Yesterday we went to an afternoon lunch to watch the election returns come in. In case you don’t keep up with Panama Politics, Ricardo Martinelli, a supermarket magnate and candidate of the opposition Democratic Change Party (DC), won Panama’s presidential election.
From all of the polls that had been coming out, there was no real surprise in his winning. He campaigned on a platform of change. Sound familiar? I personally hope this is a positive change for Panama. He is a wealthy man and doesn’t need to line his pockets so he has the opportunity move the country forward.
I congratulate him on this win.
Following the meal and election results, we took a drive in front of Super99. This is the business that President Elect Martinelli owns. As expected, I found people dancing in the streets, waving their campaign flags and savoring their candidate’s winning. It was enough of a task to navigate my car though the crowd so I didn’t take any photos. All in all it was a very orderly celebration. Cars had their flashers flashing and horns honking.
Now, there is nothing to do, but sit back and hope for positive change.
We drove to Panama City for the holidays. I drove to the Bridge of the Americas in Panama City and then turned the driving over to a more accomplished and experienced resident. Following are a few photos that will provide a small taste of the drive. Most of the photos were taken beginning at the bridge, since I was no longer driving.
The following photo is representative of the highway between David and Santiago. For the most part, it was in very good shape. You always have to be alert for small ruptures in the highway, but I didn’t see any that would have punctured a tire between David and Santiago.
Continue reading Trip To Panama City from David
Having just returned from Panama City, I have some thoughts that I would like to share. Since I would like to keep the primary post about my trip positive and upbeat, I decided to write this part as a stand-alone piece, so as to not corrupt the trip narration portion.
I have to admit that I hate going to Panama City. This trip, I drove and just parked the car in a secure area with a guard. Traffic has definitely increased in Panama City, since I moved to Panama. There is no way I want to drive in Panama City traffic. Unless you do it on a daily basis, you are taking your life in your own hands. Even if you do drive on a daily basis you are taking your life in your own hands.
I was talking to a Panama City resident and I was saying that you need to drive in Panama City everyday to feel reasonably secure. Wherever you are going, you need to know multiple ways to get to the destination. You never know when there will be a protest or accident or some other reason that will prevent you from taking a primary route to where you want to go.
To complicate things more, some streets have three hours in the morning where the street is one-way in one direction. Then in the evening, there is a three hour period when the street is one-way in the other direction. The rest of the time the street is two way. There is no indication on the streets and only a local would know this. There is no organized transition from one direction to the other. People just look at their watch and based on the time, they go one way or the other. What happens if your watch is a few minutes fast or slow? You will likely be going against traffic.
I talked to a local that had an accident just because of that. He was at a corner of one of those streets and looked to the left and saw cars coming. It was right around the time of direction change. Since he saw cars going one way, he turned the other direction and hit a car coming from that direction. It is just that easy. Continue reading Crime On The Increase
A Chiriquí Chatter Reader sent me the following Obituary. I found it interesting:
Native of Panama Returned as Missionary
By Lloyd Jojola
Journal Staff Writer
The Rev. Claudio Iglesias was born on a little island off the Caribbean coast of Panama and was 13 years old when he was sent to the United States to receive an education.
Not that he wished to leave. “He was very happy being the youngest of 12 children,” said his attorney-son David Iglesias. “He wanted to stay, and he knew that people in the city — Panama City and in America wore shoes.
–He figured if he hid his shoes, they wouldn’t ship him off to the U.S.
–“So he hid the one pair of shoes that he had. And my uncle put him on the boat anyway.”
(The shoes were found under a bed and taken by little boat to Iglesias’ big boat before it left.) Continue reading Obituary From Albuquerque, New Mexico Newspaper
Irving Jahir Saladino Aranda, from Colon, Panama, took gold in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, in the long jump. His jump of 8.34 meters was .1 meter further than the second place finisher. How great is that! The first ever Panamanian Gold Olympic medal.
I was watching it on channel 12 and it was as exciting an event as it could be. What a feat!
I have written about this before, but since it is a current discussion in one of the Yahoo groups again, I decided to write my answer here, rather than the Yahoo group, so that more people could see the discussion.
There are multiple problems with water in Panama and I am speaking specifically about Chiriquí. The problems fall into two main categories, quantity and quality.
The following question was asked on the Yahoo group;
I’m talking about quantity not quality. Homes being sold with 660 gal. reserve tanks. Why? There must be some type of limitation on water being supplied at some periods or something causing people to invest in large water tanks in there yards.” Continue reading Water Problems in Chiriquí
Here is an interesting article (Panama Strikes Back at Inflation Subsidizing Food Prices) from a Blog in Panama City, written by a friend of mine.
Every now and then I look at the “Links from external pages” stats, which shows me how some people find Chiriquí Chatter. Today I found what I would call a Panama Portal. It contains links to about anything you want to know about Panama. Check it out HERE.
This was posted on one of the Yahoo groups by SGG and I think it is worth reemphasizing what she says. Everything she says here rings true. Some Internet Cafes are managed better than others, but most are lax in their use of updated Anti-virus and spyware programs.
The safest practice is to use your own laptop and to keep it current on all program updates. The only caution I didn’t see Susan mention is being careful with wireless connections. You are safer, if you are on a wireless connection that requires WPA encryption. WEP is less secure and no encryption is unsecured. WPA and WEP will require the wireless host to tell you the connection password. Continue reading A Word From Susan about Panama Internet Cafes
This question comes up again and again. “Where should I chose to live in Panama?” Some will say that Panama City is too crowded. Some will say that Panama City is perfect because you can do and find anything you want.
Some will say, “No El Valle is the only place to live.” Other’s may say that Coronado offers me the beach and closeness to Panama City. Some would not live anyplace other that Bocas. Still others will promote Boquete or Volcan. Some will say that David offers a lot and is more tranquil than Panama City.
Still others will say, somewhere between Boquete and David, because David is too hot and Boquete or Volcan are too cold.
Some will say, “It has to be a gated community.” Others may tell you that integrating with the Panamanian community with “real people” is better. Continue reading Where Should I Live In Panama?