Jump to content

Leaderboard


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/18/2016 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    I was asked to contribute to this discussion having experienced firsthand the difficulty in obtaining justice for crimes against perpetrators under the current Panamanian Legal System. Forgive me, this is a long post. I no longer live in Chiriqui but I do occasionally read CL -- after all, I did live in Potrerillos for 15 years. This post is not meant “to put the frighteners” on expats it is more to enlighten and hopefully to bring about realization of the “the way things are”. It is not written in anger, it is written partially to thank those who saved my life and those who supported me throughout my months in hospital and beyond. Strangely enough I do not harbor hatred against the two teens who assaulted me. If it wasn’t for the attack I would not be living where I am now. I exchanged the mountains for the beach and ocean and for the happiness that living only four minutes’ walk away from your only child can bring. But having said that, it is frightening to think that the two teenagers are now at liberty to commit armed robbery again and next time their victim may not survive. I lived in Panama for 15 years, maybe two or perhaps three years after we moved onto our property and into our home I experienced a robbery. This was when things were still tranquilo in this area, when crimes were only crimes of opportunity and when criminal violence was extremely rare. A very presentable man, with new(ish) bicycle came to my house to ask if I knew where a “gringo called Mike” lived. I told him I did not. Little did I know he had been “scoping out” the house through the windows and seen my wallet and cell phone on the kitchen island. He got back on his bike and that was that – or so I thought as I returned to what I was doing in the family room. Several hours later, searching for my phone, I realized it and my wallet, were missing. The robber had apparently returned, entered the kitchen and quickly taken my wallet and cell phone. My dog did not bark as she had seen me talking to the man outside and I suspect had classified him as “a friend”. I had a photo of the man, he had committed several robberies in the area including the home of one of my neighbors. The man lived in David and the David police knew him well from his criminal history. I spent hours at the Municipio in Dolega giving a denuncia. My gardener and a neighbor were also required to go to the Municipio to give statements. I was summoned to the PTJ in David to look through ancient mug shot albums – even though I had a photo of the felon!! People had seen the man catching the bus from David, Dolega and Potrerillos. They remembered him because his bike had been loaded on to the roofs of the buses at times consistent with the robbery. There was no follow up by the authorities, the man was never charged or prosecuted and I heard nothing more from the police. After my husband passed away, I decided to downsize and put my home on the market. A year before the home invasion I was contacted by “Andy Singer” who said he and his Panamanian wife were planning to return to Panama to open a bed and breakfast and that my property seemed ideal for such a purpose. He asked several questions and I directed him to the website for my home where all of his questions would be answered. “Andy Singer” then told me he would like to view my property and could I give him my phone number so he could call me to set up an appointment. Something in my feeble brain gave out a warning signal. I decided to wait 24 hours before responding. In the meantime I checked further, as far as my limited knowledge of technology would allow, and discovered that though the emails were signed Andy Singer, ploughing through all of the extraneous information of the email source I came upon the writer’s address of “Billinlacarcel@...” or Bill in Prison. Another possible future scam for Wild Bill and his then cell mate Ozzie?? Obviously, with funding from relatives and friends, they are able to buy smart phones/tablets to allow them to check out possible future victims, or perhaps this was their way of “having a little fun”. Prison wardens in Panama jails are not law enforcement officers but are hired from outside the prison system. They are open too bribes. If a prisoner has the cash they can obtain whatever they want. This is a well-known fact. I reported the email to Lt. Castillo, who, at that time was head of the police department for Boquete and Dolega and who I had known for many years. He said he would come to my home to verify the email, take printed copies with him and call his contact at the David jail. He never arrived at my home, neither did he send another police officer. There was no follow-up, nothing was ever done. Lt. Castillo retired from the police force several months later. How long has “Wild Bill” been in prison awaiting trial – four, five years? There has still been no trial and therefore no justice for the families of the victims. In defense of the police of Chiriqui (and in the country as a whole), their hands are somewhat tied by the laws of Panama and their interest in the community somewhat dulled by their frequent repostings. It is extremely difficult to form a relationship -- police with citizens or citizens and police -- when the length of assignment to a location is pitifully short. I had many friends/acquaintances among the police community of the Dolega District, they would frequently come to my home to check on my husband and I, sit and chat, have a soda and cookies but I soon learned that a policeman who you thought would be “first on the scene” if something happened to you, would soon be posted to a different town or city. Captain Roberto Espinoza, as Bud himself said “He could retire later this year, but no firm decision has been made at this juncture.” So, he may hold the position of Boquete Police Captain for a year or even less?? Not enough time to build relationships or form a sound knowledge of the community and the people who live in it. The local people are the ones who can help the most with leads and “inside information” which leads to an arrest. To give praise where praise is deserved, the police did catch two of the teenagers who attacked me. I don’t know how long it took, (I was aware of very little at the time), I think they were apprehended very quickly – but – the younger teenager, the one who stabbed me, was 14 years old and because the laws of Panama dictate that a person has to be 18 years old before they can be prosecuted, he received a slap on the hand and was released. Last I heard before I left Chiriqui, he was living with his father in the Boquete area. The second of my attackers, the one who shot me twice, I was told was 17. He was held for several months and the grapevine said that the police were hoping to keep him until his 18th birthday when he could be prosecuted. Now this is all “hearsay”, gleaned from police, translators, interviews, friends – I cannot swear that this is the truth. I have been told subsequent to my departure, that this young man has also been released. So to potential murderers are now back on the streets and living in the community. If these teenagers had tied me up and asked me where my wallet was, where the computer was, where my jewelry was – I would have readily told them but they broke into my house at 2:30 am, immediately stabbed and shot me without uttering one word and only questioned me while I was laying on the floor in a large pool of my own blood. They laughed as they walked down the driveway with their “haul”. They had stolen my cell phone so I couldn’t call for help, but fortunately that laughter I heard as they left made me angry, very angry and the adrenaline started flowing which enabled me to drive to a neighbor’s house, squeeze through a small space by the side of their gate and crawl up the driveway. My neighbor (a Panamanian so no language barrier) called the police and an ambulance. She called other neighbors who arrived in seconds -- the police responded quickly but my neighbors decided the ambulance was taking too long and loaded me into their truck to drive me to Mae Lewis. I owe my life to the Le Borgne’s, the Ferguson’s and the Kolm’s, it goes without saying to Dr. Cattan who performed the surgery and the care of Don Ray and Lilliam Williams after my release from hospital. Several weeks later, my doctor told me that the police had wanted to interview me while I was in Intensive Care when I was semi-comatose and with tubes inserted in every orifice – obviously I didn’t have enough orifices as the doctors had to create even more entry points for tubes. The police insisted on seeing me only to realize I was unable to hear or respond. However, as soon as I was able I was asked to give a statement -- two police detectives and a translator arrived by my bedside. I was released, after being in