Our community blogs
Hello, Everyone: as you probably know, Papa passed away here in Boquete on March 12th at his home in Valle Escondido. We did receive a Panamanian death certificate, however, US officials are requesting one translated into English. We would appreciate information from the community on how to effect this. Thank you, Nicole & Daniel Angelus
Recent Entries"Off the Beaten Path Trekking"
Explore, Dream, Discover, on foot with the best pioneer nature trekking group in Boquete. We have explored over 40 trails in this vast and beautiful area throughout the years.
Join us every Wed. & Fri.This Week -WED. NATURE HIKING 3+hrs. April 26. (not rushed) - Meeting location in front of PLAZA SAN FRANCISCO parking lot at 8:15 A.M.FRI. EZ NATURE WALK 1-1/2 HOURS April 28th. TBA though meeting at 8:30 A.M.We walk at a steady comfortable pace since, our primary interest is exploring, looking, admiring nature and discovering the unusual whenever the opportunity arises, which it has many times. Each of Boquete's seasons has something new to discover and to teach us about nature.What to pack: entering the rainy season need raingear, binocs if you have them, water, sun block, camera, wear hiking shoes or gym shoes with good outer sole treads and hiking sticks, I have some to loan out.Requirements: As always to be in good health and able to keep up with group, though as mentioned, we do not hike at a rapid pace stopping often to take in the scenery or discover something NEW.For more info email jere chica @ gmail .com (no spaces)Slowing down and going on a nature walks makes one more aware of their surroundings such as the different spice aromas flowing through the air or capturing a butterfly through your camera lens or looking at moss through a loupe lens in the rain forest. Nature walks are an interesting learning experience.For more information and to be placed on the Boquete EZ Nature Walks master list email Jere McCormick.
See you on the trails - Jere McCormick
Photos from the nature trails around the boquete District. .
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Chef Craig Jacobs has been an integral part of our team at Seasons Restaurant and his leadership and spirit of culinary innovation has been supported by the Lucero team. Craig’s efforts in the kitchen have helped Seasons achieve success.
Craig Jacobs has advised us that he will be moving to Panama city to create a new Thai Restaurant.
Chef Jacobs states that he "sincerely appreciates the opportunities and friendships" developed during his time at Lucero, adding that he wishes everyone at the restaurant "the best of luck in continuing as strong as ever.
With any such departure comes the rewarding task of promoting a worthy replacement to the coveted position of Chef & General manager. Nadine Wilson has worked side by side with chef Jacobs and our team to understand and execute the culinary concepts and dishes at Seasons that Chef Jacobs has created over the past year.
Nadine, born in South Africa is a Chef and manager with several years of both restaurant ownership and kitchen experience. Nadine is a graduate of the Cordon Bleu school of Culinary Arts. We look to Nadine to continue the culinary experience that Chef Jacobs has created and to bring her own style and flair to our patrons.
Dixie Swim Club at the BCP
"The set is looking great, the cast is well-rehearsed, sound effects are standing by – everything in service to the amazing script by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten.
The Jones Hope Wooten team specialize in writing laugh-out-loud comedies and have been dubbed "America's Playwrights" largely due to their continued support of regional theatre. When Dixie Swim Club was proposed for the BCP, it was immediately recognized as a perfect fit for the fun-loving Boquete audience.
This story of five women who reunite their college swim team every August – in a favorite cottage in the Outer Banks of North Carolina – offers a funny and poignant look at friendship through the decades. Tickets on sale now at Tuesday market and MBE for this not-to-be-missed romp." Gabrielle Reynolds
Join us at Boquete Yoga Studio at The Haven in Boquete, Panama on Feb 20, 24, 26 to learn the Ancient Secret of The Fountain of Youth!
(all classes are 10:30am -11:30am)
--Regain Flexibility & Balance, Increase Energy, & Add Strength with this 15 minutes workout--
About the program...
—JOHN GRAY, author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus says “It’s easy. It’s fast. And it works! I love this program.”
—MARTIN SHEEN, American actor, says “I have done the Five Rites and passed Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth on to many friends over the years. I recommend them without reservation.
Suggested donation is $50 which covers all classes
How to Sign Up
Reply to Michael at email@example.com to RSVP and reserve and confirm your space. Or stop by The Haven reception desk. If I am not available, the receptionist will take your reservation and donation.
