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      The Boquete Feria de Las Flores y del Café   01/12/2017

      The Boquete Feria de Las Flores y del Café begins Thursday, January 12th and runs until Sunday, January 22nd. For those who have not yet seen -- and experienced -- this magnificent fair, you are in for a treat, and some inconveniences. Most importantly, you must see all of the flowers and the tiendas at and around the Fair Grounds here in Boquete.  During these eleven days you also need to be extremely careful, especially while driving and in planning your activities. In recent years there have been well in excess of 100,000 visitors to Boquete. Last year that number was closer to 200,000, and some predictions for 2017's Fair are closer to 300,000 people coming to our area to see the Fair. Traffic congestion will be the norm. Getting seats in restaurants will be difficult at times. Parking spaces will essentially be nonexistent. Buying groceries may be difficult and time consuming. Busses will be parked on the side streets, making driving difficult. There will be lots (as in LOTS) of people walking, standing around the bridge and the Feria and the many tiendas (small shops and stands [kiosks]) while taking pictures, talking, viewing the scenery, etc. Please be extremely attentive while driving, and drive slowly. Some streets will be blocked and require passes to use them. Other streets will simply be blocked based on congestion. Please be careful of your personal items, such as purses and wallets. Having so many people in one area creates a prime target for pickpockets and other maliantes to do their thing. To repeat, most importantly, you must see all of the flowers and the tiendas at and around the Fair Grounds here in Boquete.  Three closing thoughts. First: enjoy. Second: be safe. Third: you might wish to post your pictures, comments, reviews, etc., here on CL (start a topic or reply to an existing topic in http://www.chiriqui.life/forum/118-boquete-feria-de-las-flores-y-del-café/).   To provide general feedback or ask for help regarding Chiriqui.Life, please leave a posting in Problems, Feedback and Suggestions or email support@chiriqui.life or private message to @Admin_01.

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  1. Bud

    ARF Thanksgiving Meal

    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.
    5 Points
  2. Roger B

    Keeping It Classy On Boquete.ning

    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.
    5 Points
  3. Bonnie

    My Experience Dealing with Death in Panama

    My husband died in Hospital Chiriqui on June 22, 2016. Fortunately, I had attended the class sponsored by Boquete Hospice and Heath Care Foundation on the subject of how to prepare for death in Panama so as to satisfy government requirements and facilitate arrangements required of one's next of kin or designated representative. On the whole, the procedures are as outlined by Hospice, and I encourage everyone who has not already to retrieve the various forms from the Hospice website [www. boquetehospice.org/ ], complete them, and put them where they are available to whoever will be handling your affairs following your passing. I will concentrate in this post on procedures I found to be somewhat different from the advice given by Hospice and on those which I found to be extraordinarily important. The importance of having a "living will" cannot be overstated. My husband was hospitalized for 16 days, in and out of intensive care. On day 12 or thereabouts, he was moved from intensive care back to his room in a regular ward, and the doctor informed me that all his organs were failing and that he would not recover. Nevertheless, he was hooked up to a ventilator, and kidney dialysis was scheduled for later that day. He was on intravenous morphine and was unconscious, and had been for several days. I produced his living will, the doctor perused it carefully and checked with hospital administration/legal. The hospital agreed to honor it. My husband died peacefully--still unconscious and still on morphine--four days later. Gracias a Dios, I had gone to trouble and expense of having living wills for both of us drawn up by our lawyer less than a year previously. It is my understanding that only living wills that are in Spanish and that are executed by a lawyer--with all the appropriate embossing, stamps, and signatures--are honored by the Panama medical community. Don't put this off, and, however tight your budget may be, find the money in it to pay for this important document. I found the Hospice written materials somewhat unclear about two documents required for the funeral home and the Electoral Tribunal. The funeral home will issue the death certificate, but only upon the presentation of a different certificate or declaration of death issued by the attending physician. Sometimes, I understand, the doctor himself will deliver this declaration to the funeral home, particularly in Boquete. In my case, where the death was in a hospital in David, I was responsible for getting this declaration from the doctor and taking it with me to the funeral home. Perhaps routinely or perhaps fortunately, my doctor had it prepared and waiting for me at the nurse's station in the hospital. I took it, as well as other paperwork recommended by Hospice, to the funeral home (Funeraria del Retiro, in my case), where I graciously was met by Pedro Gonzalez, my insurance agent, who served as translator and witness. (My son also was with me, but he was ineligible to service as a witness because he is not a resident of Panama.) I paid for the services of the funeral home, the cremation, and copies of the death certificate (in cash), signed some papers, and was on my way in just over 30 minutes. The funeral home handled all the paperwork with the Tribunal Electoral, so these steps as outlined by Hospice were unnecessary. After I reported the death to the U.S. Embassy in Panama City, the Embassy sent me multiple copies of a document entitled "Report of the Death of an American Citizen Abroad." This is invaluable when dealing the entities in the U.S. (insurance companies, banks, credit card companies, etc.) because it is in English. The Embassy took the necessary steps to stop social security payments. Finally, I would like to put in a plug for having maximum insurance coverage. I never saw the bill (and don't want to) because my insurance paid it in full directly to the hospital. It had to have been enormous, particularly since my husband spent so much time in intensive care. As an example, I noted on the bottle of morphine that it costs $500, and I'm sure he received more than one bottle intravenously over a 24-hour period, and he received morphine for at least 12 days. It's my understanding that the public hospital does not provide morphine free of charge, so without adequate insurance or cash reserves, a patient may undergo substantial suffering. The care at Hospital Chiriqui was excellent, particularly in intensive care, and the two doctors handling my husband's case were superb. They were available at any time, were communicative, were forthright, and were very caring. All of this relieved much of the burden that accompanies so emotionally draining an experience. In short, because we decided to make the financial sacrifice and purchase good health insurance, both my husband's suffering and my own were greatly ameliorated. I would be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to thank the Boquete community for all of its support via phone calls, emails, and personal visits. And a special thanks goes to my friends who brought food to the house so that my son and I could return home to a good meal after a long, trying day at the hospital. I have endeavored to thank folks individually, but it's likely that someone was missed. So a heartfelt thanks to everyone for being so kind and supportive.
    5 Points
  4. WryAwry