hospital for ten plus weeks and except for the last few days, with nursing care 24 hours per day. In early January I was required to attend an appointment with the government psychologist – I can only guess she was tasked with ascertaining if I was lying about the attack. Obviously, given the fragility of my appearance, the fact that walking was extremely difficult even with a walker, plus the surgical scar from breast bone to pubic bone, she determined that I had been the victim of a crime. Astute Lady!!??!! As JohnF13 said I was questioned two or three months prior to leaving Panama, I was also questions two other times, once more in the hospital and once while staying with Don Ray and Lilliam Williams. Each time was an ordeal for me, I had to relive the incident. Each time I felt as if I was the one under scrutiny and that there was doubt about the veracity of my story. I also received an “official document” requiring me to see a government doctor who would verify my medical condition. The letter received, which indicated I was to submit to an examination at a date and time to be notified, was dated incorrectly, December 2016 rather than December 2015. Apparently this caused a major malfunction in the machinery that drives the government offices involved in this case. Calls were made on my behalf several times and we made appearances at the appropriate offices twice to ask about the appointment for the examination. Each time we were told “you will be contacted when the doctor can schedule you”. I remained in the country until July 18th, 2016 over nine months after the attack. At no time was I nor the Williams contacted with a date and time for me to appear to be examined by the government doctor. My point is, that I was subjected to interviews and interrogations and psychological examinations at a time when my life and mental wellbeing hung in the balance – all for naught. The investigation team of the DJI was led by another officer I had known previously and who is also from Potrerillos, he had returned to the area after being posted to La Joya and Panama City for several years. He too had been to my home many times. The perpetrators were known, one was in custody, I presume there was evidence from fingerprints and leads on where they had disposed of my possessions (my computer was actually seen to be on-line) and yet I was never asked to identify the suspects either visually or from their voices. Visually I could not have done so, the violence happened too quickly and in the dark, I was then in pain and wallowing in my own blood, but I could have given a definite identification from their voices. I still hear those voices at 2:30 in the morning when I wake up in a cold sweat “¿Dónde está el dinero? Queremos más dinero, ¿dónde está?”. At no time was I requested by any member of the Policia Nacional nor the DJI if I would testify. At no time was it even suggested that the perpetrators would actually come to trial and that my testimony would be paramount in obtaining a conviction. At no time was I told I would be required to testify. At no time was I asked not to leave the country as my testimony would be necessary for the prosecution. In short, yes, the police appreciate brownies, I baked frequently for the police in Dolega and for the police who stopped by my house but, oatmeal cookies, butterscotch pie and brownies will only result in a happy smile from the recipients. The police are understaffed, underpaid and underfinanced. This leads to a lack of motivation to track down criminals or to put their lives at risk when they know full well that the laws of Panama negate any efforts they make to apprehend perpetrators of crime, however heinous the crime might be. The chance that criminals will see any prison time is slim to none. It’s fine to protect yourself, take all the precautions you can but the criminals are becoming smart. Do you have an automatic entry gate?? If not, perhaps you need one. Remember a couple of years ago there were one or two robberies when people were ambushed as they exited their cars to manually open their entry gates. They were then forced to open their homes and allow the robbers free rein. What is really sad is that the one person who could possibly have made a difference and fought for a change in the law and who initially headed protests and meetings, Diputada Athena Athanasiadis, diverted her interest to other, I can only assume, more deserving causes. Initially her anger was stirred and she became involved, I suspect, primarily because I lived only a two minute walk from her parents’ house, the home she was raised in. Her parents are definitely not “on a budget” and can pay for 24/7 security guards – I and most other retirees can not. Unless the law changes, violent crimes will continue to be committed and will escalate with little or no hope of retribution from the authorities on the perpetrators.
  2. 5 points
    As I write this, I am shaking my head. Another site hacked, this time one that hold passwords for thousands of people. What I am commenting on is a service called One Login. It is a password manager service. The idea is to keep all of your passwords in one place and have a program or app on your phone keep track of them so they can all be very long and different. You only need to remember the one password for the service and the rest is done for you. Well, OneLogin was broken into by hackers and all of the passwords, including the keys to unencrypt them, were exposed. If you have this service, you have already received an email about it. For the people that do not have that particular password manager but do use a similar service I would like to caution you with a bit of reasoning. The old saying is "Don't put all your eggs in one basket". A password manager does exactly that. It puts everything valuable in one place. You are then trusting some company to keep the passwords to all your valuable information safe. Consider this... if you are a hacker, it would make sense to attack the place where there are hundreds if not thousands of passwords rather than trying to get just one password of yours. Personally, I solve the problem of having different passwords on different sites by making a formula out of them. It is a rule that I apply to each website when they want me to create a password. If follow the rule, then each site then gets a unique password. I do not need to remember the password, instead I can recreate in my mind by remembering the simple rule. Here are a few examples: Let's say this is my formula to make a password for any web site I visit: First two letters of each word of the website name, followed by the year I was born, followed by a $ and then my initials in lower case Wells Fargo = WeFa56$DP Ebay = Eb56$DP Chiriqui Life = ChLi56$DP As you can see you end up with both upper and lower case letters, numbers, and a special character ($). That meets all the recommendations and it is unique for each website. Now when I visit in the future, I just think the rule out and I can figure out my password without having it written down or stored in a password manager. You can add other things and mix it with your own variations to make your formula unique. Perhaps you want to use the first initial of all your kids names or maybe the last two letters of the website name. The idea is to create a simple rule that lets you create a password for each site and makes it unique. Keep the rule the same for every site and it will have enough variations to make a different password each time. By doing this, you no longer need the password manager service and all of your accounts will not suddenly be exposed with a single failure should it get hacked. It is something to consider. I have always said a password manager works right up until the company disappears or gets hacked. When that happens, you do not have to deal with a single exposure, you have to deal with EVERY site. In today's world, that can easily be 100s. Now... about saving the passwords in your web browser so you do not have to enter them each time - I will let you consider the risks when your computer goes into the shop for repair ! Stay safe and enjoy the day
  3. 5 points
    I invite you all to take a look at this link from Best Places in the World to Retire: https://bestplacesintheworldtoretire.com/stories?view=entry&id=328 This is a come-on article, advertising that health insurance for tourists is free. This hasn't been true for over two and a half years. Only at the end of the article is there an "editor's note" that this insurance is no longer available. If you were honestly trying to disseminate information helpful to persons thinking about visiting or retiring to Panama, as all these sites represent, why would you publish an article with out-of-date facts? Of what possible good, I ask, is this information inasmuch as it no longer applies? I've said it before, and I'll say it again: what these folks do to make a buck is unconscionable.