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Boquete's First Poodle - Booca - Looking resplendent in his silver chain collar, contrasting black carabiner and new Rodny Direct hardwood custom-engraved ID tag.
Rodny Direct members exclusive - $10 for the first one, $5 each for additional - dog and collar not included.
Back side can be customized to your liking
Also works great for your keychain!
Anouk and I are glad The Big Bang time during the recent holidays is finally over. Just noise. To me fireworks mean rockets shot skyward and the explosion of colored star designs high above the roof tops. Pretty to watch.....not just noise that frightens animals and interrupts conversations.
Maybe next year we could have a fireworks display in a nearby field and invite everyone in the community. I know Anouk would be happier. Me too.
I am seeing more and more clients with issues due to the latest Windows 10 Update. Common issues are that printers/scanners and other devices that worked one day suddenly do not work the next day. I also have had clients reporting their laptop will suddenly shuts down and not power back up until the laptop is plugged into the wall. It gives every appearance that the battery is somehow bad. It is not a bad battery at all. The removal of the latest Microsoft update returns the laptop to normal working condition and the battery works as expected.
What to do...
Microsoft made a change in their policy back in June of this year. Windows 10 users can no long block or defer any Microsoft updates. They have taken away control of the operating system from you, the user/owner, and they dictate how your computer will operate and which updates it will receive, regardless of how it might effect you or your particular computer.
This is a change that most people are unaware of yet most will experience these some of these issues without warning. Keep the phone number of your computer guy/gal close at hand. If the issues suddenly appears one day when everything worked fine the day before, it very well might be a Microsoft update.
The Tide of Cybercrime is Rising Fast
While physical crime against expats here in Panama is diminishing, cybercrime is rising world wide. Losses from cybercrime may already be greater than physical robbery. It is one of the fastest growing businesses in the world.
Cybercriminals are targeting Seniors
Anyone over 60 did not grow up with computers or the Internet from day one. Many of us openly admit to computer illiteracy. Cybercriminals are specifically targeting this group, especially relatively rich North Americans and Europeans. The criminals include enterprising ten year olds cracking your passwords and selling you out to sophisticated multi-national mafia-like businesses.
How to Protect Yourself From Cybercrime
A good friend of mine in California, Larry Magid, is a top computer journalist who has made his career mission protecting children and now seniors from cybercrime. Download his free Seniors Guide to Online Safety. Yes, it is safe to download
In the rest of this article, we will take apart a recent incident and show the dangers of being hacked, which hopefully will inspire you to take steps to protect yourself.
The Anatomy of a Hacking
In the last week many of us became aware that a member of our community was hacked and as a result all of the people in his address book were exposed to Internet scams themselves.
We’ll Call Him Bob
Many of you reading this already know the identity of the person who was hacked and that’s fine. He is not shy about what happened. If you don’t know already, it isn’t important to our story.
It all started with an upgrade of several computers to Windows 10.
While the upgrade want fine, a short time later Microsoft pushed an Outlook update to all his computers. While most of them were protected by a commercial anti-virus program, one was only protected by the Microsoft-provided Defender program and this computer became infected. Although we will never know for sure, apparently the attackers were ready for this Outlook update and may even have previously installed malware in his computer waiting for it to happen.
Lesson #1 - Some computers are safer than others
People have personal preferences for Windows PCs vs. Apple Macs and that is fine. However it is a simple fact of life that 99.99% of computer viruses and malware infect PCs, not Macs. There are technical reasons why this is true having to do with the fundamental design of the Apple OS X operating system, which like Linux and others, is based on the fundamentally secure UNIX operating system, the oldest and most widely used for secure computing platforms.
The awful moment of realization
After the update, Bob turned on his computer and noticed very strange behavior as his file folders first showed up as empty and then slowly came back to “normal.” When Bob went to his email he made the startling discovery that his entire email contact list, dating back to the early 90s, was simply gone. It was also gone on all his other computers, which had “synchronized” with the master list kept online, which had been deleted by the hackers.
Attempts to recover his contact list from computers backed up with previous versions of Windows failed.
Lesson #2 - Bob’s was using a “free” email account. Free email accounts are not secure or private
You may wonder why Google, AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc. are so magnanimous as to offer you free email accounts. It is because you are their product. Every email you send is read for salable information, every person in your contact list is sold to the highest bidder for advertising or whatever (IRS, NSA, front businesses for hackers, etc.). They own your contact list and as Bob found out, once deleted, it is gone forever. If you use a free email account, make sure you have a backup of your computer and an exported version of your contact list at all times.
