A postcard request

It has been a while since I received a request like this, but helping out a youngsters learning is at the top of my list. I thought a few other people might like to participate as well. Perhaps you need to learn where a post office is.

Our grandson started kindergarten this month and already they have a project.

They are collecting postcards from everywhere to practice reading skills, geography, etc.

If you have a chance, jot something about living in Panama and send it to

Mrs. Mehringer’s Kindergarten
c/o Benbrook Elementary
800 Mercedes
Benbrook TX 76126

Muy apreciada, gracias!

jim and nena

Panama This and Thats

IMG_0240Lovely Heather is here for a few days continuing her research for her doctoral thesis. She was supposed to get here in at 4:35 PM yesterday, but her flight from Panama was canceled because of rain.

Air Panama provided her luxurious accommodations in front of the airport. They locked the airport at 10PM, but about 6 people stayed all night in 4 chairs that were in front of the airport entrance. Night security checked on them periodically and they did get a free cup of coffee this morning.  Actually, Air Panama provided nothing except for a Panama Experience.

I ALWAYS warn people to only take morning flights from Panama City to David during the rainy season, but Heather wanted to try to get here in one day. When you are as young as Heather you can handle this type of inconvenience. It has added to her Panama memories. She is now crashing on our sofa.

Next item.

I received a call from the US Embassy this morning to get a PAW for another US Citizen that was in the emergency room at the Regional hospital. The new parking lot was full and I had to park on the side of the entrance and walk. Don’t forget to register with STEP and the Embassy will have the information and authorization to call someone in time of emergencies.

Next item.

A plumbing problem needs to be fixed in the kitchen. You would not believe the way the kitchen drain was plumbed. I am going to have to get it done right because I am tire of leaks returning.

Next item.

Our 2012 Samsung refrigerator has started to fail. Great timing with a guest here for the next several days.

When I called for service, I was told I needed to email them a copy of the purchase receipt to get it serviced under warranty. Of course the receipt is in hiding, and no where to be found.

I took another approach and went to AudioFoto and asked if they could print off a replacement receipt. A lovely young lady said it would be no problem and fetched it up on the computer and printed for me. Two thumbs up for AudioFoto today!!!

Just another day in paradise.

Technology To The Rescue

photo 2Lilliam has been gone for two weeks. The two legged maid will come on Thursday and Lilliam returns tomorrow. I am no fan of sweeping and mopping, still in Panama, with open windows, it is a necessary evil.

photo 3Yesterday and today, I have called Dolly into service.

This has to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. She works tirelessly and never complains. Well almost never, Sometimes she does get stuck in some location and can’t figure out how to get out and beeps till I come rescue her.

Yesterday, I set her in the sweeping mode. This is the fast mode and she will run almost 4 hours on the charge. Today, she is wet mopping and will only go about 2 1/2 hours before resting. By tomorrow at noon, the floors should be in much better shape.


She is still a great source of entertainment. Koki will sometimes be asleep on the floor and Dolly will intrude on her space. Dolly goes under the cabinets and in many places that the other maid never reached.

We use the two legged maid every two weeks and Dolly fills in on the other cleanings. Now if Dolly could just do windows.

A Modern Technology Problem

I am going to toss this out there because maybe others have seen the problem and solved it.

With the advent of tablets, families with children have a problem that needs to be addressed. Let me paint the picture.

Adults need to be able to communicate and know that the communication is between the intended parties.

Email and Facebook on all PCs, iMessage and FaceTime on Apple mobile devices are accessible by anyone who is logged onto the device.

Now with PCs, you can set up multiple users and when the user logs on, then all settings are for that person. That can be as secure as you want to make it, but it requires discipline.

Now with mobile devices it is different. Apple does not provide for multiple users and it isn’t a simple problem. I don’t think Android does either.

Obviously a mobil phone is setup for one user with the phone company and must be that way. Therefore all contacts, email addresses, etc. is for the owner of the device. The way to control this is with the security screen and not telling the child the code.

If only one person uses a mobile device, then there is no problem. However, with iPads and other tablets that usually isn’t the case when there are children in the family.

The iPads used by my grandchildren were set up with their parent’s Apple ID. The iMessage and FaceTime belong to that adult. When I see an iMessage or FaceTime request come in to chat, it may be the adult or the child.

Since the device has to be associated to the Apple id, at minimum, it sets up the Apple email address. However, many users also have their Hotmail, gmail, yahoo or other emails also set up on their mobile device.