  4. 5 points
    The problem is that Panama has not made any clear cut rules, it is all very wishy washy. The best way at this point is to hear about others experiences crossing the border, either by land or air. People have been attacked trying to tell their experiences, and that has shied people away from telling their stories. Maybe if this stops we can gain some insight. It has been said before 5 months have passed to stay out 30 days and you will be let back in, but if you reach your 6th month staying out for 30 days won't let you back in. If that is the case when can you come back, 6 months, a year? No one knows. It has also been said that if you have been border hopping for 2 years, you can't come back in. If so, how long before you can come back? It has also been said that if you are in the process of applying for residency to show a letter or paperwork from your lawyer and you will be let back in, but will you really be able to, is this good enough? Hopefully some will come forward and tell their experiences so others can benefit. If you have been border hopping for awhile at this point if I were to do a border hop, I would treat it as if I wouldn't be allowed back in just in case. Have someone caring for your pets, let your landlord know you may not be able to come back, maybe go so far as packing up all of your things or selling them.
  5. 5 points

    until

    Marcelyn and I were participants in ARF's Thanksgiving Day event at the Animales Building. There was a LOT of VERY GOOD food, great conversations, visits with friends, etc. We estimate there were about 70 guests and maybe 15 worker-bees taking care of setting up, tending to the guests, etc. The background music was nice, and not so loud as to intrude into the conversations. The pecan pie was simply outstanding. Kudos to that chef! But I also do not want to take away from any of the other food items. I sampled all the food choices, and there was nothing to apologize for on that front. An unexpected plus for us was that we finally got to meet Beth Abrahams (it is kind of a long story, don't ask). Beth Abrahams We also got to catch up with all of the latest travels and happenings of our friends who were at our table. Met a few new people, etc. There simply was nothing that we could fault (not our goal anyway). This is the way things should be done, and ARF did it with all of their wonderful volunteers. If someone found fault with something yesterday, then I would chalk them off as being a token curmudgeon. Thank you ARF! GREAT JOB!!!! Thank you to all who helped make yesterday's Thanksgiving Day celebration such a huge success, and special thanks to N&N: I will close with: we all have a lot to be thankful for.
  6. 5 points
    Danielle It is interesting your response. My age and experience let me understand peoples writting because it reflects, in most of the cases, the way the person thinks. First. I would like that you send me only one, just one proof, that I posted a disrespectful comment of anybody here, on Boquete.Ning or any other forum. So if you dont know me you cant talk about me. So this is the first lie you are writting and implying. I am not an expat. That is right. I am not living in Boquete, that is right. But I am a panamanian citizen and this is my country so I think that I cant participate in any forum I would like. You dont know. You dont know if I have family living in Chiriqui. You dont know if I have family or relatives living in Boquete. If you can read you should notice that most of my posting have the goal of helping expats living in this, my imperfect country, how to understand things, procedures, culture, customs, laws, etc. So I dont think that you are the person who has a right to disqualify me to post and participate in this forum that is located in my country. In my more than 4 years of being posting in Boquete and Chiriqui forums I have always received good words of the owners of the forums. I did exchange calls and personal email with Lee Seltzer. I know PERSONALLY the owner of this forum. So I am sorry if you dont like me be around because you are disqualifying me to be here.
  7. 4 points
  8. 4 points
    " Nearly 80% of soldiers admitted to these hospitals ( in the Crimean War 1854 ) died from infections from being in the hospitals, not from their original wounds. Florence Nightingale helped to dramatically change these issues with improvement in hygiene and sanitation in hospitals, which helped drop the rates of infections. After the war, Nightingale set out on a campaign to modernize hospitals. She had a large influence on hospital design and nursing practices used today. " 1854 was before the discovery of germs ( ...bacteria, viruses etc. ) being the direct cause of infection. To see this pile of rotting infectious material (no doubt covered in flies) in the Republic of Panama in this day and age is criminal. This to me should be brought to the attention of the World Health Organization. I am astounded by it. Alison
  9. 4 points
    The question is ignorant and insulting. Who cares what the answer is.
  10. 4 points
    I think it is just human nature for one to find ways to justify difficult decisions and then vent to relieve the stress and frustration. I am one that is leaving Panama and while I could easily list a number of things I dislike or seemed senseless here in Panama, I am sure I could just as easily find faults in my new destination once I have lived there for an equal amount of time. All my life I have made a major move about once every 10 years and I could easily list faults and express frustration with each location. My personal decision to move on is based on what appears a better option both personally and financially. While Panama finally tipped the scale for me in a different direction and while some past experiences here in Panama played a part in predicting the future, I can't say I have any great displeasure with Panama as a whole. I could probably list just as many pros as cons. There are certainly things I will miss here and will likely be back to visit clients and friends. It does feels like there are a larger number of expats leaving at this time or at least a bit more than the normal turnover we have seen each year. I am very skeptical about how concerned Panama is about the number leaving the country. I am sure they are more concerned with other issues and the expats leaving is probably just a side effect of other policy decisions. If Panama teaches you anything, it is that everything changes constantly (both good & bad). It can change at a moments notice... or even with no notice at all. Rules and laws here seem to be only enforced when a situation becomes untenable. Typically enforcement is done for a short time and then, as with everything here, it changes again. Seemingly random and sometimes without good reason to those of us that are used to laws and regulations being hard and fast.
  11. 4 points
    Agree. That said, I didn't retire here to die early on the road. That was not part of the package I signed up for. One would expect average driving skills...or maybe a bit below. I could deal with that. What we witness is way way below average to the point of absurdly dangerous, and frankly I just don't understand it. It is what it is, I understand.