There are excellent, secure and private email services available from Godaddy and others, but they are not free. They never store your contact list, which lives on your own computer. In my view, they are well worth the extra money.
Bob is now manually recreating his contact list by going through every email since 1995 and recovering the email addresses. Of course, phone numbers and physical addresses are just lost.
This is what happened to Bob
Once they owned his email account and armed with all of his emails, they learned about his bank accounts, which boards he sat on and much more.
The hackers emailed his personal banker in the US and asked to set up a wire transfer for something in excess of $17,000. Bob’s personal banker (at the bank he used to work for and who knew him personally) replied that Bob would need to confirm the transfer by phone. Promptly she received a phone call (from Indonesia as it happened) that Bob couldn’t come to the phone because he was in a board meeting, naming the organization precisely. Fortunately the banker knew Bob and insisted that the “real” Bob call personally. When “real” Bob called with a foreign accent, she hung up and immediately called the real Bob and the scam was stopped. But is was very close.
Meanwhile the scammers undertook to send scam emails to everyone in Bob’s contact list. Some claimed to be Bob who was stranded in an foreign city and needed money. Others, which many of us saw personally, were legitimate looking Dropbox documents with a secure PDF file that needed to be “signed for” with your email address and PASSWORD.
Since the scammers owned Bob’s email account, when people replied asking if this was for real, the scammers pretended to be Bob and assured them that it was a legitimate email. If you fell for it, they then owned your email account and you would likely meet the same fate as Bob. Very quickly, Bob deactivated his email account, but it was too late.
How not to become Bob
1. If you are on the Windows platform you have to be super-vigilant about virus and malware protection, since Windows is the primary target of hackers.
2. Internet and email scams affect every computer user whether Windows or Mac or Linux. Phishing, the practice of conning you into providing passwords to fake web sites, is very common. For example, if you get an email from Paypal asking you to verify your password, take a look at the actual email address of the sender - you will find it has nothing to do with Paypal. The same goes for websites - take a look at the URL at the top of your browser - If it is not something like http://Paypal.com, you are being phished.
3. Email addresses and passwords are regularly stolen from companies large and small. The only real protection is to eliminate the risk by using long, uncrackable passwords that are unique for every website you log into. Let’s face it, no one can remember all those passwords, so you need a commercial password manager to help out. This topic will be the subject of a detailed article to follow shortly.
4. If you think your computer has been hacked IMMEDIATELY if not sooner, disconnect it from the Internet - pull the plug if you have to. As you are sitting there gawking, the hackers may be downloading all your email or other files, preparing to wipe your computer completely or hold it hostage for a ransom.
5. MAKE SURE YOUR COMPUTER IS BACKED UP - ALWAYS. Make sure the backup system actually works.
Next Up - Learning to Love Passwords
Having an easy and effective password strategy is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself online. In the next article, I will talk about how to do that without pain and show an entirely new approach to generating and remembering passwords.
About the Author
Dr. Sleepwell, AKA Mark Heyer, has been involved in the computer industry since the 1960s. He has designed and built computer systems, written hundreds of programs, owned a computer support company for professionals working at home in the Silicon Valley and served as executive director of customer service and tech support for a national Internet provider.
Update: donors have gone, (4total) but have been unable to donate for various reasons. SO, we are still looking for donors!
Please check out the requirements for donating at boquetehospice.org and on the left, click blood donation tab.
If you can donate, please call Charlotte 6693-5005
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In some ways, it's a tricky business. Just like a paying job, a volunteer needs to balance what they give with what is given back to them. If it isn't a good fit for some reason, then you start making excuses not to go. You're late one day, and then the following week you don't show up at all.
What do the experts say about volunteering? I read a bunch of articles and took away four gems.
To volunteer, find your passion, your talent, and go from there.
The good folks at Amigos de Animales have been working with volunteers for a long time and most people I talk to say good things about them: their mission (spaying and neutering dogs and cats), their commitment (over 10,000 spayed so far and counting) and their attitude toward their volunteers (they think volunteers walk on water.)
Alicia McGuigan, the Co-president and Director of Volunteers for Amigos de Animales, told me that her philosophy of providing good volunteer services is to: "Give a person a job that suits them and say Thank you."
