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About this blog

This is a blog about the beautiful town of Boquete: its people, its culture, its bochinche, its events and attractions, the things about it that are delightful and other things about it that drive me crazy. IF you are thinking of moving here, you might get some insights into what it is like. If you have lived here for a while, I'm sure to get some nods of agreement and some "what the heck is she talking about?" I invite comments from readers, and hope you will have suggestions for me on new topics to write about. I have lived here 13 years and have seen a lot of changes. Since I plan to continue to live here, I'm sure I will see a lot more. Let me know what you think.

Phyllis

Entries in this blog

 

On Volunteering- Take Two

Volunteering. 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. T

Phyllis Mc

Phyllis Mc

 

On Volunteering in Boquete

Volunteers in Boquete I remember as a young child (first or second grade), I got into a fight with a friend. As my mom held and comforted me, she gave me a good piece of advice for life: "You know, honey, if you want your friends to be nice to you, you have to be nice to your friends." Several months ago, I volunteered for a project with an organization, was told repeatedly that I was doing a wonderful job, and then I was fired. Abruptly. No warning. No explanation. No thank you for th

Phyllis Mc

Phyllis Mc

 

A Blog Which Asks for Help with my Blog

I started writing blogs for Chiriqui.life after another creative outlet in my life was abruptly closed to me. Bud and Marcelyn had started "a free online community information forum for the exchange of ideas, the posing of questions, and the sharing of local information." What the hell, I thought, I've written on and off throughout my life, most recently for the Bajareque Times. I could start a blog. Share my wealth of knowledge (heeheeheehee). It has been a pretty good fit for me. Bud an

Phyllis Mc

Phyllis Mc

 

Colibri Restaurant, Something for Every Palate

Colibri Restaurant, Something for Every Palate   I have a confession. I don't invite vegan friends over for dinner. They're nice, friendly folks, but what the heck do I feed them? It's intimidating. I'm not what you would call an inspired cook to begin with and all I feel safe feeding a vegan is veggies, beans, and quinoa. That's boring. I've looked in the vegan section of a cookbook but I don't even know what seitan makhani or aloo matar

Phyllis Mc

Phyllis Mc

 

Is Boquete the Best? A Look at our Quality of LIfe

Is Boquete the Best? A Look at our Quality of Life   When we decided to move out of the US, we visited Boquete, Panama first and decided to stay. Our instincts were right. We've been very happy here. Of course there have been glitches, but everywhere you go has glitches. The key is finding someplace to live where the benefits far outweigh the glitches. It's all very personal. One man's ceiling is another man's flo

Phyllis Mc

Phyllis Mc

 

La Villa Open Mic Night

La Villa Open Mic Night   One of the things that makes me sort of sad is when someone has a talent and doesn't use it. If you have a beautiful singing voice, you should sing. At church, in a chorale, Christmas caroling, or on stage.  If you can dance well: do it. Tango lessons are currently being offered in Boquete, take them. Teach your feet and torso the dance of seduction. Are you an artist or photographer? Show your work. What's that from the Bible about hiding your light under a b

Phyllis Mc

Phyllis Mc

 

Speaking Spanish- an interesting article

Hello Everyone, This is an interesting article on being bilingual and how it affects our brains. It  turns out that speaking Spanglish might just be good for us.   http://www.wired.com/2016/02/being-bilingual-changes-the-architecture-of-your-brain/

Phyllis Mc

Phyllis Mc

 

Don't be Afraid! Learn Spanish.

I was in a taxi in Panama City trying to talk to the driver. I had only lived in Panama a few months at the time and the driver spoke as much English as I spoke Spanish. Not much, but some. I tried to tell him that the drivers in Panama City were crazy and that I was afraid to drive my own car. I told him:"Tengo mierda." He slapped his leg and laughed. "Shiit," he said. "Shiiiiiiiiiiit!" Mierda means shiit. Miedo means afraid. I have lots of other stories of how not to speak Spani

Phyllis Mc

Phyllis Mc

 

A Gringo by Any Other Name

A Gringo by Any Other Name   A day doesn't go by that I don't read, hear or use the word gringo. I refer to myself as a gringa when talking to Panamanians. When describing a meeting she attended, my friend said it consisted of half Panamanians and half gringos. As I walked past two little Noble Bugle children, they giggled, pointed at me and chimed: “Hola gringa.” When I lived in a rental house in Volcanic, I heard

Phyllis Mc

Phyllis Mc

 

Our Heads in the Clouds; Cloud Forest or Rain Forest?

Our Heads in the Clouds Several years ago, I was explaining to a friend that we had bought property in Alto Jaramillo and that it was in the rain forest. "Nope," she said. "It is in the cloud forest." "What's the difference?" "Uhm, I don't know, but Boquete is cloud forest. The lowlands are rain forest." So I looked it up. Do you know what turns out to be the big di

Phyllis Mc

Phyllis Mc

 

New Year's Resolutions

                                                           New Year's Resolutions   I keep a journal and recently I went back and looked at my New Year's entries. I always make New Year's resolutions and like most people, I don't keep them. A 2002 study showed that only 46% of people who make new year's resolutions are still actively working on them six months later. I am consistently in the 54%. I always resolve t

Phyllis Mc

Phyllis Mc

 

Ten Ways to Tell if You are Becoming a Real Boqueteño

1. If a week goes by without a power outage, you check to make sure your flashlights are somewhere you can find them easily because you know one is bound to happen soon. 2. You think of dry season as rainbow season. 3. When someone asks how you are doing, you say, "Fine! Gracias a Dios." 4. You've developed a sixth sense when listening to bochinche, and can immediately mentally rate it on your "bullshit meter". 5. You have large containers of water inside to refill the toil

Phyllis Mc

Phyllis Mc

 

Retro Gusto- A New Reason Not to Cook

As we finished eating dinner tonight at home, I said to my husband: "What would we do without PriceSmart Potstickers?" "They are consistently good," my husband agreed. To be fair, Candice Chrestman's Thai dipping sauce really made the meal. I love Pricemart Potstickers because I don't like to cook. I'm not good at it. Having a meal that I cook come out well is statistically at chance. I throw the cooking dice and hope for the best. &

Phyllis Mc

Phyllis Mc

 

Panamanian Christmas traditions

Christmas Traditions   It was our first Christmas Eve in Boquete. Midnight. Suddenly-- boom, bang, boom. I was raised on the south side of Chicago and so immediately thought of gunfire. Which distressed me because even in Chicago the gangs try to lay off of killing each other on Christmas Eve. But it was firecrackers. That's right, the Panamanians traditionally celebrate Christmas Eve by setting off a bunch firecrackers. What better way to express joy over the birth of baby

Phyllis Mc

Phyllis Mc

 

Boquete: Why Some Leave and Others Stay

Boquete: Why Some Leave and Others Stay The average time an expat lives in Boquete is four years. At least, that is what I have been told. I suspect the number four was pulled out of thin air and presented as fact by someone. Why do people who come to live here decide to head back home? After four months, four years or fourteen years? For younger expats who are not ready to retire and who have children, a friend

Phyllis Mc

Phyllis Mc

 

Boquete - Then and Now

The other day I was coming down the hill from CEFATI, the tourist center. When I had to brake halfway around the curve because there was a long line of cars, I figured it was the police checking licenses, a car accident, a yellow bus going ten KPH, a stalled car, or a taxi stopped in the middle of the road so they could pick up a passenger. It wasn't any of these. Just a lot of cars. Traffic congestion in Boquete. When my husband and I first arrived in Boquete 13

Phyllis Mc

Phyllis Mc

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