  12. 4 points
    I enjoyed the article. Far too many people were enticed to move to Panama because they were led to believe they could live above their means here. Those people have been gravely disappointed. Other people didn't do enough due diligence about what you should expect from roads, utilities, and emergency services here. They have been gravely disappointed. Other people didn't understand the bureaucratic complexities for all things from immigration to car registration. They have been gravely disappointed. But, the people who come here and can go with the flow and adjust their expectations will find a beautiful country with some wonderful people. There is an old saying that one man's trash is another man's treasure. Our decision to move here was a good one.
  13. 4 points
    We stopped in this church yesterday on the way to Penonome. Religious or not it is truely amazing. It's the first pueblo the spaniards established according to the locals. In 1520 they landed there. You can't see the Pacific from town but it is very close. Most of the church and most things inside are original. The stone wagon wheels are the best things displayed to me. In three years the church will be 500 years old! There is a huge original bronze statue there also. We got there at noon, walked in and they were baptizing kids. We stayed for the service. I'm not catholic but enjoyed the service. My girlfriend is catholic and she was amazed also. She had never seen this church and she is a Bouquetena. I did a blog on this before and it is worth mentioning again. If you're bored----take a ride to Nata. Nata is located between Santiago and Penonome----about 180 miles from Boquete more or less.
  14. 4 points
    I don't know how libel law in Panama is adjudicated, but I can say that if a legal system does not hold that truth is an absolute defense to a charge of slander or libel, it is not a justice system at all. It would be a system serving only the corrupt and powerful. If truth is not a defense, then anyone may successfully sue for being offended.
  15. 4 points
    Pondering this I can only reflect on thoughts Bill and I had when we first decided to reside outside of the USA for our retirement. Laws change, procedures change and the climate of life changes ..and possible more so in foreign countries. We were also aware that in spite of all our research we may have missed something. We knew that it might not be easy and at times frustrating but decided we would weather whatever transpired. It's been 10 yrs and some things have in fact changed and we did miss a few things we should have known I guess but we are happy here. Very happy. We've had some fun times navigating bumps in the road in fact !
  16. 4 points
    'Burocracia' by Rosa Marques, was a different entry on the subject in the Notodo Filmfest.
  17. 4 points
    You are welcome to go to the Prosecuters office at any time and look through the records yourself. They are open to anyone, they are PUBLIC FOR ALL TO SEE.
  18. 4 points
    Very well said. And life is not stress free even in one's country of origin. People who thrive after a move "abroad" are those who adapt quickly to change and view the move as an adventure and opportunity to learn. Others? Well, the stress is too much and they return to their country of origin at an enormous cost, as Brundageba said. When I moved to Volcan 13 years ago and began the enlarging and extensive remodeling of an old Panamanian house, I had never lived in such "primitive" conditions in my life. The work took at least two years. And the growth of Volcan and conveniences that exist today did not back then. Yes, there were some stressful times (still are), but it was an adventure (still is) and I never regretted moving here. I'm still very grateful for my life here in Volcan. And a learning experience? One thing I've developed here is a LOT of patience! I have a wonderful employee and although I pay him very well, no way could I pay someone in the US to do what all he does. Then there is my beloved family of 18 dogs (okay, okay, sometimes they are stressful) and my work with the spay/neuter clinics. With the clinics and the rescue of dogs, I have found my true purpose in life. I would never have found that in the US. I have learned so much about care and treatment of dogs through the years that I and my employee often help people with injuries and illnesses of their own dogs. Right now is the best time in my life, ever. Too bad that some people swallow the rose-colored claims by the hucksters. One size indeed does not fit all.
  19. 4 points
    This is an ongoing problem with people who advertise their business or charity event. They get so caught up in their project that they assume everyone knows who they are and where they are. I know the Newslady and she refuses to screen the emails for missing information. This is the responsibility of those who write the news.boquete emails. It never ceases to amaze me how lacking in basic rudimentary knowledge of salesmanship most people are. They put stupid subject lines on their emails (like "please post") and never think for one second that they have to entice the reader to open the email in the first place. They spend 10 seconds slapping out an email on their I-pad and expect 2000 readers to care enough to open it and read it. It's my opinion that if you expect to burden almost 2000 inboxes, you ought to spend some time composing something that is complete, readable, informative and accurate. My dos centavos worth . . . .
  20. 4 points
    Please. A lady is a lady and a gentleman should always have good words and compliments to ladies in a very respectul way. It doesnt have to do with any "dating" situation. It is only being and behaving like a gentleman under the presence of a lady and should not be seen as a personal approach. of any means
  21. 4 points
    To clarify - yes we were both single when we got married. We had a choice of getting married in the US, in Colombia or in Panama. Colombia was the easiest, least expensive and least complicated as far as paperwork. When it comes to a resident visa in Panama, the marriage is only important in the fact that it is needed to prove that my Panama company (Friendly Nations Visa via my Panama S.A.) is what is providing the income. Neither of us are pensionados and she does not qualify for any other type of visa. My point was that in order to get the paperwork to prove our marriage in Colombia, we would need to go to Colombia to get it and upon returning they will not let her enter the country. So the lawyer suggested that if we could not return with the paperwork, then we should essentially lie to Panama and get married here again as if we were single. This goes to my point that yet another so called reputable lawyer's answer is for us it to lie and create false paperwork to get around what should be a simple trip to get proof of marriage. This is the system here. Lie, cheat, get around the rules and play the game. I did it before for 5 years because I was naive. I am smart enough now to know that Panama is going to keep changing the rules with new decrees. What the Panama and the lawyer tell me today will not be what the facts tomorrow. Admittedly we are in an unusual situation. Looking at her passport it appears she has been border hopping for the last year. In fact we were merely dating and travelling between the two countries until we finally got married a few months ago. The lawyer had no answer when I asked what the difference was between visiting often and border hopping. Everything we did for the last year was legal and within the laws, rules and decrees at that time. Our visits were always in one country or the other for at least a month length - not a 3 day hop. Is there a way for us to go thru the system and get her a visa? Yes. The cost is estimated at $5,000+ due to various circumstances. There is no simple way for Panama to look at my residency for the last 8 years and then give her a spousal visa for some additional fee. On the other hand, Colombia looks at me as her new husband and says I can have spousal visa for about $200 (effective immediately) and then permanent residency and dual citizenship after 3 years. The process is a few hours long and my passport is updated within a week or two. As one lawyer told me - Panama sees the border hoppers as a great deal of money if it can just force them into a visa process. And I do not disagree that people should be here legally. I have proudly showed my papers at every checkpoint and admired the country for making sure people were legal. My complaint is that they are punishing the very people who want to go thru the process, such as my wife. Don't get me wrong, I love my life here and I have fought hard to be here legally. As I said in my original post, I am raising the white flag. I have lived here and been a supporting member of the community. I have employed dozens of Panamanians and given to the country in many ways. I have changed as Panama evolved and sought to always be honest and forthright. Panama is asking too much. The lawyer sharks are circling ready to lie and cheat with promises of a simple visa that is just a mirage. I think I will swim somewhere else, thanks...
