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Everything posted by Bonnie

  1. Where is the most economical place to buy essential oils in Boquete?
  2. In my role as U.S. Warden, I met with Velkys Munoz of Mailboxes, Etc. at her request on Tuesday. She sought my help in relaying to the expat community that customs is now requiring for certain things, including medications, very burdensome paperwork which includes a prescription from the doctor in the originating country, a doctor in Panama, and a signed statement by the recipient that the products are for personal use. Supplements require the signed statement of the recipient, too, as do other items like creams, makeup, etc. The delay time for receiving such items in Boquete therefore is approximately one month after the required paperwork is submitted. I contacted the U.S. Embassy to see if they could obtain a more official account of exactly what is required. The Embassy agreed to contact the Panamanian authorities and, once they have this information, will issue a Message to U.S. Citizens which I will post here. In the meantime, those of you who depend on imported medications need to start well ahead of time on your order if you cannot find the drug(s) in Panama.
  3. If you're out of minutes, you can't call out. But people can still call you. (It's on their dime.)
  4. Thanks, Alan. I'll pass this info on to the Embassy in case they don't know. I'm hoping we will get the official word soon on what is required. The prescription requirement is just word of mouth at this point. But the delays are fact.
  5. until

    Thanks. Sounds great!
  6. I agree with BlueBird. Both potholes and patience are off-subject and, IMO, should be split off into their own categories. This category is about the significant development of delays in the importation of medications and other merchandise because of new customs regulations. It should not be cluttered up with extraneous topics.
  7. until

    Where will this be held? What will be served besides pancakes?
  8. I have a curry tree, Evelyn. PM me if you'd like to drop by and get some leaves.
  9. I had dinner at Retrogusto last week and had a similarly excellent experience. It was on Tuesday night, and the restaurant was packed. That's a good sign.
  10. Where have you seen such postings, Marie? This is the first I've heard about expats leaving in droves and the first I've heard about the Panamanian government being concerned about it.
  11. Poor dog. He looks like he missed a few meals. A special thanks to Juan.
  12. This is totally understandable. But I and many others don't understand the shotgun approach to the immigration and medication problems. The lack of notice too causes hardship. I've never subscribed to the cliche that we expats are "guests" of Panama; no one is putting us up. We're paying our way and paying taxes. But an important element of being a guest is the acceptance of hospitality. So even if you accept the proposition that we're guests, Panama is no longer hospitable in the way it once was. I am hopeful that this will run its course and that more level heads will prevail.
  13. Contact Keith Woolford. He'll handle the entire sale from finding a buyer to taking care of all the paperwork. You'll be glad you did unless you have endless time and patience.
  14. Good. Maybe they can train the security forces here not to confiscate tape measures and lightweight metal bookmarks. It seems like every time I travel they find another obscure object in my purse to confiscate.
  15. The following is an excerpt from an email written by the head of Citizen Services at the U.S. Embassy in Panama to a relative of an expat who lived in Boquete but died in an unspecified hospital in David. I believe this is standard information. It should give everyone an idea of the costs and considerations involved with death here and serve as a reminder that everyone should make next of kin or relatives back home aware of bank accounts, the location of important documents, etc. This is related to one of several cases I am aware of where the family was not informed of any of this and were left with overwhelming problems. In this particular case, there is a hospital bill that must be paid before a certificate of death can be issued, and the family doesn't have the funds to pay the hospital bill and have no idea what kind of funds the deceased might have had or where they might be. It is the death certificate that triggers everything else, so it is a real dilemma. Meanwhile, the body rests in the morgue.
  16. So let them be angry. They should know the traffic laws and, for heaven's sake, there have been enough warnings about how not to park at BCP. And it's downright dangerous around Sugar 'n' Spice because of the poor parking, largely by gringos. If gringos are violating the traffic laws, it's unfair to attribute a ticket to an officer who "dislikes gringos." I suspect it's going to take tickets, trips to David, and fines to bring some folks to their senses. Expats are always complaining about the driving habits of Panamanians, but maybe they should take a good look at themselves.
  17. I wrote my bank asking if my understanding was correct that funds are available at once to a beneficiary. I received the following response: It is correct. The designation of beneficiary at the Banks is good for personal accounts. The funds will be available right away and what the beneficiaries will received is a cashier check. No probate, only the death certificate is required and ID of the beneficiaries.
  18. Absolutely. There are a number of Catch-22 issues. The morgue at the hospital won't release the body to the funeral home until the medical bill is paid. The funeral home won't acquire the death certificate and make arrangements for disposal of the body until it is paid. And without knowing if the deceased had a bank account and, if so, where it is, the relative can't try to access funds to pay the hospital and the funeral home. And, unless the relative is a designated beneficiary, he won't be able to access the funds anyway until after probate. That's why I thought it was important to post this. There's a lot that goes into being prepared.
  19. In answer to your first question, yes. the e-mail address of the citizen services unit is The info on what to do when an American citizen dies can be found on the website at Questions like this can easily be resolved via Google or by going directly to the U.S. Embassy Panama and using its Search function.
  20. Good question. I intend to ask my bank and will report back.
  21. For any of you who still may be confused, the San Miguel building is on the left side of the road if you are headed toward David. It is after Ivan and directly across the street from Merca Max.
  22. Judy, be sure to check on that beneficiary statement now and then. I have one designating my son as beneficiary of my Panamanian bank account, and the bank has lost it twice.
  23. Headed toward David, Ivan is on the left. I think I know where you mean, but those who don't may be confused.
  24. My area of town experienced a near record-breaking power outage this morning: from roughly 2:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. That's a long time--just short of 7 hours--for the fridge and freezer to be off.
  25. This is one of oldest scams in the book. I can't believe people are still falling for it.