Category Archives: Panama Journal

Cutting Corners

A few months ago I convinced Lillim to quite buying $15/month phone cards and start with an Internet plan. She had been using Mas Movil and picked up a $11 plan.

She now enjoys the freedom of having the Internet when she is out and has basically stopped making cell calls. She and her daughters communicate via WhatsApp both by text and voice.

It is getting so that everyone has WhatsApp.

I had been using a contract plan with Claro that cost me $33/month, which basically covered all my phone calls and provided Internet. I had started it several years ago to get a new iPhone.

A couple weeks ago I decided to cancel my old plan and move to a lesser priced option. Mine came in around $16/month and includes some cell time.

Most of my calls are via Internet too so we have reduced our monthly outlay and have more capability. We have a landline phone and never use it. I wouldn’t have it if it wasn’t included with my monthly cable plan.

In today’s world, I would rather have a phone connected to the Internet than one that just makes calls.

Female Miniature Schnauzer in Stress

OK. This a first. Normally, I would say this type of post would better suited for another site. However, I will make an exception because I hate to see a dog in stress. 😉

Here is a reader request I received about a dog that is in need of a little friendly companionship.

Hello Ray,
My husband and I have a 3 year old, female Miniature Schnauzer, which is in need of a brief encounter with a purebred male. Our Furbaby’s situation has become urgent as she is once again in heat and just about ready. We have tried desperately to find her a mate to allow her a litter of pups as we fear not doing so will cause her emotional distress. Our Vet in David has tried to pair her up but the candidate backed out at the last moment for her last heat. We were wondering if you could post our plea for assistance or direct us to somewhere or someone that could help.
Tracey Bridges Email – tntbridges1 @ Remove the spaces.
Cell # 6442-9221

Too Good Not To Share

I just received the following WhatsApp message from my daughter. This made my day. I am sure it made her day too. Carson is my grandson.

Carson’s teacher just emailed me this:

“I just have to say that you both raised an amazing son! These past few days were tough for me because I had caught a virus going and lost my voice, which never works out well when trying to teach 22 kids! Carson was so helpful, more helpful than I have ever seen an adult! He was helping other students, answering their questions to give my voice a bit of a break, checking in with me to see if he could help with anything else and sneaking in some positivity every chance he got. I feel so lucky to have him in my class! 😊 Thank you for teaching him such kindness and manners! He’s a role model for the others!”

Another Retiree Rant

Yes, I am a retiree living in Chiriquí and I am ranting about other people who move to Panama to retire with no plan of what to do in case of emergency and without reasonable expectations of what life is like living in Panama.

I have a new Embassy case, of maybe better stated, a recurring case of a person that moved here with no friends or family and probably because of propaganda in other internet publications stating how wonderful and cheap Panama is and about cheap healthcare.

Since 2013, I have received multiple called from this individual or social workers in the public hospitals in regard to this individual. In the past I obtained the Privacy Act Waiver, which provided individual’s names that the Embassy were allowed to contact in this person’s behalf.

In the last two day’s, I have received multiple calls from a hospital social worker wanting assistance from the Embassy. Realize that the Embassy can basically only call relatives or friends that are listed on the PAW. The Embassy does NOT provide financial assistance. Continue reading Another Retiree Rant

Listening to Juan Gabriel

If you are living in Latin America and have watched any of the national news, you are aware of the death of Juan Gabriel. If you aren’t a Latin American, you probably haven’t understood the importance that the people in all of this Latin countries placed in his music.

The international stations still have something on every now and then. This is like my memories when Elvis died.

Since his death I have listened to a LOT of his music. When we needed music in the house, I just picked up the Amazon Fire TV remote and said “play Juan Gabriel” and music fill the house. I am sure the neighbors have wondered what has come over the crazy gringo.

Interesting enough his music has a lot in common with Texas Country and Western music. So many of his songs are sad and founded in tragedy. He obviously had plenty sadness in his life and he transferred it to his songs.

He had a great voice. I enjoy listening to him almost as much as Lilliam. The good thing is it is a good exercise for my Spanish. He sings very clear and pronounces each word perfectly. Great music to listen to if you want to improve your Spanish

I had his music playing for an hour before lunch and guess what showed up for lunch? Crispy tacos. Fantastico!

Not A Great Day – And Yet Better Than It Could Have Been

This morning I needed to run to Boquete to take care of an Embassy case. We left a little early because we needed to run by the bank first. A block from the house, I hear this noise and it sounds like a tire.

Sure enough, I had a flat. I pulled to the side of the road and pulled out the spare and jacked up the car. Then I couldn’t get the lug nuts to budge. As luck would have it, a Panamanian stopped and was wearing heavy duty boots and was able to jump on the lug wrench and loosened the nuts. Whew. Lilliam gave him $5 for his assistance.

Went to the bank on the mini spare and then to a tire repair place next to the new Super 99. The tire fellow pulled out a large nail and patched the tire. He asked Lilliam for $3 and she gave him $4.

Then off to Boquete to pick up items for the Embassy for a US citizen that had died. Continue reading Not A Great Day – And Yet Better Than It Could Have Been


Well that is not quite true. Lilliam just bought 4 bananas for 90 cents. They are 2 for 50 cents.

Our local food market says that bananas are scarce in Panama at the moment.

An another front, you will get a charge out of this. I had an appointment today and when I went to start me car, the battery was dead. Luckily, I have a battery charger, but it is sort of a trickle charge and the battery won’t be ready until tomorrow.

This is another good reason to live within walking distance of the Rey supermarket and my local fruit stand.

Note to self. Pay attention when parking car in garage to insure the lights have been turned off.