  22. 4 points
    In my role as one of two U.S. Wardens in Boquete, I have observed first hand the consequences of gringos having no health insurance. Only today I dealt with a case of a man being taken to Hospital Mae Lewis with a heart attack only to be transferred to Hospital Regional when it was discovered he had no insurance. He also had not registered to make his veteran's benefits potentially responsible for some of the costs. I encourage each and every one of you who has opted not to have health insurance to pay a visit to Hospital Regional to observe what your care would be like were you to suffer an accident or illness requiring hospitalization.
  23. 4 points
    As far as the invasion of Marion's home goes and her subsequent attempted murder, I do not think anyone has been prosecured for it even though the police caught at least two of the perps. Just prior to Marion leaving the Country she was called back in by DIJ for a further "interview" and she did mention that she was uncomfortable with the way it was conducted. I would suspect, that since she has gone to Mexico, that nothing further will be done. This was my first (and so far only) introduction to Panamanian detectiving and as a retired police officer I was not terribly impressed. It seemed to me that everything was about "process" and not much about investigation. Lots and lots of police officers on scene, many at the hospital, numerous long interviews done where the preamble to the interview ( both verbal and written) seemed to take much longer than the interview itself. I couldn'd help getting the impression that everything was being done for show. Given that experience, I would not trust the Panamanian police to investigate and prosecute expat crimes. Yes, there are a ton of people in the David jail, but for what, exactly? Seems to me most of them must be on remands waiting for trial, heck if Wild Bill hasn't been tried yet after admitting murders it does not bode well for a contested prosecution. I guess all of the above can be distilled down to "you are responsible for your own safety". Indeed, this isn't Kansas, or Canada, or Britain. Look after youselves and take care.
  24. 4 points
    For many of us here Danielle who have resided here close to a decade or more, the .NING site was the respected go-to spot for information for new residents and as well those looking to be new residents. The help that came from the site was enormous. Sadly Lee Zeltzer passed away and the site changed hands. With that came the ousting of many of the old guard posters on the site...respected folks in our community! I guess for those of us that were ousted or left voluntarily because to that ousting, we still have some nostalgia for what we remember as Lee's .Ning. Many of us go back from time to time to see what's new there. To see what is left in print on .NING which is so hateful towards a group of people gets a reaction from us. Antisemitism. Lee Zeltzer who founded and ran the site was born Jewish. He'd not let that kind of diatribe fly...we all know that, whether it be anti-Jewish or anti-anything that denigrates a group of people ...it just would not fly with him. So of course we all react. It's only natural.
  25. 4 points
    Excuse me, but Rogelio Bellido is an online friend for many years and is a member of this site, as equal as any other. There is no import as to his nationality or place of residence. His comments and input are appreciated by me no matter where he posts them.
  26. 3 points
    Donald Trump's previous "cozy" relationship with Martinelli is pretty meaningless. He was cozy with the Clintons and anyone else who could further his interests at the time. This arrest could not have happened without the approval of President Trump. I assume the decision was made at the time Varela was invited to the White House. That corresponds with the time Martinelli was put under active US "surveillance." The reports that the timing of his arrest was moved up suggests that Martinelli realized that he was no longer safe hiding in plain sight in Miami. It's hard to imagine that he'll be released on bond, although he is certainly entitled to fight extradition in US court. But these recent events certainly indicate to me that Martinelli has no friends in the current US administration, and that his request for political asylum is effectively dead.
  27. 3 points
    I don't think it has anything to do with location. It's more a function of a person's ability to adapt. Those that make it here could probably make it anywhere ( mas o menos) because they have an innate ability to adapt and enjoy. Doesn't matter where you are ( well, OK, for me the primary demand is no snow!) if you have the mindset, you will be fine. I'm here and happy, but I'd be just as happy in Singapore.
  28. 3 points
    It may be time to start taking the old Boquete road by turning off the new one at Los Algarrobos. The right lane on the new road was closed for a about a mile getting into David due to construction at the new mall. Traffic was backed up. The good news is that this caused my being late getting to Pricesmart, entitling me to buy beer and wine at 11:00. Even better, Pricesmart actually had everything on my list. On my return to Boquete, both my driver's license and car insurance papers were checked at the Caldera cutoff. I don't know if the officer was bored, if I looked suspicious, or whether this heralds tougher scrutiny in all walks of life. Be prepared.
  29. 3 points
    I find this entire topic quite illuminating and disconcerting at the same time. As an "old timer" here in Boquete I remember the Peter Gordon incident very well. Thanks to Jim for posting some links to that history. I also remember my attorney back in those days telling me to be very careful about not violating the Panamanian libel and slander laws. This subject is very important and very relevant to me, given that I am one-half of the owners/administrators of CL. A bit of history here for those who might be interested. Most who read this post will not know any of this, but some of the older timers may. I owned and administered the Boquete.org website, which was one of two community information channels serving the Chiriqui highlands. Boquete.org was created in 2003. The other community channel is what is known today as News.Boquete that is administered by Penny Barrett. Back in those early days that mailing list was known as Hershel's List, being named after Hershel Stolebarger, who set it up and administered it. Hershel's list had about 300 subscribers, whereas Boquete.org had about 5,000 subscribers. (As an aside News.Boquete currently has just short of 1,900 subscribers.) I shut down Boquete.org (I seem to recall it was about late 2007 or possibly early 2008?) after being threatened with five different lawsuits by people, specifically businesses, in Boquete and in David based on claimed defamatory content that had been posted on Boquete.org by some of its members. I was the one threatened with the lawsuits because the offending libel was on Boquete.org, which I owned, and not because it was something I wrote or said. I have never forgotten two of the five interactions about the threatened lawsuits because of the knocking on my front door (both of those instances were on a Sunday) by attorneys and business owners. The emotional stress, the financial drain, the vague and much delayed rulings of the courts, etc., are just some of the reasons for me to avoid litigation. I was told by my then several attorneys that libel and slander are extremely serious matters in Panama, and that truth is not a defense. Now I read here differently. Whether something is true or not does not justify or warrant the damage done by libel or slander to one's reputation. Hmmmm, whom to believe and trust? As Paul Harvey used to say in his radio broadcasts: "now for the rest of the story." For me, I don't intend to test the murky waters of libel and slander litigation, but rather avoid that environment altogether if at all possible. This piece of history is a reason that CL comes down hard on its two guidelines: treat others with respect, and know and obey the law. [[To read the exact words of CL's guidelines, see http://www.chiriqui.life/topic/4-site-guidelines/.]] Going further, especially after reading Bonnie's reply: ... my experience also is that a denuncia is a public document. However, not many people go to the Personaria and review denuncias. But the main point here is that if one were to use a denuncia as a "weapon" to further libel or slander someone or a business, then my experience (and advice of my counsel) is that said person is committing a crime. The matter of truth is not resolved until a judge makes a final ruling, and said ruling is upheld (or not appealed). This then brings into question two more issues: is the ruling judge impartial, and whether the judge truly understands the entire scenario. Note further that my counsel has said that Panama courts do not make rulings based on case law, but only based on statutory law as understood by the judge at the time of the ruling. I will continue to watch this topic; however, I prefer not to change my modus operandi regarding protecting myself from litigation. Everyone gets to decide for themselves. Your mileage may vary.
