It’s the dry season in Panama which means no rain, well almost no rain, which I’ll tell you about in a moment, Northern winds (which is probably why most of North America is enjoying such wonderful March weather!), warm days, cool nights. Of course, nobody in Boquete has heat or air conditioning. The only bad things is that my garden looks pretty ratty at the end of the dry season. The thing I like best about this time of year is all of the indigenous trees are blooming!
“You can’t do anything about the weather!”
Sorry, but that’s not true! I had lunch the other day with a bunch of the folks who came to check out Panama with the Panama Relocation Tours and who since have moved to Chiriqui. A happy bunch as they compared the horrible weather their friends “back home” were experiencing. One couple who’ve settled in Volcan moved from the North Pole (really!), Alaska . . . it’s somewhere north of Fairbanks. We have a couple from Juneau, Alaska who are coming down in a few weeks and will be renting our casita.
If you like the weather, great! If not, do something about it!
Speaking of the Panama Relocation Tours . . . Jackie has just updated her Panama Relocation Tours Web site and it has a whole lot of great information, including a whole page of videos about life in Panama. WARNING: VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED. Watch enough of these and you’ll want to change your life!
When the Relocation Tour groups are in town I usually try to get together with them. Last week I had dinner with the February group and got to visit with a doctor who grew up in the Canal Zone right at the time of the anti-American demonstrations and I got a fascinating, first-hand account of some of the things I’m writing about on the rewrite of my Panama Canal book.
Off to Seattle!
Why? It’s not that I need a dose of cold weather, gray, and drizzly cold rain! Nikki is back in Seattle for a medical check up, and getting the chance to see our grand kids, and frankly I’m a little jealous. But my reason for going is to take my younger brother back to the U. S. Ed is diabetic and has a number of other physical and mental problems including advancing dementia. Unfortunately there is nothing where we live that will meet his needs. So yesterday I moved him out of the elderly care home where he was living, and this weekend we both head to Seattle to find him a place that will meet his needs. So here I am, driving my pick up back to Boquete with his bed and mattress in the back . . . It hasn’t rained for 4 months! This is the dry season! Never-the-less we had one of our Panamanian tropical downpours and everything got soaked.
We’re not going anywhere.
So, I’m taking my brother to Seattle and then Nikki and I are coming back home to Boquete. Yes, our coffee estate is for sale. And I’ve gotten a number of emails and questions, “Are you leaving Panama?” The answer: “No way Jose!” We’ve been here ten years and it is home. We live in paradise and it’s hard to think of anywhere else in the world that would offer us as much as Panama in terms of weather, natural beauty, lifestyle and, even with all the inflation in Panama, cost of living. Panama’s not perfect, a fact which I point out in THE NEW ESCAPE TO PARADISE, but for us . . . it’s been great! We came to Panama to retire, and have been here ten years, so we are ten years older, and don’t have quite the same energy. So we are looking to sell the farm, downsize from the 4,500 square foot dream house we designed and built, and looking to spend more time sitting in the hammock at our beach casita, maybe finding a small, easy-to-care for cottage in Boquete (no maids, no employees, no gardener). We’d probably spent most of the year in Panama, but a few months on board ship (my version of “my yacht” without the hassles of upkeep and employees), and some time with our kids in the States.
When I was busy pastoring growing churches I used to dream of getting away from responsibilities, cold weather, people and having a tiny bar on the beach on Tortola, BVI. I wanted to get away from government, taxes, forms, reports,TV, everything, just have my tiny bar in the sand and serve beers to the one or two yachts that dropped by for a few hours. Of course if you are a U.S. citizen there is no escape. And somehow retirement has kept me as busy as ever, but it is time to slow down a bit.
The coffee estate is for sale . . . without a real estate agent I can be aggressive on price. You want it partially furnished, OK. I’d even consider subdividing off the front and living in what’s now our rental casita.
OK, back to the rewrite of the Canal book … hoping the folks at the Canal can get it together with the expansion contractors so I have at least some idea . . .