Category Archives: Panama Journal

Offline Contact Messages

If you try to contact me using the Blog’s “Offline Contact” screen, it is very important that you double and triple check your email address.

I received an email this morning and got an error message on my reply that the addressee did not have a Yahoo account.

I reply to all emails, but can only do it if I have a good email address.

If you want you may contact me at the following address with the spaces removed.

donraycc @

Morning Walks

A couple weeks ago, Lilliam decided that I needed to start walking again with her and Natalie. I had stopped the walks when I started swimming each day.

Now that the rainy season is here, my 5:00 PM swim is usually canceled because of rain. I have changed my calendar to say “Swim” at 7 Am, but so far, my calendar fires and I just ignore it.

That is why Lilliam made her decision for me to start the morning walks again. So far my body had not gotten to excited about the walk. I would just as soon have another hours sleep. My alarm goes off at 6AM and I am getting up. Begrudgingly, but none the less, I am getting up.

IMG_0476I am not sure if it is a sign or not, but several mornings I have seen these large scavenger birds at various positions on the walk. What bothers me is they typically are seen around dead carcasses. It makes me wonder if they are scouting future meals. It does provide some motivation to keep moving.



IMG_0477This is about my most favorite part of the walk. It is all down hill. We walk all the way down the hill. Amazing how my gate speeds up going down hill.






IMG_0478On the other hand, this is my least favorite part of the walk. It is the same location, but at the bottom of the hill. To make it even harder, we walk this portion backwards. Robert Watson told me that walking backwards up a hill was a good way to strengthen the muscles and help keep the back properly aligned.

I sure miss Robert. It is a shame he is no longer with us, but he did leave me with some good advice.

We are walking 6 days a week now. I hope that it becomes fun soon, because so far it is still a chore. I do enjoy the birds singing all along the walk, except for the ones whistling a dirge march and waiting for me to collapse.

I track our walk each time on the iPhone. We usually hit the mile mark in 20 minutes, so you can see it is not a very rapid pace. I will blame the slow time on the portion where we walk backwards.

The one good thing about the morning walk is that if I complete it, I must still be alive.

Fighting Allergies

It seems when we go through the transition from the dry to the rainy season, I seem to have a flair up in allergies. For almost a month I have sniffled and snorted and had sinus drainage.

Lilliam does her best to help ward off these maladies. Her latest remedy is to pour a concoction she makes by boiling Rosemary and Eucalyptus leaves. It makes this golden brown liquid you see in this photo.

When you shower, you pour it on your hair and don’t rinse. Whether it is time for the allergy to leave or this has helped, I don’t know, but I am getting better.

Ashes to Ashes

Saturday, Lilliam and I went to the funeral home to take a photo for the family that couldn’t come to Panama following the death of a loved one.

The niece had sent me a photo of her uncle when he was in the armed services.

They have requested that a couple of his close friends spread his ashes in Panama.

Another project has come to an end.

Farewell to Ambassador Farrar and His Lovely Wife Terry

It is once again time for the U.S. Embassy to change its ambassador to Panama. Jonathan Farrar has been the U.S. Ambassador in Panama since May of 2012.

He and his wife have been extremely good representatives of the U.S. and I will miss them

Lilliam was really fond of Terry Farrar. On one of the Warden visits to the Ambassador’s residency, Terry showed Lilliam though her herb garden and then gave her several unusual spice plants.

The following photo was taken during the Warden’s meeting in 2013.

So we bid farewell to Jonathan and Terry. While they are no longer in Panama, they remain in our hearts.

Cold Shower This Morning

All of the rain we have had lately must have disrupted the water distribution in this part of David. We were out of water for a period of time last night and this morning there is very little water pressure.

I do not like cold showers and low water pressure means the instant hot water heater will not activate. Burrrrr!

MStore Inauguration June 4, 2015

A little rain could not keep me away from the inauguration of the Apple MStore in Plaza El Terronal. Lilliam and I arrived around 4:50 PM.

It wound up being a full house. Many people turned out. There was food. There was drink. There was Panama’s Cardinal to bless the business. There were beautiful women. There were plenty Apple products to see. What more could one want.

As a side note I watched the Cardinal demo his iPad for some people. That just goes to show you that Apple is truly God’s chosen technology. 😀

Jual Carlos and some of his staff

I took a photo of Juan Carlos Staff, who is responsible for the David store along with several of his staff. All wonderful people and everyone in the store are 100% Chiricanos!


I had a great time. Lilliam did as well. She pointed out her choice for a new iPhone. She was even more interested when she heard she could get a trade-in discount by using her old 4S.

Karen from Panama City

I got to spend some time speaking with the MStore Panama City technical service manager. It is really nice to have an official Apple service department in David.

It was another successful store inauguration for me. And this is my favorite store. Too bad I don’t have more money.

One of my objectives for the opening was to get at least one photo of me with Karen Jordán who acted as the hostess for this event. Mission accomplished!

Karen Jordán
Karen Jordán

Remember if you stop into the David MStore, tell them you learned about them on Chiriquí Chatter. Not that you need it, but here is a Google Map to the new store.