  30. 3 points
    As predicted more than a year ago, we are seeing another expanded attack of "Ransomware" (the encryption of your data and holding it for ransom). The news reports are full of this, so I will not go over every detail yet again. The basic questions everyone has are: 1. Does it or will it affect me? Probably not but lets layout the details. This particular malware/virus attacks older Windows XP, Windows Vista and some unpatched Windows 7 installations. It does not appear to attack Windows 8 and Windows 10 systems. So right away, those with newer operating systems can just relax. 2. What do I need to do? If you are running an older version of Windows, including Windows 7, you need to make sure your computer is fully patched. That means that you need to run and re-run Windows Update until it tells you there are no more updates available. Often times, some updates will not be available for your system until a first or second set of updates has been installed. So, be sure to run Windows Update several times. The Windows update function can be found in the Control Panel. Do not just rely on the fact that Windows is "supposed" to update itself on its own. If it has errors, it will not inform you unless you are running it manually. Back in February 2016, I wrote an article about Ransomware and Backups. (see the link below) At the end of that is an important list of what you should be doing so that if your system ever faces one of these attacks, there is a way to recover your data. Yes, doing backups is a pain in the butt - on the other hand losing all your photos, documents and financial info is much worse. Take the time do to it and if you need help let me know. I can help most clients without an in-home visit. Do not fall victim to all the tech guys running around trying to make money off of this news. The huge number of systems being attacked are systems in hospitals and manufacturing where they are forced to run older Windows XP systems due to software limitations. You do not need to go out and buy more security software or pay a big fee to have a computer guy fix what is not broken. Advice: Run Windows Update manually... Do a backup and disconnect the backup from your computer,.. Go enjoy the day and don't fall victim to all over-hyped tech disaster news.
  31. 3 points
    I will share one of my experiences with "shared tips" here in Panama. In 2009, I owned and operated a poker room in Panama City within the Royal Casino. Typically, poker dealers keep their own tips but I was quickly informed that in Panama they shared their tips. In my opinion that takes away from the incentive to give good service. I further learned that they collected the tips and then split them up every two weeks. Everyone got an equal share regardless of the number of hours worked. That meant that if an employee only worked part time or if they called in sick, they still received the same amount of the tip pool as those that had worked full shifts or even overtime! Unbelievable to my way of thinking. In my effort to balance out this practice, I implemented a system that percentaged out tips based on hours actually worked, thinking this would give incentive to show up for work and volunteer for extra hours. I was quickly proven wrong as the employees acted as a group. Upon receiving their tip envelopes with varying amounts, the group collected them all up and redistributed the tips back out evenly. Dealers that had worked twice as much, receiving double the amount of tips, put their money in the center and drew out the lesser yet equal share. I watched it happen. There appears to be a belief that tips are a group effort rather than an individual effort. Based on this and several other experiences, I came to the conclusion that it is a cultural difference. If you wonder why a nice big tip does not get that extra smile or appreciation, you need to realize that the person receiving the tip does not necessarily see that as personal reward. There is comfort in being just a member of the group without the desire to be better or advance.
  32. 3 points
    Welcome to the newsletter of Boquete Health and Hospice Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser. Meet the Board In February Boquete Health and Hospice Foundation elected a new board. David Wulf- President, Merl Will-Wallace-Vice-President, Linda Sanchez-Secretary and Laurie Collier-Treasurer. Bev Tyler is the administrator of BHHF. The board held a retreat in March to formulate the goals of the organization for 2017. The goals include plans to create more community awareness of the services provided by BHHF, expand the volunteer base, reach out with services to more people in the Panamanian and expat community and to have a health fair later in the year. 2017 Volunteer Training On February 17, 20 and 22, thirteen members of the community made the choice of taking the Boquete Health and Hospice Foundation training. The training consists of an overview of all the requirements, information and skills needed to help our community with health issues. Some of the topics include: Explanation of services, discussion of grief and death and dying Presentations about comfort care, medications used in Panama Communication skills that include how a team is put together for a case, caring for the caregiver and final directives. For almost a decade BHHF has been helping the community by providing support for patients and caregivers when there is a serious illness, an injury, after surgery, or if the patient is dying. We also provide a blood donor list and loan durable goods such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, oxygen concentrators, walkers and other medical equipment. It takes a caring heart and dedication to become a volunteer of BHHF. Be watching for the announcements for future volunteer training sessions. New Website Boquete Health and Hospice has a new website. Be sure to check it out. http://www.boquetehealth.org/ We also have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/boqueteheartshandsandhelp/ Blood Pressure Monitoring Boquete Health and Hospice offers free Blood Pressure monitoring every Tuesday at the BCP Market between 9 and noon. Stop by and let our retired professional nurses monitor your BP on a regular basis and try to answer your health questions. To Contact Us Hospice/Health: 507.6781.9250 Blood Donor Program: 507.6590.2000 E-mail: boquetehospice@gmail.com E-mail: boquetehealth@gmail.com Confidentiality All patient information shared with any Boquete Health and Hospice volunteer is kept in the strictest confidence. Copyright © 2017 , All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: boquetehealth@gmail.com Unsubscribe | View in browser
  33. 3 points
