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Everything posted by Brundageba

  1. Bonnie said " And my reason for posting was to share that I have not experienced any "changing in the attitude toward expats" by Panamanians. I think your experience was an isolated one." I agree with both Bud and as well Palo Alto Jo. I do believe there's a slow change occurring as Bud mentioned. We had an attorney that we really liked (...even gave a pretty nice wedding gift to that person). Anyway...at the last gasp when our E Cedula was getting completed, the fee was more than doubled. We of course asked why. The answer was "expenses incurred in Panama City". OK so we asked for an itemized invoice. The response we received was beyond rude but was very much directed at us as being Gringos stated very specifically and extremely negatively. We were astounded and as well hurt to say the least ( did I mention angry as well?) . This attorney must have had negative experiences with foreigners. As well this attorney felt it AOK to double a fee on the Gringo client then react when we balked. OK so that attorney lost a client. This is an experience that's hard to forget...and as well explain. I realize that we can't generalize....and won't. Panamanians are still very special in the eyes of my husband and myself.
  2. Agree. In Hawaii, it's lack of space. Homeless are forced into the public arena and common public bathrooms and showers at beaches. Those facilities are plentiful there....but so are bad attitudes from those folks and it could well be drug related. There is no comparison when it comes to just basic kindness and regard for others here among Panamanian citizens of all economic classes. It is immediately noticeable. That said, we are seeing a growth of gang-punk mentality that goes along with drugs and crime here.
  3. Others here were posting comparisons . Changes, struggles with housing and cost of living, and with that sometimes bad attitudes ...thus my 2 cents. In Hawaii the white man and the tourist receive the spit in the face from those who have-not. 1. Rare to see this kind of homelessness in Panama. Penny had mentioned that. 2. When home costs escalate, and no provisions are made for low-middle and low income families such as affordable housing , problems like this Hawaii-homelessness occur. You don't see that severe degree of homelessness here. ( I compare Panama to Hawaii because everybody perceives Hawaii as paradise) In this day and age, most communities have their problems, some worse than others. 3. As a Gringo here happily retired with my memory of the Hawaii I left not too dim, I can easily tune out any bad attitudes directed at me for "causing cost of living problems here ". I am sympathetic, and will do my share to help others, but I will not internalize blame for problems I did not cause.
  4. Homelessness in Hawaii where we came from. From downtown Honolulu ( photo #1) to the beaches from Diamondhead to the North Shore ( #2&3) there are tents and make-shift homes. These are homes with families being raised, furniture inside and all using public facilities to shower and toilet. Paradise?.....nope dangerous. Lots of drug abuse and drug sales. With that goes theft of all kinds with tourists as prey. Our condominium we purchased has tripled in value. It's a 30 yr old building with maintenance fees now at $700/month. I calculated at that rate we would have paid in the area of $100,000.00 in maintenance fees for the two condos we owned since we left 11 years ago....(that's not including utilities BTW). Soooooo, folks ask us "Why did you leave paradise?"....and "What ever do you do there in Panama?" Those are the common questions. Today, I'm doing nothing, enjoying everything turn green and bloom, listening to the birds tweeting and thanking God I'm here ! ( I do a lot of that !)
  5. Coworking and Innovation HUB in Boquete!

    Where we used to live in the states, old stores like Woolworths and Penny's Dept stores that went out of business stayed fallow until some entrepreneur got hold of the building and rented out spaces. The stores then became like little mini malls.
  6. Ya know...possibly he was just curious as to the construction activity and was on a mission to explore. Too bad....and sad for the family...and him!
  7. That's a hike for an old man. Puzzling. Too bad
  8. We just have to not let a bad attitudes ruin our day....or retirement. Thank God the majority here don't have them.
  9. For the family of Dr. Dru Aguilar

    A very very special family & dear friends. Dru left a huge hole in our hearts. Not a day nor hour passes without some thoughts of them. Alison and Bill
  10. 4 Charity Venta de Patio


