This and Thats

Just a couple of comments. I just returned from the U.S. Embassy outreach meeting at Hotel Cuidad De David. I got there at 8:50 AM and the meeting was scheduled to begin at 9:00 AM. There were a few people that had been given misinformation by some individuals on (I assume) Yahoo groups. Some had been told to come at 7:30 Am, some had been told the Ambassador was going to be in attendance and I don’t know what other information that was not correct.

Whoever posted this erroneous information did a great disservice and had some people angry at the Embassy.

I always post information from the Embassy. I post it exactly as I receive it. If you want to receive this information directly from the U.S. Embassy, the just sign up with STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program).

Tomorrow there is another meeting at Cuidad De David as noted in my original post. This is an open to the public presentation by the U.S. Embassy Security office on personal security.

On another subject. After posting the last post on Policlinica, it reminded me that one of the first items to check off everyone’s list after moving to Panama, is having a plan for medical situations. Continue reading

Mar Caspio Open Again

I have been neglectful in posting the reopening of a restaurant that I had really liked. Mar Caspio opened in August of 2012 and soon became a favorite. Then for some reason, it closed. Most new restaurants have a hard time understanding the market and maybe that was what happened.

Well I am happy to tell you that Mar Caspio is open again. And in my opinion it blows the old restaurant away. It is ready for Christmas. The food is extremely good. The service is as good as I have had.

We have eaten there on two different Sundays. Good Sunday dining in David is limited and I am glad to see this restaurant open.

They seem to be doing everything right. The menu is smaller, but everything we have had has been prepared just the way I like it.

Yesterday, we chose to take an early Mother’s Day and beat the rush. Just me and three of my favorite ladies. It couldn’t have been better.

In case you haven’t planned your Mother’s Day, then I also included today’s Mother’s Day Menu. I am sure if you go, you won’t be disappointed. Oh and tell them you heard about them on Chiriquí Chatter.


At the end of the post are photos of some of the meals we have had. All great and well worth the price.

The original Mar Caspio is no more and the new Mar Caspio is better than ever. HERE is a Google Map.


More on Tom McCormack

Genaro and I talked for quite a while. He had lost his leg because of diabetes. He had come to Tom about two years ago. He said Tom literally changed his life. He talked about how he had tried to get help from the government, but he kept being sent here and there and was given paperwork to fill out, but in the end, nothing was ever done.

Then he learned about Tom and Tom is all action and no words. He spoke with real feeling how Tom was his friend and the friend of so many in Panama.

Ho told me about being the office one day and there were some there from the Dariên. The word has gotten around that there is this Chiricano Gringo who can put you back on your feet” or give you a “hand” so to speak.

This is just one of the typical stories I have heard while visiting people who have benefited from Tom’s generosity and hard work. Continue reading

A Stitch in Time

Lilliam is a very artsy and creative person. She has a Singer sewing machine that she purchased with her hard earned money years ago to save money on clothes and clothes repairs.

A few months ago she started talking about a new sewing machine that does finishing work on clothes. It was called a serger.

I had never heard of a serger and used the Internet to do some research. For what she was looking for I found a Juki 654DE and bought it for her and had it delivered to Panama.

It has dual needles and uses up to 4 threads. The instruction manual is in English and Lilliam is not a manual reader even in Spanish.

I though I would just check with the readers in Chiriquí to see if anyone has experience with these machines or knows of a group that might give her a few lessons.

Tis The Season

When you live in Panama, it is easy to forget what time of the year it is. One day is kinda like the one before it.

The only seasonal change is when you leave the rainy season and move to the dry season and then return to the rainy season.

We are approaching the dry season. We had our first taste the other day with an increased amount of wind. The wind increase will be even more noticeable in Volcan and Boquete.

This will be the time of year when I may have a few days that I feel the need for a little AC. I average about 5 days a year that I actually turn on my AC.

Mother’s Day is approaching in Panama. December 8th is when Panama recognizes Mother’s Day. Lilliam’s birthday occurs this month. Christmas is only a few weeks off and soon thereafter is New Years 2015. Yes it tis the season.

I feel fortunate that this year I got to spend as much time with family in the U.S. as I did. That is one of the things I miss. Lilliam and I took care of all our Christmas needs, but I am sure we will find another something special to celebrate the days and have something to open. Continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving to all Chiriquí Chatter Followers

Today is Lilliam’s day for the maid to come, so that prevents any outing for a Thanksgiving feast. For just us few it is not worth the hassle to buy turkey and make the fixings so it will be Panamanian tipica for lunch.

I do plan on watching football today. There are just some things you can’t give up. Go Cowboys!

I hope all of my family in the U.S. are enjoying this holiday and want you to know that you are all on my mind today.

I have said it before that I no longer need a day to give thanks. I am thankful everyday when I get up healthy and can take Koki out to pee. In fact I am happy that I am to be able to pee easily also.

When you see others at my age struggling to just get by or unable to get out of bed, it helps you to focus on what the important things are in life.

Health ranks much higher than money. I have had more, but I have not been happier than I am now.

I find it funny that they even celebrate Black Friday in Panama. Malls will be busy from now until the end of the year. Black Friday is much less in the U.S. than it used to be. The internet has changed all of that.

Looking at the news of the weather in the NE of the U.S. is another reason for me to be thankful. I may even take a dip in the pool as another reminder of how lucky I am.

Lilliam and I wish all Chiriquí Chatter followers a wonderful day.

Notes From Warden’s Meeting on the 20th

I am still in Panama City, but thought I would post this while it is fresh on my mind.

Lilliam and I attended a Warden Meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Panama City on the 20th. This is the second time I have attended a Warden meeting in PC and while it is not an expense free trip, I feel the expense is worth it to be able to meet and talk to the other wardens.

The Embassy gave me more recognition for my support of U.S. Citizens in Chiriquí than I feel worthy of, and I neglected to tell the group that I could not do what I have done without the help I receive from Lilliam. I will tell everyone now. She enjoys helping people and having a David local to intercede when my Spanish breaks down is invaluable.

Not all areas in Panama were represented, but there were 22 wardens in attendance.

Lauren B Armenise (ACS Chief) moderated the meeting. There were presentations from the Regional Security Office (RSO), the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Office (INL), a tour of the Embassy, A Federal Benefits Unit & Non-Immigrant Visa presentation, a American Citizen Services presentation, and got to meet the new Consul General (Alice Seddon).

Much of the information was the same as last year, but there was new information as well. Proof of Life (POL) was covered and HERE is my post on that topic from last year. We were told that they expected fewer problems because of POL and all were thanked for getting the word out. Continue reading

Crime Update

My morning email contained an email from the Boquete District. An individual was opening the lock to his finca when two thugs attacked him. One hit him and threw him to the ground while the other took his bag with all his ID, both from here in Panama and from back in the U.S. along with some money and his cell phone. Along with those items they also took his U.S.passport and his Panama Air ticket.

He had called to ask the procedure for getting a replacement passport. The process is not that difficult. You have to report the theft to the Panama authorities and receive a document from them of the passport theft.

Then you have to contact the U.S. Embassy in Panama City and make arrangements to go there and get an emergency passport. They will make it a priority item.

Crime seems to be on the uptick. There have been recent armed robberies in restaurants and fincas. All of these types of crimes seem to fuel the gun advocates promoting guns as a solution. In the case above, had the individual had a gun on his person, it would most likely have been taken from him and he might have been shot with his own gun.

I believe in being as prepared as possible to prevent being a victim, but there will always be cases in which you couldn’t be prepared. In those cases, I believe the best thing to do is remember that things can be replaced. Life can’t. Continue reading