Another Update

Yesterday, Lilliam, I and Natalie visited the stroke victim. I felt that he showed some improvement over the previous visit. I think things will improve more beginning next week as Tom McCormack contacted me and has a hospital bed ready for delivery on Monday. He also has a replacement wheelchair.

While we were there Lilliam checked the patient’s medicine. He was in need of refills and I purchased them at a nearby Romero’s. That was $38.

On a previous visit, I was able to reimburse his landlady for his hospital bill and wheelchair that she had paid. Her expenses were $1,324.32. To this point, I have purchased supplies, medicine and groceries in the amount of $489.

I talked to the stroke victim’s sister last night and she is trying to work through the VA to check on possible benefits. The outcome of that search is still undetermined.

The conversation I had with her last night was interesting. She said she had a conversation with the stroke victim when he lived in Costa Rica and told him he needed to take some action in case of emergency. She told him he needed to make a will and possibly give her a power of attorney in case something happened to him.

He obviously didn’t take her advice. She had reminded him that none of his family would be able to come to Latin America and take care of his final wishes if he were to die.

Maybe her insight will be a good reminder for others reading this post to consider if they are prepared for an unplanned event and what they have or haven’t done.

I would like to say thank you again for all that donated to this stroke victim’s care while he is recovering. At the present, I still have approximately $500 to cover future medicine, physical therapy and doctor visits.

I also would like to thank Tom McCormack for his help. I think the hospital bed will be a big improvement in taking care of the stroke victim.

I want to recognize another blogging friend that donated money. When I first started blogging back in 2003, I met Marie who writes a blog called Disarranging Mine. Her blog is sort of a photo blog, but she sometimes has some commentary on what is going on in her world. Her photos have always interested me as she sees things that many would never see.

It still amazes me how the technological world has made our physical world much smaller. Chirquí Chatter has introduced me to so many friends around the world and it has made my world all that more special.

Thanks to the readers of Chiriquí Chatter

BBASS – Bocas Burial at Sea Service

I received the following from Larry Shane.

Announcing — Burial At Sea

You will die.  Unfortunately, all of us, presently, do.  You should choose the final arrangements for your body, in advance.  This is not a burden you should leave to others to decide and handle for you.  You likely have personal, religious, cultural, environmental, legal concerns regarding your disposal.  Follow your concerns.

If you are alive in Bocas, and you have a family plot in the limited spaces at BocasTown Cemetery, you have no concern regarding your interment.  If you do not, more grave options are: placement on your owned finca outside city limits; transit to a mainland cemetery; a nearby ‘potter’s field’ where you take your own shovel.

If you wish to be cremated in Panama, your only present option is to ship your body to a Panama City crematorium.  Cost of cremation is about $300.  Cost to ship a body in a refrigerated hearse from Bocas to Panama City is about $1500.  Plus incidentals.  Then, for little cost, you may send your ashes anywhere desired worldwide.

Returning you to your homeland in a casket requires a Panama mortician’s services, embalming prep and a casket (minimum $2000), plus ground or air transport from Bocas to PC ($1500), plus freight cost to overseas destination (starting at $1500); then you need an arrival mortuary and cemetery for your funeral ($$$?!?).

Announcing —  A new body disposal possibility for your consideration:
Bury you at sea.  Bocas Burial At Sea Service, BBASS, will provide respectful care, sanitary safety, at a nonprofit price, for your final repose.

We have thoroughly researched all concerns regarding burial at sea.  It is an ancient custom, historically practiced for at least 5,000 years.  Today, it is still the tradition for most sailors killed at sea.  It is not opposed legally/culturally/religiously by any group or nation.  In some oceanfront countries, Japan and India, there are special rituals for burial at sea.  So, this is not a new idea.  Now, it may become an added tradition in Panama, in Bocas.

Presently, in most countries, the cultural preference is to bury the deceased in the dirt, then to periodically visit them at the dirt site for reunion.  Well, if the point is to commune with spirits, that can be done anywhere, anytime, anyway.  After all, do you only pray or dream ritually?

Panama is a Member/Signatory of the United Nations International Maritime Organization, with protocols regarding responsible use of the seas.  These protocols include environmental protection rules for burial at sea.  To which BBASS will conform.

Twelve nautical miles off Isla Colon, the sounding plummets to 1600 meters, over 5,200 feet, a mile deep into the Caribbean Sea.  Nothing sunk that deep resurfaces.  Submersion in a weighted body bag will cause minuscule environmental harm.  No method is environmentally free.  You return to the sea, from whence you came, to be recreated.

The total cost for this service will be about $300; for a body bag, for bearers, for boat gas.  If you are interested, better that you purchase the bag now, to be delivered to you in advance for easier timely transit later.  For ordering details, contact Larry Shane, .  And, add an instruction in you Will, that this burial method is your wish.

I serve as the temporary manager of BBASS, a private contracted service.  We intentionally have no formal organization.  We seek a more permanent manager.  Because at my age, I may be my own first ‘customer’.  We also ask for help from boaters, to convey the demised with 4 bearers and perhaps a small group, with GPS to navigate to designated map point, for fuel expense only, available on standby.

This is intended to be a not-for-profit service, an alternative to spending a lot of money on other funeral plans.  Rather, you bequeath to Bocas Asilo, our seniors’ home; or BESO, our scholarship org; or Floating Doctors, our indigenous care-providers, than spend a lot of money on the dead.  Invest in life …to still live.

Larry Shane




Gas Prices 9/21/2014 in David

It has been a while since I posted gas prices in David. This was the price as of Saturday. Remember that prices in Panama are by the liter and that the octane uses European standard. Therefore 91 in Panama is 87 octane in the US and 95 is 91octane.

The 91 octane would be $4.13/gallon and the 95 would be $4.34/gallon. Diesel would be $3.65/gallon.