it at 3PM. We will have to go again and I am sure this procedure will be more stressful than yesterday’s.

This sort of thing really stresses me out.

U.S. Embassy Outreach On Wednesday

The U.S. Embassy Outreach occurred Wednesday in the Boquete Library. There were substantially fewer people there than the last outreach in David. I think that is an indication of the small number of months between the two sessions.

I took the following photo as I entered the third floor meeting room.


I hope the Embassy can continue to schedule an Outreach at the same time they have their jail visitations, which I believe is every three months.

ACS’s email is It would not hurt if you dropped them a note and said thanks for coming and please continue outreach visitations every three months. I, for one, believe that 4 visits a year is reasonable and certainly makes it easier than making appointments and going to Panama.

Of course this will not prevent all trips to the Panama Embassy, but it would eliminate a large percentage. As always, I will post the announced meeting dates.

Lilliam, I and Natalie went so I could get some documents authenticated.

I think I finally deciphered all of the requirements to fill out the W7 form. I needed this form for this year’s Federal income tax filing.

As a result of Lilliam and my marriage last year, I needed the W7 for so that I could file Married Filling Jointly.

This may be of interest to other U.S. citizens who marries a foreigner. I had two choices, Married Filing Separately or Married Filing Jointly. I guess a lot of folks that get married here may file as single, since the marriage is not known in the U.S. However, You never know what complications may occur in the future, by not just filing MFS.

In my case that wasn’t an option, since we got married in Las Vegas last year, so the marriage is registered in the U.S.

My only decision was MFJ or MFS. I decided it was beneficial filling MFJ, so the W7 and supporting documents were required.

Married Filing Separately requires nothing and the spouse would not have need to file as long as there was no earned income from a U.S. source.

The W7 form is submitted to obtain an ITIN and is only needed on the first year of filing MFJ.

I now know more about ITIN than I ever wanted to know. Thank goodness for the Internet.

The Dutch Girls Died as Result of an Accident in Panama

Kris Kremers, 21, and Lisanne Froon, 22, the two Dutch girls that went missing last April, and were later found dead, apparently died as a result of falling off a cliff. That is the conclusion of a team of forensic specialists.

I personally am happy that this was the conclusion as opposed to any of the sinister possibilities that might have been. Youth and carelessness seem to go hand in hand. There are many places in Panama that inexperienced people should not venture into alone.

I hope their families can now find closure.


U.S. Embassy Outreach Tomorrow in Boquete

Remember that tomorrow the U.S. Embassy will be in Boquete to assist with many U.S. Citizen needs. Go to the Original Post, to see what they are doing and what documentation you need to bring.

Normally the largest problems in these meetings are that copies of documents, passports, etc, were forgotten and had to be obtained the day of the outreach.

A second note. Normally there is a sign in system in place, because it is first come, first served. Make sure to understand the system to avoid waiting and not getting called.

Also, if there is a fee for the service rendered, bring the exact change.

Planet Telecom has recently completed an addition to its Eastern Chiriqui network providing expanded coverage in the Boca Chica, Boca Brava area

I received a request to post the following:

Planet Telecom has recently completed an addition to its Eastern Chiriqui network providing expanded coverage in the Boca Chica, Boca Brava area.
This infrastructure expansion will allow clients in the Istana project, Playa Hermosa and Playa Rincon to access the high-speed, reliable broadband internet for which Planet Telecom is known.

In an effort to minimize the environmental impact of this project, Planet Telecom has decided to implement the latest in solar energy solutions. All equipment on the tower is powered through solar panels with rechargeable back-up batteries supplying energy at night. This eliminates the dependency on the electrical grid with the additional benefit of minimizing our energy consumption.

Since 2008, Planet Telecom has been providing high-speed internet to remote locations throughout the province of Chiriqui, Panama.

For additional information, please check out our website:, or call us at 777-9200

Alain (Al) Mulaire
Director of Operations
Director de operaciones

Planet Telecom
David, Chiriqui, Republica de Panama
507-777-9200 x53

Wireless Internet Across Chiriqui
Internet inalambríco en todo Chiriquí

Information Worth Passing On

I have a good friend that is experiencing difficulties, with Panama bank accounts, following the death of a spouse. My friend said that I could share the experience with others in hopes that it might prevent them from having similar problems.

Here was the information that the individual sent me.

We have two bank accounts (savings) with a local bank, signed with the principles’ name and authorized person. The problem lies in the fact that one was signed with “or” which is fine, the other signed with “and” which has presented a problem in the fact that the one signed “and” now has to go probate, which I have been told to not expect any results for a year.

I should clarify this situation happens after a death of the principle individual. I find it hard to believe we did this, but am sure there are others that may want to be aware and check their accounts and how they are set up.

I have been told that the banks do have a beneficiary form that can possibly alleviate this problem.