    My Experience Dealing with Death in Panama

    Dear Bonnie, It strikes that one of the most important aspects of existence in life is a fundamental recognition of the simple fact that our time here on this beautiful earth is limited; that for each and every one of us, one journey ends, and the sendero to the next begins in a place we cannot know and will never fully understand. In my own reckoning, to pursue life and living is to pursue dignity and honor, and your actions and your words demonstrate the very essence of honor and dignity as you and your loved ones face the difficult realities of your beloved husband's passing. May I be so bold as to salute your grace and aplomb in this most trying of times, and may the strength of your character sustain you with ease and grace in those moments when you most need them. With deepest respect, Dav
    5 Points
  5. Dear People, I'm so sorry to have omitted important information, when posting news of Parmigiano's 35% discount for lunch dishes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, ending June 30, 2016. Beverages are not included in this offer. This offer cannot be combined with any other discount or offer. Parmigiano Restaurant is located in Boquete, diagonally across from Sugar and Spice, on the right side of the road, just after The Fish House, when leaving town and driving toward David. Conversely, it is approximately 300 meters after Hotel Fundadores, on the left, when entering Boquete, driving from David. I take full responsibility for this oversight. 'Twasn't Penny's doing or Parmigiano's, for that matter. I wrote the blurb and posted it. Thank you for your patience. Barbara Phillips, Alto Dorado, Boquete, Chiriqui, Panamá.
    5 Points
  6. Brundageba

    Keeping It Classy On Boquete.ning

    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.
    4 Points
  7. Keith Woolford

    Keeping It Classy On Boquete.ning

    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.
    4 Points
  8. Roger B

    "Water Works" Project Boquete District

    What I like about this is that I see the community very well interested in the project and participating actively with the authorities when a concern and doubts arise. People have become the Project's inspector. That is good. It is the way to address any problem that could affect the good performance of the project in the future. The contractor is aware that people are concerned and vigilant of the work they are doing. All of you keep doing it. I have seen in other parts of Panama that people do not participate in checking the projects and denouncing anything bad happening and then start complaining when the job is finished and very difficult to address the problem. Good Job!!
    4 Points
  9. Yesterday, July 31, Anouk (our 2 year old rescue Husky) was scheduled for the Amigos de Animales spay/neuter clinic. We arrived an hour and a half earlier than the appointed start time and discovered other pet owners with their animals already waiting in the parking lot. Anouk was excited. A novel car ride, no food or water since last evening, and other dogs barking caused her to jump around inside the vehicle. Not an easy task trying to calm her. Finally she takes a nap. We were fortunate to be assigned a low number for the surgery line. Bud waited in the registration area and I stayed with Anouk in the car. Some drivers came speeding into the lot and parked close to the building to unload their crates containing dogs and cats. The scene that caught my attention and touched my heart was the Indigenous family that walked to the clinic with the little boy carrying his special pet dog. At the appointed hour, volunteers put equipment (e.g., cages, etc.) in place, opened the doors, and the program began. First step was a short registration procedure, which Bud took care of while I sat with Anouk in the car. Lots of people, noisy animals, and all kinds of activity -- but well organized. I was impressed how helpful and friendly all volunteers and team members were. Mr. Huff (don't know his first name) explained the routine. We watched and accompanied Anouk as she started through the process. That the helpers knew their role and the routine of animals moving along the surgery line was obvious. A well organized and trained staff of people were at their assigned stations, starting with Dra Chely administrating the anesthesia, others shaving the animal before surgery, tattooing the letter "S" in the animal's ear, hand carrying the dog or cat to the appropriate surgery table for the operation, and then making certain each patient received an injection of vitamins and antibiotics before receiving individual monitoring and rubbing on the "wake-up" blankets. Dra "Ingrid" (don't know her full name) was the vet that operated on Anouk. Sigrid was the attendant who took good care of Anouk at the recovery station, petting her, checking vital signs, etc., until Anouk was awake enough to go home. A "trolley" carried our 40 plus pound dog to our vehicle and placed her (half asleep) in the back of the SUV for the trip home. Anouk doesn't like it, but after getting her home we placed a bonnet (parabolic collar) around her neck to keep her from scratching or licking her wound. We had already purchased such a collar at Melo based on recommendations of some friends. We hope this helps in the healing process. Now the job is trying to keep her quiet (no cat chasing) for the next several days! Here are some pictures that Bud took with his iPhone during our time at the Clinic. The shaving/preparation station. (That is Anouk, out like a light). The tattoo station (that is not Anouk, but another pet, and another awaiting the procedure). Anouk on the operating stand with Dra "Ingrid" and a helper. Some of the volunteers at the recovery station with a small kitten. Magaly, part of Anouk's "rescue team". Magaly is super nice and so helpful. (Well, actually all the volunteers were wonderful!) Magaly is very special to us because she is one of the people who brought Anouk into our lives. Marcelyn looking after Anouk at the post-surgery clean up station, and also where some shots are administered. Sigrid helping bring Anouk back to the real world, and checking vital signs, etc.
    4 Points
  10. Keith Woolford