Panama Maps & Field Guide

I received a request to post the following:

Hola Don

If you think it would be appropriate, could you post the following on your blog.



Awesome Maps and Field Guides for Panama

Panama Maps & Field Guides – The BEST travel map and pocket field reference source guides you can possibly buy, in or out of, Panama. Mikkel will be at the Boquete Sunday Flea Market (June 7th) and then the Boquete Tuesday Morning market (June 9th)

He has new inventory of the latest Panama Travel Maps and many other Central & South American countries as well. Also, a full selection (all 11 choices) of the outstanding Rainforest Pocket Field Guides for Panama. If you are a bird watcher, they are fabulous for quick identification. 2 bird guides – 1 for Central Panama and 1 for Western Panama. Plus many others covering trees, flowers, orchids, animals, reptiles. etc.

Check out our website for a complete listing and description of everything that we carry.

Important distinction – every map is printed on polymer (exact same polymer that Canadian money is printed on), They are waterproof – can even use them as umbrellas. The field guides – waterproof as well – all professionally laminated.

See you Sunday or Tuesday, don’t miss the opportunity to obtain the BEST map ever of Panama and many other maps and field guides.

Whew. A Lot Accomplished in The Last Two Days

Over the past two day Lilliam and I have spent most of our time away from the house.

The first project was taking care of the last Embassy case who had passed away in Hospital Regional. Family members pulled together enough funds for Lilliam to negotiate an agreement with the hospital. Actually, the hospital was happy. The cashier said many foreigners, that die with no family in Panama, often have bills that never receive payment.

Leaving the hospital, we went to the funeral home and paid all expenses for the cremation process. We got a document to take to the Hospital morgue, stating that I authorized the release of the body to the funeral home.

Once the Hospital payment was accepted, we were able to get the paperwork needed for Tribunal Electoral. We went to Tribunal Electoral this morning and got the Panama Death certificate.

Now with all documents in hand , we were able to go to Hospital this afternoon and give the morgue the paperwork and identify the body, so it could be released to the funeral home for transport to Panama City for cremation. The ashes will be returned on Thursday.

I have sent all documents, needed by the Embassy, to the Embassy so they can send the U.S. death certificates to the family in the U.S.

None of this process is difficult unless you don’t speak Spanish well. Then it is close to a nightmare. Thank goodness for Lilliam.

While Lilliam and I were at Tribunal Electoral, we took the time to register our U.S. marriage in Panama. This was the second project. I guess the day sort of had beginnings and endings in the same day.

This marriage registration project has taken several months. Since we were married last year in Las Vegas, I had to get an Apostilled Marriage Certificate from Nevada. To have any document recognized from one country to another requires an Apostille.

It took some time for me to figure out how to accomplish this, but I finally contacted the Las Vegas wedding chapel and used a person they recommended.

After receiving the DHLed documents, I had to have it translated by a Registered Panama translator.

Today we had to provided multiple copies of Cedulas and Passports along with the Apostilled documents from the U.S. to Tribunal Electoral. We had to fill out a couple Spanish forms requesting the marriage registration and then the entire package will be sent to Panama City for processing. I will get a call when the process is complete and the forms are returned. The lady in Tribunal Electoral was very nice to work with.

The third project is underway, but not complete. Last year, I purchased a car in Panama City and have gone through two registration periods trying to get the car registered in David. Last year we tried and failed and were told to come the first day of the registration month and it would be easier. So far it hasn’t proved that much easier.

We have the tags coming, but registration in David requires another process. Today, I was told by my friend Jorge, in Volcan, that the easiest way to register a Panama City car in David is to go to Recardo Perez (Toyota), pay them $50 and let them handle it. Why hadn’t I talked to Jorge earlier.

Two days, three major tasks done and Lilliam and I are happy they are behind us.

Credit Where Credit Is Due

I thought Richard Detrich was due a real AttaBoy. I see he does actually monitor his site to keep comments from getting in that have not been properly edited by the author.

I have left several comments in the past on Richard’s blog, that I thought had slipped through a crack and for some reason never showed up.

I alway assumed that Richard was so busy and had so little time because of being away on cruise ships and thought that it was an accident that my comments never showed up, or that I hit the wrong key. I now understand that he is just preventing me from leaving a flawed comment.

When I left my latest comment to one of his posts, and saw it on the moderation queue, I took a screen capture so I would remember it and set a reminder to check back.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

This morning I checked his post and see that the comment is no longer under moderation, but has moved to a location known as purged-atory. This is the place ex-preachers place comments that don’t meet their selection criteria.

I appreciate that Richard didn’t want me to be embarrassed because I hadn’t adequately edited my comment and didn’t see an “of” that was written as “go” or that I used “have” when I should have used “has”.

Thank you Richard, but that wasn’t really necessary. My readers know that a lot of editing slips through the cracks on my blog.

Many readers don’t realize that WordPress and many other blogging applications always leave a comment or a ping back for other bloggers, if their posts are referenced. If the blogger chooses, it will appear in his blog.

Normally bloggers appreciate that others are spreading their blog’s URL because it increases Google’s ranking of their Blog.

Some bloggers prefer to delete comments and ping backs because they may offer differing opinions.