    President Varela has stated that “we cannot afford for the six-month tourist permit to be used to cross the border and then return, and stay here as if you were a permanent resident”. He said that on March 18. It seems to me that everything since early March has been Immigration trying to figure out how to implement a visa policy which accomplishes that. Yes, the 30 days out of the country rule was stated by Javier Carrillo, the director of Immigration, but that was also several weeks ago. As unsatisfying as it is, I think the focus ought to be on what Panama is trying to accomplish. I rather doubt that Panama is particularly motivated to provide a lot of clarity as to how to circumvent their stated goal. We can speculate that the reason for the new enforcement policy is the flood of non-Panamanians from South America fleeing poor conditions. There certainly is resentment against foreigners coming to Panama, competing with Panamanians for employment, and staying here indefinitely on a tourist visa. There is currently a lot of political pressure on the Panamanian government to do something about that. Panama encourages tourism. It wants to encourage business travel to Panama, as well. Being in Panama for extended periods is not the concern. It is the drain on social services, not the least of which is health care, by the people who live in Panama as if they are permanent residents but are not. And, undoubtedly, there is some resentment of foreigners in general moving into cities and neighborhoods throughout the country which also contributes to that political pressure. I have enormous sympathy for those who live in Panama on a tourist visa, especially those in this area who have made housing decisions, opened businesses, and made an enormous effort to relocate from far abroad. They are almost universally not the burden that Varela says "we (Panama) cannot afford." But devising a policy accomplishes Panama's goal without casting too wide of a net is nearly impossible. It has caught those who are contributing greatly to the country. It has snared those who employ Panamanians. It is devastating to those who can't (for very good reasons) obtain the documents necessary to apply successfully for permanent residency. For US citizens, it has caught those who no longer have suitable fingerprints that the FBI can accept in order to run the required background check to apply for a permanent visa. If the "30 days out of the country" rule if you're approaching the end of a 180 day tourist visa is the current policy at the border is truly a permanent and consistent rule (which I doubt), then it probably will eliminate those who can't afford to be gone from Panama for 30 days every six months. The intention may be that those people who can't afford it will be the ones who are competing for jobs and social services with Panamanian citizens and legal permanent residents. Obviously, the effect is far more broad and draconian than that. The bottom line is still the same. Panama does not want foreigners living here indefinitely on a tourist visa. It would be very surprising to me if the Panamanian government wants to really clarify how anyone can still continue to do so at this time. That's the new reality in Panama. Until it changes, of course...
  34. 3 points
    It's more a matter of how long you need to stay out rather than if you let your stamp expire. The information that people are wanting is if you leave at 5 months can you come back in if you stay out for two weeks or 30 days or 3 days? Also if you leave at your 6th month before it expires are you going to be let back in after 30 days, or do you need to stay out for 6 months or longer? Also does it matter how many border hops you have done in the past?
  35. 3 points
    Keith That is not good. By integrating as part of the local community and not only hanging out with people from your same country of origin you will be considered by locals as an important part of the community. There wont be any difference like: "us and them".
  36. 3 points
    The ANAM offices are 1Km south (toward David) of SuperCentro Ivan, on the same side of the road. There is a blue-roofed bus stop across from Seminario Franciscano. Coming FROM Boquete, turn left onto the unpaved road. Drive about 100 meters until you come to a cross-road, turn right and follow that road about 200 meters. The office is the single-story white building. There are signs (the one on the highway is more visible when you are coming from the south) that say "Agencia de Boquete". If you pass Instituto Guadelupano (on the south-bound side of the road) coming from Boquete, you've gone past your turn.
  37. 3 points
    Marie Elaine / Keith It is a very sad situation. We have had at least 3 governments that have turned their back to the agricultural producers in this country. You may know very well how hard is to be a farmer. The amount of hard work it involves but for the government officials it is better to impulse the imports of products from other countries. Why people from the interior of the republic emigrate to Panama City and live in slums? Because they dont have any chance to make a living in the farms. The most important agricultural and vocational schools in Divisa and other parts of the countries are abandoned and not well funded. We are killing our farmers!!! Everything is managed by people in the Metropolitan Panama City in well air conditioned offices that dont know anything about the hard work our poor farmers had to do to give us, in the city, something to eat at fancies restaurants. Sorry for my rant.... but this subject makes me feel bad and terrible about how our government offices abandon our hard working farmers.
  38. 3 points
    I give up. I'm beginning to think that it's impossible to put all this together, to get a straight answer out of anyone. My sympathies are with all of you trying to get a residency visa. As folks work their way through this process, I hope they will keep the rest of us updated on what procedures are being followed (as opposed to all of those that have been reported).
  39. 3 points
    Longtime Boquete resident and former U.S. Warden Price Peterson, also perplexed by the new decree, contacted a friend, Diego Obaldia, who served as director of Migracion about seven years ago. Sr. Obaldia agreed to go to Migracion and seek clarification. Here is his response to Price: Thanks both to Price and Sr. Obaldia for their help with this matter. Neither had an obligation to do anything, but they graciously stepped in when needed.
  40. 3 points
    This is a game played by several restaurants. They make a lot of one menu item, put it on the chalk board as a "SPECIAL" at the regular price and then feel justified in not giving the discount. Chef Craig from Ruinas and most recently from Seasons was good at this ploy. I got soured on Seasons when I ordered their special rib dinner which wasn't on the menu but I was believing it couldn't be much more than the Rock charged for a rib dinner. Well, it turned out to be $29 and no discount was allowed.
  41. 3 points
    Well said Bud. Both Roger and as well Two Sailors are wonderful friends of mine (as is Bonnie). These are some super great people ! I'd hate for there to be any kind of misunderstanding as you explained. You are an excellent moderator and we all appreciate you jumping in.
  42. 3 points
    Everyone's points are valid. But we pay for electricity (some of us more dearly than others), and it is simply factual that we have come to rely on electricity. I have multiple flashlights within easy reach all over the house, but there are still times when I have to grope about in the absolute dark. This is dangerous, particularly for those of us who are elderly and for whom a fall could be devastating. This danger is multiplied when the lights go out repeatedly. When I arrived home from David about 7:00 last night, the electricity went out just as I was approaching my front door. Were it not for the light in my iPhone, I would not have been able to see to put the key in the lock as there are no streetlights here. Add to this the wear and tear on electrical appliances and light fixtures. Before I got my expensive LED light bulbs, which must be more resistant to surges, I was replacing two or three light bulbs a week during times of electricity unreliability. And, like Bud and Marcelyn, I suspect the recent death of my washing machine to be attributable to surges. I keep my new one unplugged when not in use, as a repairman recommended. I remain of the view that we have a right to expect better service. I intend to file a complaint, and I hope others will too. Panamanians will not because, as some have pointed, they have come to expect poor service.
