Sorry if I’ve been absent for a while. One of my goals for 2017 was to slow down a bit and a least a little bit “retire from retirement.” Well, that isn’t going to happen! January has been busy promoting my properties for sale and those of others on my site PanamaforSalebyOwner.INFO, and we’ve been doing a whole lot of work painting our house inside and out, getting rid of stuff, and preparing for the eventual sale of our property … it is available! … and eventually downsizing a bit … part of the “slow down” and “retire from retirement” thing.
But we are still enjoying Boquete after 12 years … one of my worlds.
Coffee harvest was all screwed up for Central America this year. The yield was far below average … watch the price of Central American coffee soar on the commodities market. This was largely due to the crazy weather changes. We’ve discovered over the years that sometimes the worst years produced the most flavorful beans, so we’ve held out a big part of our crop for our own enjoyment. We produce really good coffee, and were we younger and had the energy and time, we would have a great opportunity to sell our entire group to an upscale US restaurant that wanted a single source, high quality coffee that would only be available in their restaurant. But we leave that opportunity to the next owners of our farm.
However, one of the “miracles” of living on a coffee farm … last week I woke up at 4 am, let the dog out, and walked outside to look at the stars. Stars where we live on a clear, moonless night are one of the most incredible sights! It’s something you have to experience to appreciate. But during the night the coffee had bloomed. And the air was perfumed with this jasmine, orange blossom like fragrance … it was like walking into a perfume factory on the French Riviera. Absolutely incredible. And after sitting down to my computer in our library, which has windows facing east, and watching a gorgeous sunrise, I walked out and it looked like it had snowed overnight. With the coffee trees covered in beautiful, white blossoms … which, unfortunately, last only a day. Coffee is self-polinating and really is a remarkable plant, and not just to sip in the morning. Because we have not lived in the “gringo ghetto” or “American compoud” but in the real Panama, one of our great joys living in Panama is to have been a part of the coffee culture that has dominated life for 100 years in our tiny town.
So that’s one of my worlds … and the other is at sea. I kind of thought that most of the 1st Quarter I would be at home in Boquete, which was fine by me, and I had nothing on the cruise schedule. Then Pearl Seas Cruises asked me to join them for one of the first cruises to Cuba on PEARL MIST, the ship I did the Great Lakes and Canada/New England fall foliage cruses on last year. Of course I delightedly accepted since we’ve both wanted to visit Cuba for years.. So most of February both Nikki and I will be cruising from Fort Lauderdale to Cuba visiting Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, El Cobre, Santiago and a number of beach/national park areas. Fantastic! But it does mean preparing a whole new set of lectures … hence starting work at 4 am.
On the heels of that, Princess asked me to to join CORAL PRINCESS for six cruises to the Southern Caribbean, Panama Canal and Central America. Fortunately these are all lectures I have done before. I get off PEARL MIST and the same day board CORAL PRINCESS! Fortunately both ships will be in Fort Lauderdale so I just have to get from one terminal to another.
So 1st Quarter 2017 has suddenly gotten very busy and it looks like slowing down and retiring from retirement will have to wait.