    Let's Not Do Politics

    If I run across reports of local or regional current events, I'm inclined to take a few minutes to share with others. It's information.
    4 Points
  11. Hello: MarieElanie yes it is very probable there will be biometric data collected. Price depends on the nationality. To make it simple: 1- Those who travel to Panama with an air ticket, and do not require visa, Decree 167 attached states it is $517.00. 2- For those that require stamped visa in Panama's Consulate abroad before entering Panama, those will pay $1,022.00, and 3- Those who require stamped Visas to enter Panama after verification by Panama's Homeland Security Council, those are restricted nationalities (Cuba, India, China, etc) those pay $2,102.00. Reading thoroughly Decree 167 of 2016 already states that when this 2 year permits expire, ID's may be extended with requirements based on Executive Decree 169 of 2015 (which has almost the same requirements and prices). But, eligibility seems to depend on having entered one year before June 3 of 2016 to Panama. As I said before the government has not clarified the matter. Give me your like, if this helped will ya? Carmen Pan Global Legal Services
    4 Points
  12. Roger B

    Who Joins Boquete Ning?

    Danielle/Olga With all the due respect I dont think that having lived some years in Panama and having been married with a Panamanian give her the truth about Panama and Panamanians. She has written so many things that are not correct, biased and with wrong and false information. I did posted a couple of times some corrections of her posting but .... looks like she didnt like it to much. That is why I did mainly participated at Boquete.Ning. Just to clarify facts and information given wrongly to the members. But you know what I got tired of this and did not really care any more. I was one of the couple of real panamanian participating at Boquete.ning giving information, facts and help to many members of NIng.
    4 Points
  13. Hil

    Vietnam

    Vietnam 45 years and 20 days ago I came home. Would I do it again? NO WHY? This war had nothing to do with our national interest or in defense of our nation. Unjustified wars kill innocent soldiers and civilians. Are there justified wars? Yes. 45 years and 20 days ago I came home to the USA. Too many sleepless nights with nightmares in the past 45 years. Have a nice memorial day everyone. LikeShow more reactions CommentShare
    4 Points
  14. Under Lee's guidance, participation, collaboration, and even dissension were encouraged which provided a wealth of information and a broad spectrum of opinion. All of which made .ning a true community forum, imo. I also miss our always friendly chats and verbal jousts that were exchanged when we would bump into each other.
    4 Points
  15. Abigayle

