If you live in Panama, or are considering living in Panama, then you most likely are keeping up on the pending release of Manuel Antonio Noriega. Here is a URL to an article in the New York Times entitled “Our Man in Panama”, authored by Everett Ellis Briggs. Everett Ellis Briggs was the United States ambassador to Panama from 1982 to 1986, the ambassador to Honduras from 1986 to 1989, and a member of the National Security Council staff in 1989
This is a very good description of the events which led to Noriega’s rise in power and eventual removal from power. While he was supposed to be released today, he remains behind bars pending a potential extradition to France. While France is not known for its prowess in winning battles, this is one that I hope it wins.
Thanks to a Chiriquí Chatter reader for bringing this article to my attention.
Looks like Noriega may be heading to France and not to see the Eiffel Tower.
On another note, rumors of Castro’s death are spreading in Miami.
For about 10 minutes last night there was a large amount of fireworks set off, I assume in the baseball stadium. I wonder which event was being celebrated or is there something else going on I don’t know about. It is probably the later.
This is something you have to keep reminding yourself if you live in Panama. In all likelihood, patience is required if you live in any Latin American country. This morning I am telling myself this very thing because my Cable & Wireless Internet performance currently sucketh!In the US when one provider starts neglecting its uptime responsibility, you probably have several other choices to chose from. My other Internet option is Cable Onda and I know enough other users of Cable Onda to know that their performance isn’t perfect all the time either. There is a reasonable chance that my changing to Cable Onda would only bring a new set of challenges.
The same is true with TV providers. Here I have the option of AstroVision (my current provider), Cable Onda and DirecTV. I am not current on all the pricing, but I think that if you can get AstroVision or Cable Onda, that is your most cost effective way to go.
You are going to have to be satisfied with the majority of the programming being in Spanish. Shucks, if you have decided to make the move to Panama, learning a little Spanish is in your best interest anyway. You are also going to have to get used to seeing a lot of English broadcasts with Spanish subtitles. Again, look at it as another way to learn Spanish. Plan on giving up a lot of your US network stations. And the quality of the broadcasts you receive may be poor at times. Look at this as another opportunity to practice having patience. Continue reading Have A Little Patience
If you have been out of touch, like me, then you may not know that Panama is moving to the use of a new driver’s License. I have attached the contents of Panama’s Motor Vehicle Authority announcement below. It is in Spanish, but you can use Google or another translator product to see it in English. For Chiriquí, the process will begin August 30, 2007. Continue reading New Driver’s License for Panama
I know a few people living in Panama that live in apartments like I do and complain that they don’t have enough space to grow things. Well nature in Panama can provide you the opportunity to grow and harvest living things in a limited amount of space. Nothing is impossible. You just have to be careful what you wish for. Continue reading How To Grow Things In Limited Space in Panama
Yesterday I was out on a ride to Playa La Barqueta and since I wasn’t driving I was able to look at the scenery. We were driving beside this field that was fenced and it finally registered that this wasn’t a normal for where I come from in the US. I have seen it so often that I don’t think about it anymore, but I thought you might find it amusing.
This is one of the typical fences here in Panama. What makes it interesting to me is that it is a living fence. Notice that it is made up of a large number of small saplings. I guess if your fence posts are alive you don’t have to worry about them rotting out.
I have been thinking about taking a drive to the Chiriquí Grande area since I had learned of the humanitarian work that the US was doing in that area. I had met Col. Jones and several of his team in David and had told him I would be interested in seeing what they were doing. It was a week or two later that I saw the news, of the traffic accident killing two of the solders, on local TV.
I had been so impressed with the professionalism of the people I had met that I felt a connection and a loss when I learned of their deaths. I felt an even stronger impetus to photograph the important work that they had been involved in. Prior to the trip, I called Col. Jones and asked if there would be any problem in my visiting the work site on Sunday. He had said it wouldn’t be a problem and told me approximately where they were working. With that conformation, I scheduled my trip.
Taking off from David, I drove about 13 kilometers on the InterAmerican Highway toward Panama City and come to a large Texaco station. At this intersection you will see a sign indicating that Chiriquí Grande is to the left. I had no idea of the weather changes I would encounter on the drive. It has been hot and dry in David and this drive was going to take me through several different microclimates before the day was over.
I took the following photo while I was driving through Guaglaca. These flowering trees were everywhere on the drive, but with the wind it looked like all the blooms would be gone in a couple of days.
Continue reading To Rambala And Back
The following came from on one of the Yahoo Panama Groups. The author wrote this to balance some of the “Panama is Perfect in every way” posts that are portrayed on the commercial (for profit) websites and sometimes on the Panama Yahoo groups. Panama is not for everyone. If you are considering Panama as a retirement location, then you need to decide with your Eyes Wide Open.
I have read his post a couple of times and really can’t find anything that I completely disagree with. The author has had some experiences that I haven’t had, but until you feel comfortable that you understand what you are getting into, then a little caution can’t hurt. I sent the author an email for permission to repost it on Chiriquí Chatter. I haven’t heard back, but I am assuming that the author will have no objections. Continue reading Eyes Wide Open
I know that many people picture one of the benefits of moving to a Latin American country being the cheap labor and the ability of having a full or part time maid. Well it is and it isn’t.
La Gringa’s current maid adventures have reminded me.
After you live here a while you forget some of the first problems you run into with maids. It is easy to just assume that all you do is hire a maid, give a few general instructions, grab your favorite book and go relax. Well dream on. Here in Panama, many people have maids. Just because you hire a maid that has experience, doesn’t mean that she will know anything about cleaning the way you want. Continue reading All That Glitters Is Not Gold
As you know, if you have followed this blog for a while, I try to get out on Sundays and go some where. Today, I was about ready and went to my closet to get my shoes. Now I hadn’t used these shoes for over a month and I thought I wanted some comfortable shoes so I could walk some.
When I pulled my favorite Mephistos from the closet, this is what I found.
I knew better than to neglect my shoes for a month, but I just forgot. There was no wearing them today. They needed a thorough cleaning and some time in the sun.
Here is a close up if you have never seen mold attack leather.
Here you learn very quickly to take care of all leather products, VCR tapes, 5 ½ inch floppies, if you still have any, and anything else that mold loved to live on. It doesn’t take long in the Panama humidity.