I was previously aware of this type of problem. Lilliam has told me that having lawyers and wills tied to bank accounts also leads to similar problems because the legal fees to free up accounts usually take a huge portion of the assets. The bank beneficiary form solves the problem with little, if any expense.

Kayley’s Trip Begins

My granddaughter, Kayley, raised all of her money to go on her church’s missionary trip to Nicaragua.

Thanks to all who helped her hit her target.

They left Austin yesterday. This should be quite an experience for her. It is her first trip out of the U.S. and I know it will be an eye opening experience.

Her group will be taking photos so the families can keep up with their experiences.

This is a photo taken at the airport prior to departure. Kayley is in the center of the photo, nearest the camera.

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Lilliam – This is for you – Happy Valentine’s Day

By Don Ray Williams
February 4, 2012 (Updated February 14, 2015)

I’m younger, they say,
Than I was yesterday,
And I know the reason is you.

You make me feel good,
And I think that I should
Say thanks for the things that you do.

The warmth of your touch
Means ever so much.
I enjoy the smile on your face.

Yes, I’m lucky I know,
And I must tell you so,
For your goodness cannot be replaced.

Please ignore all my faults,
And remove any doubts
About how much I really care.

My loves always growing,
Though it’s not always showing,
So I’m telling you, so you’ll be aware.

Our time spent together
Seems to only get better,
And I hope that it never will end.

Hold my hand as I say,
In my very own way,
I love you; I need you,
my sweetheart, my lover, my wife, and my very best friend.

NetFlix Vs. VOD

I continually get emails from Cable Onda for movies currently on Video On Demand. I am pleased to say that I never have to order them and think we will see the day when VOD disappears.

I do subscribe to Netflix. It costs me $8.00 a month and has many advantages over VOD for me. Cost is one advantage. I can watch as many movies or TV shows that I want a month for the same price and that would amount to about 3 VOD movies.

However, cost is secondary to the convenience. Netflix operates just like a video player. You can stop a movie and pick it up another day. You can pause the movie and take a phone call. You can watch the same movie multiple times, if you want.

Netflix isn’t perfect, but it sure beats anything else I have found. I can watch it on my Apple TV, my PC, my iPad and even my cell phone if I want to have eye strain. Yesterday, I watched a Steven King movie on my iPad using headphones, while Natalie and Lilliam watched a show in Spanish on TV,

The main limitation of NetFlix exixts with the Internet. I have had a couple times this week when the Movies would stop to receive more content. The reason is not always something that I have control over. I have had times when it has been Cable Onda having performance problems. This week it has been external to Cable Onda and is either NetFlix having problems or the network somewhere between here and the NetFlix servers.

Even with the problems, NetFlix remains my main source of media entertainment.

NetFlix isn’t the only provider. Amazon has Prime (I used it in the past), and another is HULU. I sometimes watch HULU by streaming from my PC to my Apple TV. However, I have uncovered so many series on NetFlix, that I haven’t watched, that I rarely need to use the others.

On a related subject, I hope to have time to go visit Cable Onda this week. I think I can improve my current subscription. I have already cut off all my premium movie stations which lowered my bill substantially.

Now I see that they have an “M” PLAN for $58.82 a month including a 6MB Internet speed and telephone. If it is indeed that price It would reduce my bill even more and increase my speed.

Well, enough technology talk. Have you told your sweetie that you love her/him? If not, you better get to it. I have told Lilliam and that I have plans for a new restaurant this evening. What ever I do for Lilliam is not enough, but at least she knows I am making an effort.

And to all of the Chiriquí Chatter reader – HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

Carniceria La Casa del Cerdo – In David

After several recommendations, I found the House of Pork. HERE is a Google Map to La Casa Del Cerdo.

As you can see from the map, it is set back from the street, but there is a sign on the street, so no one should have a problem finding it.

Their hours are:

Mon – Fri: 7:30 am – 6:00 am
Sat: 7:30 am – 2:00 am

We stopped by yesterday and Lilliam bought some pork chops. I wanted two slabs of ribs, but I had to go in today to get them. Many order ahead so here is their business number. 7307362.

Here is a photo of the front of the business.


Here are today’s posted prices.

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This young man took care of my order. Unfortunately, I didn’t get his name, but will get it the next time I go in. He speaks english in case you are Spanish challenged. I was very impressed with the shop. Extremely clean! No foul odors. You can also buy eggs and chicken.


I said I picked up two slabs of ribs. They are larger than those at PriceSmart. I did have to trim the a little more than PriceSmart, but it was worth the effort. I cooked on slab this evening. I also cooked some of the trimmings and that was what we had for supper. Super tasty.

We will try the ribs tomorrow. We are going to visit Robert in Hogar Santa Catalina on Thursday and I promised to bring him some to try. Lets hope they are as good as the samples we had this evening.

Here is a photo of the this evenings ribs.


Remember, if you stop in to Carniceria La Casa del Cerdo, tell them you heard of them on Chiriquí Chatter.