    Loving Memory of Joe Sudol

    Silence was a great indicator that something was wrong. No emails or phone calls came from our long time friend. We were unable to communicate with him in any way. Just recently, we saw a post on another site, that forced us to realize our greatest fears. Our friend had passed. The purpose of this message is to memorialize Joe Sudol, in the best way we can. Although Joe lived in the area for much longer than many of you, he was not well known. Joe had a few close friends, but did many things for people in the community that went unnoticed, by his own design. One example of this was a young man that did yard work and wanted to attend the police academy. At that time, the candidates needed to pay for their own uniforms, as well as other expenses. Joe and another man got together and provided these items. What seemed like a long time passed, and Joe being Joe, began to wonder if he had been taken. One day, he was told that someone was at the gate to see him. Joe approached the gate to find a newly installed member of the local police force, grinning at him. While Joe would never purchase a drum for a school age child, claiming there were far too many already, Joe silently did more than his share, in a very direct manor. When my friend Alison gave me a sad example of the need for shoes, for school age children. Joe helped me to deliver the containers of shoes that my husband and I shipped in our container. Many were handed out through the dental unit through Mario and Linda, but Joe knew the need on the back roads. Many shoes were tried on and handed out via the tailgate system of our pickup truck. Joe also enlisted the help of Rod, who owned a shoe factory, in bringing in shoes to help our "soles for souls" project. Joe helped me get settled into our new home, while Jim was back in Missouri for the first six months. He taught me how to shop, showing me the ropes of David. He mowed, hung pictures and taught me how to cook in the Panamanian style. He showed me how to plant my first pineapple top and later shared it with me. Joe loved nature, feeding dogs and hawks alike. He had a special love of hawks and claimed he never observed them taking out birds, sharing their space, as the hawks were well fed. Joe knew all the out of the way places to fish and enjoyed going there on his own. He loved the beaches. He loved the people. He loved life. He and I shared a history of retiring from teaching. Financial planning was another one of his professions, in later years. Joe enjoyed that back roads on his motorcycle and would travel into areas most expats had never seen. If you had discussions with Joe, you know that you were not likely to change his opinion on anything, anytime soon. Hopefully, he approves this memorial and is smiling down, with a good cigar in his mouth. Kira and Chelsea, I know he will live on forever in your hearts. With the best of memories, friends Abby and Jim Lofgren
    4 Points
  16. 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 Spanish. I can't tell you the number of times that I said something that I thought was Spanish and a Panamanian had no idea what I was trying to say. Learning a new language is both painful and funny. And valuable, if you are planning to live here. I recognize that the younger you are, the easier it is to pick up a new language. The younger you are, the easier it is to pick up anything. Dancing, cooking, skiing, reading, and algebra. OK, maybe not algebra. Only geeks pick up algebra easily. I think people who learn algebra easily have a genetic abnormality that allows them to absorb fairly useless information and then find a way to make it usable. But I digress. Speaking Spanish helps you navigate life here in the restaurants, stores, and community. You can order food, ask directions, tell someone you need help, and tell your workers what you need done. You can chit-chat on the corner with Boqueteños you have met instead of just saying "hola" and quickly walking on. The Boqueteños will respect you for speaking Spanish. Even if you can barely get your idea across, you are trying. You are valuing them enough to make the effort to learn their language. Believe me, it goes a long way (even if you have to use Charades and Spanglish.) Now that you are motivated, where do you start? There are teachers or schools here who will get you on the right path. I've seen private teachers advertise on Boquete News. Habla Ya usually offers reduced rates in September. Duo-lingo is a free online language program and it is pretty good. I've heard good things about Rosetta Stone. The big difficulty with these programs is making yourself do it every day. For those of us who don't don't commit to adhering to a daily schedule, it won't work. If you're paying someone to teach you, you'll most likely show up. When I first got here, I took an immersion class. I spent five hours a day taking individual lessons in Panama City. My favorite Spanish phrases were: "No entiendo." or "Como se dice?" I experienced huge headaches on a daily basis. I often cried out of frustration. I learned a lot of Spanish. It was a wonderful experience. Here's some other ways to teach yourself the language. * Read children's books in Spanish. * Listen to Spanish songs. Play one song over and over until you can pick out the words. i especially like Besame Mucho. La Bamba is also popular. * Force yourself to speak to the Boqueteños in town. Expect to be misunderstood or have a good laugh at your own expense. It's a bonding experience. * Pay a local to talk to you for an hour. You are not paying for a teacher, just someone to practice with, so you can work with any native speaker. * Watch telenovelas on TV. The actors speak more slowly and clearly than Boqueteños do. * When watching shows in English, use Spanish sub-titles. This will help you learn new words. It is how I learned that "cabron" and "Cabra" mean two different things. One of these words isn't something you want to call a man. At least not to his face. * Check this out on you-tube. It recommends You Tube videos to learn Spanish. https://www.brainscape.com/blog/2011/04/youtube-channels-learn-spanish/ * Learn the most common nouns, verbs and phrases first. Practice them throughout the day. Put stickies around the house with your new words on them so you see them all the time. Think of how a child learns their language- through repetition. You will need to learn and say a new word over and over again until your brain can spit it out again easily. Laugh at yourself and your mistakes. Don't give up. Rendirse es para los cobardes. Giving up is for sissies.
    4 Points
  17. Keith Woolford

    Annual water/garbage rate discrimination

    Rates for water service and garbage collection in the District of Boquete are determined by location, not by nationality. When I'm at the Tesoreria on Tuesday I will obtain a copy of the rate guide and post it here.
    3 Points
  18. Bonnie

    Hope for the New Year

    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."
    3 Points
  19. I think the hype is unconscionable. Among its worst aspects are that many people end up in financial ruin after selling everything and moving only to discover living abroad unsuitable for a variety of reasons seldom addressed in the hype. Then, they often lose money or haven't sufficient money to return home. Another issue is that the hype encourages people to expatriate who should never live in a foreign country. In my role as U.S. Warden, I received a call on Christmas Eve about a U.S. expat who had suffered a stroke and, having no insurance, was in Hospital Regional. Her husband, who suffers from dementia, had wandered into a neighbors' house. These folks should be home where family and/or social services would have helped them.
    3 Points
  20. They make it sound so easy. Only 4 hours to Houston, 2-1/2 hours to Florida from Panama City! What they don't say is first you have to get to Panama City, then wait maybe 4 hours for your next flight, because if you don't take the early flight from David, you will miss the international flight. So a 4 hour trip to Houston, factoring in the time of driving to David and all the waiting, is actually 12 hours. It took me 16 hours to get to San Antonio, and 19 hours altogether to get to Seattle. You're right B, it is hype.
    3 Points
  21. WryAwry

    Keeping It Classy On Boquete.ning

    Agreed, Keith, and most wholeheartedly!
    3 Points
  22. Keith Woolford

    Keeping It Classy On Boquete.ning

    The offensive postings on boquete.ning continue to dominate one discussion after another about U.S. politics. Don't recall seeing any discussions pertaining to Jewish life. Telling people to bypass streams they don't want to read is fine but that is not 'moderation'. The overall tone and reputation of a site suffer when that type of dialogue keeps showing up and is allowed to stand. The opening of a discussion here on the same subject matter which has fomented such a display of hatred and vile discourse elsewhere, seems counter-productive to the goals of this site. It's a slippery slope.
    3 Points
  23. Penny

    Keeping It Classy On Boquete.ning

    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
    3 Points
  24. Gordon Bakke

    Keeping It Classy On Boquete.ning

    SO concerned? Hardly. Posts about .ning rarely appear here anymore since so many of us were banned from that site for minor infractions. To say that posts over there are the responsibility of the person posting is disingenuous, as MANY conversations over there have been closed down solely at the whim of the moderator(s). At a certain point, I think, when the content that appears there becomes blatantly racist, there is a good reason for stepping in to stop it. As others have said, it reflects poorly on both the site as well as the community we live in. I would post a couple of pictures from the thread I referenced, but they are SO over the top offensive that I'll leave it to you do your own research.
    3 Points
  25. JudyS

