Fourteen Months Later in Panama
The sun comes up in the east (even though it still seems like the south to me after all this time). The same bright sunshine that warms America warms my day here in Boquete. Night time brings bright stars and often a huge moon. No matter what phase it is in, it shines beautifully in the dark velvet skies. The same moon shines on my family and friends in America, too.
Our adventure here in Panama has been a good one. This month we get our Panamanian ID cards, we have our Pensionado Visas. Our lives are richer for our health, our wonderful friends, and our small community. We enjoy the flowers, trees, the mountain views. We love the people of Panama, the culture, the families that stay close and live together in tight knit villages. We have learned so much and there is way more to learn about the language, the culture, the economy, educational institutions, laws, and politics of Panama.
We have survived last year's rains, and we are now entering this rainy season. Some days it may rain for two hours; soft, gentle rain, or hard, coming down sideways for hours. The rain is the life's blood of the forests and rivers, the lakes and agriculture of this country. Rains are sometimes inconvenient, but really it seems minimal. When we have to go somewhere we try to travel early in the morning and our hope is to always be home by 12 or 1 PM to miss the strongest rains. It is easy enough to do most days.
We have seen beauty in all manner of landscapes; in mountains, beaches, farmlands, equestrian farms, cattle ranches. Birds of all colors and sizes are easy to find. Butterflies flit a round in colorful profusion all over the place.
There are occasional problems. We have brown outs once in a while, or electrical outages. Not all the time but now and then. Water lines are easily broken so they can be a worry. Most people have some kind of reserve tanks rather than totally relying on city water. Once in a while indigenous Indians will have a road blocked or do march right in the middle of rush hour traffic. Not often, but we have seen it.
The Americans and foreigners are a curse and a blessing to the people here. We bring more money and often provide much needed volunteer services and business opportunities all the while raising the prices and costing the lower income people their lifestyles. We increase the costs of real estate; medicine, groceries, eating out, and all manner of entertainment and other needs as well.
With the good, with the bad, with the ugly it still seems to be a paradise for us. Less stress. Good friends, Adequate medical services and treatments. Stores with many American brands, Danish and German foods as well as Latin. There is shopping enough for most people, You have to accept the things that are Panamanian for what they are, sometimes inconvenient, other times frustrating. However we are guests and therein lies the difference.
Come to Panama and see why we fell instantly in love with this country and especially Boquete. The picture up and to the left is an iguana in the city of David, not far from where I live in Boquete. The picture to the right is of a hummingbird on my patio.