Category Archives: Panama Journal

Hello World

I am about to get my act together and most of my ToDo list has been worked off. I thought I would let everyone know that Lilliam, Koki and I are well and adjusting to being in Texas.

I have a few posts that I will be preparing in future days that I thought might be of interest.

First I thought I would discuss the Green Card process that Lilliam went through to allow us to move to the US. All in all, it took over 18 months. When I first started the Embassy said it should take 6-9 months.

Another topic I thought might be of interest was how we got some of our Panama items shipped to Texas. Getting things to Panama is much easier than taking them out. Then we also had to take care of all the paperwork to allow Koki to come with us.

Lastly, I thought I might go over our search for a place to live, adjustment to Texas weather, prices in general compared to Panama and maybe a few other items that may enter into my mind as I start writing.

I still have a lot of writing, I had done about living in Panama, in preparation for a book that I may get back into. After 15 years in Panama, experience moving there and moving back, and several years of Embassy cases, I do have enough for a book. I will see what motivates me.

It has been interesting having so much going on that I have had no time to blog. In Panama, I spent a lot of time blogging about life there and working on embassy cases to keep me busy.

In Texas, I am almost in overload with getting settled, finding a house and filling it with furniture and technology. The good thing is it is new and everything I have bought has been good quality. I am having a hard time keeping my finger off the “click to buy in Amazon” button.

When you can look on the Internet, see what you want and order it and get it in 2 days, it is almost addictive.

At any rate, I thought I would see if I still had any readers left and see if any of my thoughts produce any comments.

By the way, my taxes are done. It is amazing how much easier it is when all the documents get to you in a timely basis.

Proof of Life 2017

Today I received my POL form from Social Security. I do not know if my letter was sent from the US in May or June, but I have mine.

I thought I would pass on the process I am using to guarantee that it is registered properly., based on instructions received from the Embassy today.

I will fill out the form, sign it and send the form along with my passport via DHL to the Embassy in Panama City. It will be entered by Embassy staff on receipt. I will also include a prepaid DHL mailer for the Embassy to return my Passport.

The other option is to mail the form directly to the US and run the risk of having it lost and SS or other federal payments shut off.

In today’s mail, I received a 1099 that had inadvertently gone to Paraguay in February and made it to David on Monday. While the postal codes were correct , it got lost. I am amazed that it got here at all.

If you are a US Citizen that is a permanent resident of Panama (and is receiving federal benefit payments) and are not aware of POL requirements, my original post is HERE.

Technology Droppings

This week’s Security Now Podcast had a couple items I thought might be of interest to those in Panama that might be making use of some of the items that were covered.

I am posting the Youtube video in case you want to watch the 2 hour and 5 minute broadcast.If you aren’t interested, I will write about the parts that caught my interest below the video.

The first part of the broadcast covered world government’s need to read messages that are currently encrypted by WhatsApp, iMessage and other such programs. World terrorism has pushed enough buttons such that government are writing legislation to require technology companies to allow these messages to be read. Continue reading Technology Droppings

POL Reminder

With May coming to an end, it is probably a good time to remind all American Citizens, who receive US Government benefits, that the May and June mailings for Proof of Life are going out.

If you receive one of the US government pensions, and are a permanent resident of Panama, then you need to be watching for your letter, if the last two digits of your social security number end in 50-99.

Remember that a Panama mailing address cannot be one of the mail forwarding companies, such as MBE, Mailbox Express, etc. It has to be delivered to a Panama Post Office.

If you don’t receive your letter by October, then you will need to contact the FBU (Federal Benefits Unit) in the US Panama Embassy.

For the original post I did on Proof of Life, click HERE

 

Happy Anniversary Lilliam

Little did I know when I wrote this poem that such a wonderful woman would agree to spend the rest of her future with me.

It just goes to show, that good things can happen if you wait long enough. Three years and counting and the best years are yet to come.

Younger
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.

A Downside To The Rainy Season

I mentioned the other day that my favorite time of the year is the rainy season. I also mentioned a couple downsides.

However, the other day I was visiting Brigette Saldaña at Auto Servicios de Chiriquí Insurance, who takes care of all of my insurance needs. Great lady who speaks very good English. If you need her contact info, drop me a note.

Her husband is Carlos Saldaña, who runs Auto Servicios de Chiriquí.

While I was in his facility it dawned on me that I had not mentioned one of the critical downsides to the rainy season. His shop was full of cars that were undergoing bodyshop repairs and and near the entrance I noticed this wheel rim, which is the clue to this warning.

The rainy season brings a much fresher time to Panama, but it also causes a large increase in potholes. Some of these potholes can almost swallow a car and if it has been raining, the pothole may not be easily seen.

If you are moving at a good clip and hit one of these potholes, you are likely to do significant damage, at minimum, you may blow out a tire and ruin a rim.

The current government is not doing a very good job on maintaining the roads and many are downright dangerous. Many of the morning TV news broadcasts show examples of the problems throughout Panama.

This is another good reason I rarely drive at night.