    One Night in India

    until

    I think $55 for one person is a lot of money to spend on a dinner in Boquete. I've never spent that much for an Indian dinner anywhere.
    3 Points
  26. Woody

    Poll For A New Idea

    Whoa. Let's do a little time out on this. First, Penny has always added the News Boquete postings to CL. That has been a bone of contention in the past from some people who feel that it is redundant to their other information sources. So be it, but this post seems to be consistent with what Penny has been doing. Second, the OPs may not be using perfect grammar, but what they have used is far better than the Spanglish grammar used by most gringos. I have an admiration for anyone who appears to be striving to make an honest living, and I'm not going to look for a snake under this rock. Lastly, I do not expect CL admins to vet every post on here. In fact, I would probably drop this site from my reading list if I found out that they were over-extending their censorship abilities and providing "truth" as they determined it. Sorry, but this hit too many of my hot buttons to let it pass without stating an opinion.
    3 Points
  27. Bud

    New Eatery at Plaza San Francisco - The Garden

    Marcelyn and I recently came across a new, small and cozy restaurant at Plaza San Francisco. The name is "The Garden". It is located immediately to the right of Mort's Bakehouse. Plaza San Francisco is becoming a "happening place". And plenty of parking. We have been to The Garden twice, and both times were pleasant experiences. The Garden is not a typical restaurant where you go in, sit down (or wait to be seated), and then order from a menu. There are menus, but ordering is more cafeteria style. You go to the end of the food line (farthermost point from the front door) and go through various stations to order drinks, salads, soups, veggies, main courses, etc. They have many of what we would call healthy foods, such as protein drinks, vegan dishes, organic salads, etc. Be forewarned that the food is excellent, and the servings are large. At our second visit, some friends joined us and their orders included a smoked trout plate (which was described as the best he had ever had, and she ordered a wonderful chicken, rice, and black bean plate, with an enormous salad). Hours of operation are Mondays to Fridays from 9:00AM to 5:00PM, and the lunch menu (salads, soups, baked potatoes, hamburgers, etc.) starts at 11:00AM. Currently closed on weekends. The prices are very reasonable, and the ambiance is warm and inviting. The wall mural adds so much to the dining experience. The operators are Andrew Foote and his wife Romsey. The decor was well planned and executed to give one the feeling of being in a garden (hence the name The Garden). The Garden also sells fresh seafood. They are wanting Panamanians to bring their products in for display, such as honey, aprons, coffees, etc. -- locally made, produced, and grown items. Here are some pictures that Romsey made available to us:
    3 Points
  28. Penny

    The scary rise in the cost of food

    When I came to Panama in 2003, bananas were 3 for $.10. In the last several years they've been $.10 each. This morning my produce clerk told me he had to start selling them be the pound for $.50/lb. How many bananas in a pound I asked. The answer is 3 or 4. This is a 500% increase in the price of bananas in the last 13 years. The same is true for other commodities. Rice had doubled in price until price controls were introduced. I honestly can't understand how a $400/month employee feeds his family. These price increases are just a nuisance to most of us who draw a social security check. However, to Panamanians, they are devastating. One of the small things we can do is to support the Buenos Vecinos de Boquete food distribution program. Rising prices have badly hurt their ability to provide a subsistence quantity of food to their desperately poor and handicapped clients. They are an all volunteer organization and stretch every donated dollar. They deliver food to more than 100 local families monthly. The next time they send out their "Family of the Month" plea for donations. Please reach into your heart and your pocketbook. You can adopt a family, get to know that family, and provide other assistance on a face to face basis. So much better (up close and personal) than a routine donation to United Way in your native country.
    3 Points
  29. Penny

    Thank You Rodny

    The transformer in my neighborhood has been making very loud explosions this morning. Three in a row with the electricity going out for about 10 seconds each time before coming back on. This booming has all the dogs in the neighborhood cowering and is very disconcerting. Plus my neighbors report that flames shoot out of their electrical outlets each time it happens. My experience in the past is that Union Fenosa is not real responsive to calls for help. This morning I decided to put the matter into Rodny's hands. Union Fenosa was on my street within 30 minutes searching for my house. Between calls between me, Rodny, and the Union Fenosa driver we got him to the right spot and they're here right now with their ladder up the pole. Good work Rodny !!!!
    3 Points
  30. JudyS