Ruby McKenzie, one of the founders of Amigos de Animales, noted: "Our volunteers are given options as to where they would like to work and if that is not working, we move them into other areas that might be more appealing. We put new people with people who know what they're doing. We don't let them feel neglected or confused."
Sounds like a no brainer, but often agencies are so immersed in what their needs are that they forget about the volunteers who need to meet those needs and what they need. Because when looking at volunteers, you've got your techies/logical/practical types vs. your creative/pull a trick out of the hat types, or your extrovert vs. your introvert." A chatty people-person stuck in a small room using the copy machine is not going to stick around a long time.
Find something that fits your talents and your personality. Then as you give, you're giving truly of yourself.
Make sure the agency gives you training and then follows up to help you be successful.
Alicia said that training is essential for their organization. They offer formal classes and then pair new volunteers with experienced ones so the newbies learn how to do things correctly. For Amigos de Animales, it is especially important because they don't want animals or volunteers getting hurt because they don't know they are doing, but all agencies that use volunteers should offer some sort of an inservice on their mission and how they will use your talents to accomplish it. Every organization has its own culture and value system, as well as its own way of doing things, and without training, there will be problems. I've seen agencies throw volunteers into complete chaos, and then complain when the volunteers contribute to, as oppose to minimize, the bedlam.
Speak up, and do so with respect and consideration.
"We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks. That's what connects us--that we're all broken, all beautifully imperfect.” Emilio Estevez
There is just no way that you can volunteer, or frankly do anything in life involving other people, without misunderstandings or hurt feelings. Because we're beautiful wrecks.
"Everyone has gifts. Everyone has quirks. Our job is to give practical ideas how how to handle tricky situations, " Alicia points out.
When someone's quirks, or maybe your own quirks, cause problems for you, speak up. An agency won't know there is a problem if you don't tell them. Keeping your mouth shut just hurts everybody, but most of all it hurts you and those you want to help. If the agency blows you off, that tells you something. But if they address the problem, and the outcome is not what you wanted, know that just because it isn't your solution doesn't mean it isn't a good solution under the circumstances.
Just say something.
Work with people who appreciate you.
"Volunteers come for 4-8 hours," Ruby of Animales told me."They are fed and watered and appreciated for the work they do." This makes sense from a volunteer appreciation perspective and also from a practical viewpoint. No one wants a volunteer with low blood sugar dealing with scared or angry animals. But any agency should provide tangible proof that they appreciate what their volunteers do for them. Because it's not what you say, it's what you do.
Animales shows appreciation and respect for their volunteers through a gala every year. They host a big thank you party with food and drink for all. A fuss is made over those lovely volunteers, all who get an "Animal Lover" pin. I know of other agencies who make a big fuss, and it makes a big difference. Parties celebrate us and what we do, and what is more cause to celebrate than humans giving of their time and talents and doing wondrous things with them? It doesn't have to be expensive, it just has to be done with love and thoughtfulness.
It just has to say to volunteers: "Damn you're good. And we know it. And we thank you."
You’re in for a special treat at the BJBF2016 garden party at the Panamonte hotel on Friday, Feb. 27: In cooperation and with support from the Italian embassy in Panama we were able to book the Luca Ciarla Quartet for a show at the garden party! Check them out at their website www.violipiano.it/quartet
With their unusual instrumentation of violin, accordion and double bass they are creating a unique music experience! We are very happy to present this band at the Boquete Jazz&Blues Festival 2016 and we’re sure you will love them! Their show at the garden party will be their only performance at the 2016 festival.
Here's what the press is saying about them:
One of the most original Italian jazz ensembles in recent years, the Luca Ciarla Quartet has performed everywhere at an international level, from Montreal Jazz Festival to Melbourne Jazz Festival. With Carmine Ioanna on accordion, Maurizio Perrone on double bass and Francesco Savoretti on percussions, jazz violinist Luca Ciarla has developed a unique sound, giving birth to charming and irresistible compositions and arrangements, natural synthesis between contemporary jazz and the familiar sounds of the Italian folk tradition and the Mediterranean area. Their latest album, ViolinAir, mostly recorded in Thailand during a long tour in Asia, presents original works and astonishing arrangements of classics such as A Night in Tunisia or Caravan. “…a gem of a record from a violinist who has clearly absorbed the history of his instrument from Joe Venuti to Michal Urbaniak to become very much his own man.” Duncan Heining, All About Jazz
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Creating Cement Art - including Sculpture and Acid Staining
In the Studio in Caldera at Black Rock Art Ranch
by Chris McCall
January 6, 7 and 8, 2016, plus four extra elective workshop days January 9, 10, 12 and 13 if you wish.*
Class is From 10:00 till 12:30pm workshop time till 3:00pm. (Studio opens at 9:00am)
Cost is $75 including all materials and supplies***
Reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org, 6137-5602 - deposit required email and we will send Paypal invoice or you can deposit in the bank
Directions to The Art Ranch on the web site.