  43. 3 points
    Bonnie, This was a very interesting report which focused on US funding the effort to reduce narco trafficking and crime associated largely with gun/narco trafficking and gangs in Central American Countries. What I found interesting was a somewhat weak evaluation of the effectiveness of the effort to shower money and assets this way to reduce these problems. Bottom line seemed to be this: Unless each individual country takes initiative to improve the underlying conditions that lend to crime ( improved education, rehabilitation efforts) crime will persist. That report substantiated that. I know there has been an effort in Panama to provide more Juvenile detention and rebab facilities and increase the capacity of jails; but this effort strikes me as weak and limp in view of what we are observing in the last several years. Unless the judicial system in Panama becomes more efficient, the jail overcrowding reduced, the juvenile detention centers with rehab capability increased ....problems will continue. Education and opportunity for underprivileged youth has to be addressed. Foreigners who elect to choose to become permanent residents of any one of these countries, should take a sober look at this situation. If they decide it's their cup of tea, then personal security should be way high on their list of priorities. Crime has gone from stealing a rake you left outside to entering your bedroom at 2:30 am to stab and shoot you in order to garnor a few bucks and your available stuff.
  44. 3 points
    Nine year old kids shooting people are not prosecuted in a large number of Countries. In Canada, the age of responsibility is 12, meaning that a 9 year old cannot be held responsible for anything. Between 12 and 18 youths are treated differently in court than adults, ofter garnering very light sentences for major crimes. Same here, although it is a bit more extreme. Of course crime has gone up from 2000 to now, it very rarely goes down ( people get frustrated and just stop reporting, but that's another story). Any crime is upsetting, but if you expect to live in a Crime free place, then perhaps Panama is not your best choice - but neither is the U.S., Canada, England, Australia, heck, you get the point. There is nowhere in the World you can avoid crime, it is just a fact of life. Quoting individual crimes only serves to induce fear and panic. Yes, they are tragic and should not happen, but in almost all of your quoted cases you will find that a major causative factor was lack of security on the part of the victim. That isn't victim blaming, merely stating facts. The police here are less effective than most, that has to do with several factors including low pay, lousy morale and lack of direction from upper management to name a few factors. Government is doing very little to address these problems, and when the average police officer sees the scale of things such as Odebretcht it is no wonder they get discouraged. We can debate for hours about what "should" happen, but it's not going to. So, two choices, accept that it is what it is and take suitable precautions, or head off for supposedly safer places.
  45. 3 points
    JimandNena, Security is, indeed, the responsibility of the owner/resident. However, I think that your assessment is a little bleak. Yes, any security measure can be defeated but the all take time. The more difficult you make it to get into your premises, the more likely the maleante will go somewhere else. Unfortunately some people have a Polyanna attitude, i.e. It won't happen to me. Others either don't want to, or cannot afford to spend the money to add security systems. In my area the two houses that were invaded had little or no security and, most likely, the bad guys knew that and chose the softest target. Happens all the time with thieves, they are notoriously lazy and will always pick the low hanging fruit. You talk about the level of security as an "unknown", that is not really correct. Stage your house in circles, outer fence, dogs trained not to accept food from strangers (yes, it can be done) inner electric fence, yard alarms, lights, sirens and finally, an interior alarm, although I am not a big fan of those, too little, too late. Then on to personal security, whatever you can handle. Guns, knives, stun guns, high intensity flaslights and safe rooms. Again, yes, all of these can be defeated, but at the cost of negating the surprise factor. Do not rely on police response, they are merely after the fact report takers. Having said all of that, this place is relatively safe but, people being people, they will want what you have. A thief is merely a worker doing a different kind of work. Make it difficult for him and he will look elsewhere.
  46. 3 points
    People can draw whatever message they like from this experience. I drew three things. One, when you report a crime, be prepared for a long, time-consuming process with which you are unlikely to be satisfied. Secondly, if the Panamanian security forces really want better crime reporting, they need to look at their own procedures first so as to encourage rather than discourage people from filing. Finally, as has been said many times by security-minded persons and organizations here, you are your own best provider of security. I have no reason to believe that Captain Espinoza is not a well-meaning, dedicated law enforcement official. But the system itself is not supportive of his declared aims.
  47. 3 points
    I understand your intentions, S.S., but I think Keith is probably right. Your experience with how to approach politicians is American. It's different here. A good Panamanian friend warned me long ago never to raise "official" issues (jokingly or not) in a social setting as, in Panamanian etiquette, it is considered rude. A friendly visit to the Mayor's office--without a lawyer and media--would be the correct move. And it would be made easier since you already know the Mayor and have found success with this approach.
  48. 3 points
    I would offer the following in response to the complaints: 1) I've never noticed that the parking in David is abundant. There are quite a few among us who have physical limitations that prevent walking long distances, particularly over the imperfect sidewalks and streets. I find myself bitching about this, too. But I've noticed that only prolongs the aggravation. 2) As to computer skills, there's no one who can help them if they won't help themselves. 3) Same with language and assimilation. Why did they even bother to move here? 4) Boquete is too small to support a movie theater. 5) The best way to meet like-minded friends is not in the local bar. Most of my friendships developed, and developed quickly, by joining charity groups. People everywhere are cliquish. All of us choose to be with those with whom we're most comfortable. That is different, of course, from downright prejudice, but I've run into very few people here who exhibit prejudice toward others without even knowing them. 6) Prices rise over time everywhere. It sounds like at least some of these folks moved here strictly for financial reasons. Poor planning and poor decision. The bottom line is that there is little to nothing we, as extranjeros, can do to change any of these things. (Of course, short term bitching sometimes is cathartic.) I saw this on Facebook today: "When you can't control what's happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what's happening. That's where your power is."
  49. 3 points
    Agreed, Keith, and most wholeheartedly!
  50. 3 points
    Danielle Many of us were not banned from NING for bad behavior. Some of us were banned simply because we were friends with Bud and Marcelyn
This leaderboard is set to Panama/GMT-05:00
×