    Death in Panama: Dying at Home

    Bonnie Williams mentioned to me that some people have commented to her that they think the procedure followed for someone dying in Boquete (at home) is different than what she explained in her post about Larry dying in the hospital in David. Having just gone through that experience of my husband dying at home, I want to say that except for a few details, what she explained applies to a home death too. Here is the procedure I went through. It might be useful to know. Sam's death was not unexpected. He was not sick in the sense of needing doctors and ongoing medical care, so he did not have an ongoing relationship with a doctor. If a person dies without a doctor having known his condition, the police can get involved, and an autopsy can be ordered to rule out a crime. Wanting to avoid such a horror, I called Dra. Diaz and asked her to come and examine Sam so she could verify his condition, make a record, and establish a relationship, however brief. It was worth the effort, because when he died, I called her to pronounce it, and everything went smoothly - no police, no autopsy. If you do not have a relationship with a doctor in Boquete, make an appointment and get examined to establish a medical record so the doctor will know who you are if you die. Prior to Sam's death a person from hospice who is fluent in Spanish called the funeral home to alert them. She called them again when he died, and asked them to pick up his body. Dra. Diaz filled out the Report of Death which I gave to the driver of the hearse. I did not have to do anything, and I did not pay until I picked up the ashes. I did not have to go to the funeral home or to the Tribunal Electoral. The funeral home (Retiro, the same one Bonnie used - excellent professional operation) took care of everything - transporting the body from my house to David, transporting the body to Panama City for cremation, bringing the ashes back to David, and getting the death certificates from the Tribunal. There was a 2-day turn around time. They called me when they had the ashes. I went to David and paid them in cash, collected the ashes and the death certificates, and went home. Different funeral homes might have different procedures. I know only about the procedures of Retiro and would recommend them, because they made the whole experience stress-free and dignified. Above all, if a death is expected, get Boquete Hospice involved. Their help and support was beyond valuable. I don't know what I would have done without them.
    3 Points
  31. I just received the following email from Karinthia Lamastus, who is the manager of eShop Boquete. I am posting her email with her permission. My interpretation of this message is that this action by Panamanian officials affected ALL carriers, such as eShop Boquete, MBE Boquete, Airbox Express, etc., etc., for the specified time frame.
    3 Points
  32. Jim and Judi

    US Notary Rules and Virtual Notarization

    I don't have a ning membership any longer so thought it would be helpful to post this here and remind folks to be very careful about virtual notarizations. I noticed on ning that Olga has offered to notarize a document for someone while she is in Florida and the individual in Boquete. She claims that " There are ways of doing that in today's technology times." Some states do allow virtual notarization (not Florida) however, many organizations will not accept them even if from a state where they are allowed. Best to check in advance to see if a virtual notarization, from a state in which they are allowed, will be accepted. Directly from Florida's Dept of State: May I notarize a signature without the person being present if another person swears that the person signed the document? No! The Notary Section receives frequent inquiries about "notarizing a person's signature by subscribing witness." Evidently, some notaries believe that it is permissible to notarize a signature when the person is not present if someone who witnessed the signing of the document appears before the notary and swears that the person actually signed the document. Some states, like California, do, in fact, allow such notarizations, but Florida does not. Misunderstanding may also stem from a section in Florida law that provides a method by which instruments concerning real property may be entitled to recording in Florida when the document signer cannot appear before a notary to acknowledge his or her signature. You may hear this procedure referred to as "proof of execution by subscribing witness." Not only is a Florida notary not permitted to notarize virtually, they are also not permitted to notarize any document while outside the state of Florida. This is pretty much standard for all notaries in all states, with a few exceptions.
    3 Points
  33. Twin Wolf Technology Group

    Ning Wants Donations?

    I believe that Lee used to pay for Ning annually every year in July. The current Ning hosting fee based on having more than 1,000 members and less than 10,000 memebers is $600 per year. It appears that all of the old sponsors have not renewed their advertising. Currently there are two local sponsors and one non-local sponsor listed, all of which appear to be fairly new ads. For awhile there was an ad giving an email address to write to if you wanted to be an advertiser (sponsor); however that email address in fact did not exisit. After a few weeks it was removed. My guess would be that as it is time to pay the annual hosting fee, they will be looking for sponsors and/or donations. It would not surprised me to see JLM asking members for donations. Perhaps the long term "Ning is awesome" cheerleaders can now put money to their words and help pay JLM for the service it provides. Without enough revenue from advertising, they will need to find another source of revenue to cover the basic costs of hosting and whatever they are paying Ambreen and Olga. I doubt JLM will continue to just give the Boquete Ning forum to the community as a free service if they do not find a way to either make money or at least cover expenses. It is a reminder to all Chiriqui Life members that community forums like this one have expenses. Those that use this forum owe Bud and Marcelyn a big thank you as they donate the entire cost of hosting and operating this forum.
    3 Points
  34. Brundageba

    Let's Not Do Politics

    I appreciate Keith's information sharing , as well his POV.
    3 Points
  35. Pat

    Let's Not Do Politics

    I enjoy the CL comments from Keith Woolford. Always well documented and current information. Too bad you have such a narrow view. If you don't enjoy his input then just don't read it. I think this website lets you automatically ignore someone.
    3 Points
  36. Penny

    Let's Not Do Politics

    I don't think news items about the ex-Panamanian president qualify as "politics" and, at the least shouldn't be the kind of politics we want to avoid on this site.
    3 Points
  37. Franagain

    Kids camp fund raiser

    Why is it ''suspicious'' to require information about a group which solicits cash donations? Not everyone knows about this organization. If anything is ''suspicious'', it is a group unwilling to provide information about itself and its purpose.
    3 Points
  38. Sr. Bellini, You must be well aware how rare and unusual your thoughtful and thought-provoking contributions have always been on these expat forums -- it leads one to believe that your contributions as a citizen of Panama, the country you so clearly love, must be equally profound and positive. Those of us that arrived in Panama later in life, and those lucky souls that remain in those green, green hills and along those beautiful shores, are blessed to have such a comprehensive source of calm advice and eminently informed opinion. I personally consider it an honor to have been exposed to your always-welcome observations, which so often apply perfectly to the greater world-at-large, far beyond the borders of your homeland. Voy a mirar hacia adelante a la lectura de sus pensamientos y opiniones durante mucho tiempo venir. Gracias, Sr., Dav
    3 Points
  39. MarieElaine