Lets face it, children should not have access to their parent’s email account or Facebook accounts. I don’t want to send a message about a birthday present I am considering for my grandchild, and have it read by that grandchild and not their parent.

It has happened to me. I have carried on conversations, thinking I was talking to my son/daughter, only to realize it was not them and was their offspring.

I do not think these problems are unique to Apple.

Now Apple could adopt multiple users for iPods and iPads. iPhones is not as easy because of the phone company being involved. Until that is done, I have about decided that the iPad or iPod should be setup with the Apple user id being that of my grandchildren, if the device is theirs. Then iMessages and and FaceTime and emails will be recognized as being from them.

Facebook is a bigger problem for today’s parents of young ones. If the children have access to Facebook, until a certain age, I think it should have been setup by the adult and monitored by that adult. If a child is on Facebook and the parent is not monitoring that account, then it is a problem waiting to happen.

Luckily, I no longer have underage children. I do have four grandchildren 14 and under, and know that they should be monitored. Parents should know every friend on the Facebook account of their children. Obviously, the parent should be on the friend list as well.

I am currently working through the options that I think will work. Many others that read this blog have moved to Panama and have grandchildren on other parts of the world that they communicate with. As I said, if you have a good solution, I would like to hear it.

Las Nubes – The clouds – A Panama Emergency

I pulled the following photos from Jorge Cedeño’s Facebook page. Recent rains have played real havoc in the area of Las Nubes. There have been houses lost, lives lost, and other lives turned upside down. There are many in this area that could use a helping hand.

If you want to help, contact my friend Jorge Cedeño at jlca mana . gmail . com (REMOVE THE SPACES) and he will tell you how you can help. The following is from Jorge’s FB post.

This is part of the devastation left this morning in Las Nubes area, close to Volcan, where we live due to the rains on Sunday night. Many dead and many lost their homes. Please help this community.

UPDATE FOR THOSE OUTSIDE OF PANAMA: Bruce Cornett’s comment below has a way for those outside of Panama to help.

La Pepita de Marañon B&B Las Lajas funds rising

I received a request to post the following and, as always, I am not involved other than passing on information :

Hi Don,
we are Erika and Fabio, the Italians of La Pepita de Marañon B&B in Las
Lajas, do you remember us?

We are mailing you because we have organized a crowd funding through the website http://www.gofundme.com/roof-dreaming to support our project: we are going on with the building of our B&B, trying to create different kind of structures, as the DIY new cabin we made last green season, a small cottage made with glass and plastic bottles and river stones.

It would be great if you can write something on your blog, to let people know that a donation can help us to fix a big problem: we have to replace the main house big thatched roof (palm leaves) with a “standard” one and unfortunately we have a very small budget to get it.

We offer as reward different services that maybe someone could find interesting, such as Italian recipes, and special package stay at the bottles cabin.

Thank you very much for your attention,


Erika and Fabio
La Pepita de Marañon B&B
Las Lajas, Chiriquì, Panama
tel. +50762252027 o 62252026

I Am So Sad

The death of Robin Williams really shook me. I guess I never realized how much his performances had affected me. Whether it was a comedic role or a serious role, he drew you in and you were captivated.

The news of his death literally brought tears to my eyes. I have seen many of my favorite actors die, but none of their deaths made me cry.

Depression is a terrible thing. It is amazing how many truly creative people suffer from depression or drugs or booze. When you combine depression and substance abuse in the same person it is much more dangerous.

He was only 63. He has four movies that are still scheduled to be released later this year. What a shame. I am so sad.

RIP Robin Williams.

Wanted to hire – General Manager for Finca Santa Marta

I received a request to post the following:

Finca Santa Marta,
an organic vegetable/herb/fruit farm in western Panama is seeking a qualified person to become our new “hands on” General Manager.

We also grow free range chickens for meat and eggs and plan to start a tilapia growing operation soon. Our current GM turns 70 next week is ready to retire (again). He is willing to stay on as a part time consultant to the new manager.

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualities:

Panamanian or expat – legal to work in Panama

  • Bilingual – Spanish and English
  • Strong motivational and time management skills
  • Highly ethical and computer literate
  • Mechanical aptitude with agriculture background Interest in Permaculture
  • Must live or be willing to move within 15 minutes of the farm. We are located 15 minutes from La Concepcion, Bugaba.

We offer an excellent starting salary with many other benefits including potential partial ownership and a
chance to make a difference.

Contact Ron Miller at panamaron@gmail.com with your resume and expected compensation.