There is lots of one-on-one instruction during the workshop periods, and after class on the 3 class days. Many students work the whole time but many students just come to the class days if they don't have time in their schedule. You the student decide how much you want to do.
Concrete is used widely in Panama for all construction. Concrete is also a great medium for crafts and artwork. In this workshop we will learn how to mix concrete and mortar, make concrete stepping stones with various designs and patterns, make concrete bowls and planters, bird baths, and any 3d shape plus acid stain concrete, and color concrete with liquid and powder dyes.
January 6 - Working with concrete and mortar, 10:00am to noon with workshop time in the afternoon until 3:00pm — Please come a little early.
- The tools you need for working with concrete
- Safety procedures for concrete and acid staining
- How to properly mix concrete and mortar including the common formulas and some of the additives used in concrete.
- A slide show on the use of cement for counter tops and unusual house construction.
- Adding powdered color to your concrete
- Making molds for concrete
- Arranging leafs for pleasing patterns
- Planning for your 3d (sculpture project). Proper use of steel and the different types of wire that can be used for the artist. All students will make one bowl to learn techniques of working with forms. Workshop time will include one-on-one instruction in the first steps in creating your sculpture.
January 7 - Sand Casting and Sculpture work (open at 9:00am with class at 10:00am and workshop in the afternoon)
- Sand casting allows you to create very irregular shapes, beautiful bird baths form leaves, serving platters, bread dishes, only limited by the imagination.
- All students in class will make a sand cast leaf.
- Also during class students will clean up their bowl from the day before, learn to release the form, shape the "green cement" with rasps, sand paper and wire brushes.
- Class will have discussion on the use of Ferro Cement.
- Ferro cement is doing cement work over thin metal. Commonly used for sculptures and things like concrete counter tops. Using Ferro cement you can make almost any shape in concrete.
- Preparing the metal, using rebar to support different shapes.
- Scratch coating the metal and finish repello.
- It is really easy to make wonderful pre Columbian type sculptures or anything that you can think of.
- Workshop time will be one on one help with each persons projects.
January 8 - Acid Staining and Finishing (open at 9:00am with class at 10:00am and workshop in the afternoon)
- This is the day you finish all the projects you have been working on. Staining them and sealing them. Everything must be taken home at the end of this workshop day.
- Safety precautions for working with acid.
- Using and buying Commercial stains
- Mixing your own stains from common chemicals used in pottery.
- Preparing the concrete for staining
- Working with old concrete and new concrete
- Different methods of application
- Making patterns with the stain
- Using acrylic colors to fix areas that don¹t take or to add accent to the staining.
- Sealing the concrete after staining Waxing the concrete
Work Shop Days
January 9, 10, 12 and 13 - Workshop Days 9:00am to 3:00pm (you may come and leave as you desire until closing)
During workshop days Chris will work one-on-one with each person helping them as they need it with there projects. There is no formal schedule, you may come any time between 9:00am and 3:00pm.
The workshop fee is $75. Materials and space fee is included. ***Extra material charge for really large projects. Deposit is required and you may do so on the website via Paypal which accepts any credit card.
The teacher for this workshop will be Chris McCall. Chris has been in the arts for many years. In 1985 he opened the Stained Glass School and Supply in Denver Colorado. Chris moved to Panama Central America in 2004, he designed and built a resort called Rancho de Caldera. In 2010 he opened his art studio in Boquete teaching cement art, stained glass, paper making, felting, and spinning and last year moved the Studio to Caldera. Caldera is beautiful, the studio is on a hill top so is cooler than Caldera itself because of the mountain breezes.
You will leave the workshop with new knowledge, some beautiful cement art pieces and sculptures.
Please email your reservation to Chris McCall, pay deposit on the web site - email@example.com
For Questions call Chris at 6137-5602
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