    Migration Crisis in Panama Continues

    Met about a dozen Cuban refugees on my last border run at Paso Canoas in March at La Morenita Hostel on the Panama side. I was impressed with most of these 25 to 35 year olds trying to make a better life for themselves and their families. Two English teachers were faced with earning $25 per month as professionals with degrees and both worked in the casinos where they made more and received tips. Doctors earn about $50 per month in Cuba. While I am certain there are "dead beats" among these refugees looking for a hand out from the US, I would welcome any of the Cubans I met into my home.
    3 Points
  40. Great information and great presentation. Thanks from all animal lovers.
    3 Points
  41. 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 the work I had done. When I wrote to say how destructive this action had been to me, this organization let me know what they thought of me. Nothing. I was never dignified with a response. When I told others about my experience, I was saddened to learn that although there are some organizations here in Boquete who treat their volunteers like the gods and goddesses they are, many don't. Here are some examples of other volunteers who have had bad experiences. "I kept showing up and they weren't organized so I sat around doing nothing and waited for them to get their stuff together. My time is valuable- but not to them." "I love what they do. But they don't treat their people well. Maybe it's a power thing. They feel like they don't need to be nice since they have a lot of volunteers, so they're not." "They didn't train me and frankly the job they gave me was a bad fit for me. They called me on the carpet and told me I wasn't trying hard enough. I was humiliated." "I told them about a serious problem I was having with another volunteer and they just ignored me." This list could go on and on. But I'll stop here. Do your own experiment. Ask people who have volunteered how they were treated, and I guarantee that in addition to hearing good experiences, you too will get horror stories from hurt/angry folks. It ain't pretty. When we first came to Panama 13 years ago, there really weren't any volunteer agencies except for fund-raising organizations like the 20-30 charity. As Boquete residents saw so many needs in the community, grass roots efforts began to grow. Soon, animals were being neutered and hungry were people being fed. As needs were recognized, volunteer organizations began to grow. I'm amazed and awed by their dedication and service. But I am also really saddened by the stories I hear of how many volunteers are being treated. Some may argue that these volunteers (including me) should have stuck around and tried to make things better. Somebody told me to develop a thicker skin. But if you want to volunteer to make things better in Chiriqui, there are organizations that help the handicapped, give us great jazz and blues, knit baby blankets, provide care for the sick and dying, help stop crime, lead us toward God, sterilize or rescue animals, feed hungry folk, and share their love of nature, the arts, and photography. What it boils down to is that if these organizations want to keep their friends, they need to be nice to their friends. All the people quoted above quit volunteering at the agencies who treated them poorly and moved on to other volunteer opportunities. Why stay friends with someone who isn't nice to you? Folks who volunteer do so because they like the social interaction, they like the feeling that giving to others gives back to them, they like the satisfaction of seeing their good works come to fruition in all sorts of ways: people dancing to good jazz, a once abused dog finding a good home, a dying patient finding solace at the end of their life, or a new born baby all cuddly and warm in a hand-knitted blanket. Those agencies who cultivate and keep their volunteers happy are those who thank them and then thank them again- verbally, in writing, in their newsletters, with certificates or other tokens of affection and with parties. Parties are a huge way of saying thanks: these celebrations encourage their volunteers to eat drink and be merry, have fun with all these other folk who are as wonderful as you are for giving so much. Volunteers also like to hear how they've made a difference. Not just in statistics, but in individual stories of the positive ways they have impacted the community. But the most important thing is for a volunteer is to feel that his/her specific gifts are being used and are being appreciated. That their time and talents are valuable to and respected by the cause that they are giving their blood sweat and tears to. That when there is a problem (and as long as there are people, there are problems), that they will be listened to and some kind of action will be taken- even if it isn't what they necessarily envisioned it to be. That the friends that they have been nice to are being nice back to them. My next blog will highlight an agency in town who has a reputation for doing superb work and treating their volunteers well. Amigos de Animales.
    3 Points
  42. Brundageba

    Border Collie mix needs foster home or adoption

    Regarding dog rescue...... Let me say that this dog and my husband have fallen in love. Bill and I will be celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary in a sweet little beach house rental that will allow us to take Flossy...(try figure) Our lives now seem to revolves around the dog.(..and it's a GOOD thing......something different, unexpected and very special). This dog is now an essential part of our life. Thanks again Judy, Dottie, Javier and Magaly ,Ruby and the entire team. You are making lives for dogs better................ but as well....ours !!!! Alison
    3 Points
  43. Bonnie

    How to assimilate into the Boquete community

    Having left friends and family behind, folks moving here often experience feelings of alienation and loneliness. As a resident of Boquete for over nine years, I offer the following suggestions for assimilating into the community as a whole: become a volunteer for one or more charitable or civic organizations and attend functions that support those organizations. Most have a broad membership base and more participants than you are likely to come to know through neighborhood and special interest groups (although those are important, too). Among the many charitable and civic organizations are Amigos de Animales de Boquete (spaying and neutering of dogs and cats); ARF (adoption, rescue, fostering, and feeding homeless dogs and cats); Boquete Community Players, better known as BCP (community events center); Biblioteca de Boquete (library, educational, and cultural center); Boquete Knitters and Quilters (making warm garments for infants and children of impoverished families); Buenos Vecinos de Boquete (feeding the handicapped and impoverished); Fundacion Pro Integracion (serving the disabled); Rotary Club (supporting the community primarily through education and water availability support); the Santa Lucia Kids Camp (providing summer activities for children). There are others that have slipped my mind in my haste to post this, and I invite responders to mention and promote them here. All need helping hands, particularly as their founders and original members grow older and are less able to participate as fully as they once did. When you support these organizations, you not only are making a better community but also are making friends, lots of friends. You are truly becoming a part of the community. The same goes for financial support via attending fundraisers. There are notices throughout the year for functions--patio sales, book sales, bake sales, wine tastings, parties, dinners and food contests, etc., etc.--all of which provide perfect opportunities for meeting people and building a friendship base. Remember too that the above organizations depend on community financial support to continue their vital work. If you make a commitment to become more involved, you can start with attending the Tropical Treats fundraiser for Buenos Vecinos this very weekend. Many other fun fundraisers are in store for the coming months. Boquete makes it easy to assimilate while building a better community for all residents. We oldtimers have found that when we work together, we get things done and make friends.
    3 Points
  44. Roger B

    Migration Crisis in Panama Continues

    Keith You never stop to surprise me!!!! I do like when you post useful information for the members of the site. You are my chiricano-canadiense amigo.
    3 Points
  45. MarieElaine

    Thank You Bonnie!

    I have been loyal to ning only because I was familiar with it's formatting and I was hoping the new management would be an improvement. Well, I finally got "fed up to here" with Olga Suarez jumping all over everyone's posts and bringing up inappropriate subjects and let her have it when she posted that she was going to give out personal information of users for possible interviews by journalists. When Bonnie read these posts she sent me a personal email and told me to join Chiriquí.Life and I am so glad I have. What a pleasure it is to read posts from the entire community and not be criticized by Olga for being "wrong" when she has no personal experience with the topic and doesn't even live here. Her recent post suggested she lives in Boquete when it was my assumption she works for the corp who owns ning out of Miami. Thanks for steering me in the right direction Bonnie.
    3 Points
  46. Jay Stuart

    Stirring the Pot from Florida

    'Ning's chaotic transformation'
    3 Points
  47. Keith Woolford

    Stirring the Pot from Florida

    It's not difficult to see why you find the topic interesting, Roger. When someone suggested recently that I write a book about the adventures and misadventures of expats here I asked them how many volumes they wanted.
    3 Points
  48. Bonnie

    Boquete Ning

    It's been my experience that Olga is not open to the ideas of others. Sharing with her will be a waste of time, as she thinks she has all the answers.
    3 Points
  49. Roger B

    Education in Panama

    Phyllis First, I must apologize for my bad english. I am a better writer and have better redaction skills in spanish and I am so proud of it. I do agree with you that "Opinions are only that.... opinions, but not facts." I will be interested in knowing if you have had the oportunity to visit some schools in Chiriqui, Azuero provinces and Panama City to have an unbiased and real opinion. Is in the field where we could get the real feel and taste of what is hapenning. My scientific training and education has taught me that I only should believe in facts that I could see and confirm. Newspaper articles. Yes, sometimes they are good and sometimes they have their particular agenda. It depend mostly on the owners and who is in the government. Some news are right and correct and other just some half truth just to follow and editorial line with politics goals. With this I am not denying that there is a problem in the educational system in Panama. I am not blind. I admit it. That we must do something soon and do the changes required for a modern education but hold on, that is not a blank check for new theories that need a better and deep scrutiny of the people who really knows about this subject. Some changes proposed are not as good as we thought and I have read some of those past proposal. Teacher and educators should leave their political position and work to a common goal as a country not for any specific political party in the improvement of the education system in the country. Being myself a harsh critic of any government policy that doesn't think and work beyond government's five years period in power, I know that the way we are educating our young people is not the one what we need as a country that is looking for becoming a better and "developed" country. The country will continue its growth despite of what we say or think but the real problem is the balance of the oportunities. The "democratization of the education". Only the kids that graduates from private schools will have the biggest chance of a better education and better quality of life. The others, if they dont do something by themselves will be forced to have a poor education level and as a consecuence of that their chances of having a good job and better quality of life will be very limited. It is not a matter if I am right and you are wrong. This goes beyond who is right or wrong. It has to do with REAL facts. Facts that some people in this country face everyday and sees them everyday. I am still active working and walking around business Panama and what we see and feel is real. Despite of that, I am not pesimistic. I still have high hopes in some young people in Panama and their good education they have.
    3 Points
  50. As someone who is totally dependent on reliable computer resources, I have several machines (both Windows and Macs). The workhorses are the Windows machines. My newest machine, roughly one month old now, never really functioned properly for some of the basic applications that I need. I knew it would be beyond the scope of the resources at the store in David where the computer was purchased. And so I contacted the software vendor of one of the more important applications, but they wanted many hundreds of dollars, and were not willing to guarantee that they would fix the problem. They claimed it was not their software but rather a corrupted .NET and operating system matter (which sounded really serious to me). And then I remembered Dottie Atwater's posting about Twin Wolf (aka Dan Porter) who, like Dottie, is one of the members here on CL. Cutting to the bottom line: impressive is a gross understatement. Everything he did (remotely, of course, which was advantageous to both of us) was way beyond my knowledge. He clearly knows his stuff, and is very easy to work with. The problem was corrected. It turned out not to be a .NET problem as the vendor was claiming, but rather a security conflict/configuration thing between applications and the operating system. If you have computer problems, especially Windows applications or operating system related, then Dan is the guy to go to. You can contact him via a private message on this website, using the display name "Twin Wolf Technology Group". I give a strong recommendation to contact Twin Wolf when you have computer problems, without reservation.
    3 Points