    Where can donations be left?
  11. For the family of Dr. Dru Aguilar

    She is a Lakota native American. Wakana is of Lakota origin. One interpretation would be "child of God'. Alison
  12. Lots of wind on the coast right now. Big swell and heavy off shore wind. At the change of tide there are strong rip currents . Rips are strongest one hour each side of the tide change. Tide change advances forward about one hour each day. Tide charts are for sale in most large general stores.: "Mareas del Pacifico " $2.00 (Beach babe on the front cover) Parents need to keep an eye on their children and as well not swim if they are drinking alcohol. Not all beaches have lifeguards. Today ( Monday Apr 2) High tide 5 am and 5 pm ....Low tide 11 am Lots of half sunken logs and dangerous debris in the shorebreak at the outgoing tide ( 10 am today )
  13. Happy Easter

    Well she was very selective. She was homeless in our neighborhood for some time. Many neighbors were feeding her as she charmed each one roaming from house to house and sleeping on porches. She had a broken leg as we are told.. (One fellow was making steak for her.) ok so she wanders into our yard when Bill was BBQing some chicken ( her absolute fav) . Bill did the "Shoo shoo go way" thing. But Flossy was a no go. We made a box and she slept outside. Then the rains came with the lightening. She hovered wet in our side shed...shaking. Inside she came. That was 3 yrs ago, Yah so......our lives have changed !
  14. Happy Easter

    Bringing joy is what I do... Happy Easter, Flossy the dog
  15. Somebody please post a picture of Hershel would you? Thanks. We send our condolences and Boquete hugs to Mikey.
  16. Yes MarieElaine the Christmas at Casa Esperanza that year was a bit of a miracle....the 15 of us however had lots of help: many ladies in the USA were sewing stockings for months, monetary donations were collected from our community in large amounts. Some of the gifts ( above the children eating on the floor under the table) came from other donors. It was a small group...but as you can see, a few folks can do a lot when they ask for help. I believe Medellin has similar beneficial organizations that help children. Big city. Keep us posted on your experiences there !
  17. Yup we heard that story too Marcelyn. Here's another....Bill and I would take our surfing photos over there when we got adjusted after our surf trips. Dru and his wife always enjoyed the pictures. Soooooo Dru decides he's going to try surfing, hooked up with a surfboard and I believe he went to Las Olas ( not a user-friendly surf spot) . With a slippery deck of the board, he stood up and did a full split tearing the muscles in his thighs. Took him awhile to get over that. Needless to say, after that he left the surfing to us . ( wax on the deck of the board was probably the missing element !)
  18. Bill and I so hoped that when we heard this earlier today that it was not true ..that it was a mistake. It is beyond our ability to understand how a man who just completed a bicycle marathon from Colon to Panama City could be gone today. My husband was in his office just yesterday afternoon for an adjustment. Dru and his wife have been our good friends for over a decade. We saw them get married, and as well experience the joy of having their child. Then we saw this wonderful family grow together through the years. We had many days sharing our own experiences and hearing theirs. There was always a good laugh. Our life without Dru around is now lacking and today very sad. For his wife and young child we cannot imagine the deep sorrow and as well uncertainty looking forward. We pray for their consolation and comfort. We cry with them. Alison and Bill Brundage
  19. A policeman stopped us for a non-infraction. His dialogue was such that it was obvious he was hunting for some bribe money. While he was talking to my husband I got out of the car with my camera and began to take photos of the scene of our "crime" . The policeman asked my husband what I was doing. Bill told him that she is taking photos that we can take to court with us when we contest this ticket you are writing. At that time I turned towards the policeman and shot this photo. No surprise....he quickly let us go. No harm no foul.
  20. When Bill & I first settled here 11 years ago we did some volunteer work at a local church that served Ngobes. Once a month some 30 or so pastors would come in from the Comarca with their families for lessons, fellowship, payment and medical services. For three days they had meals at the facility. Bill and I agreed to supply and cook one of the 3 dinners for that entire group. We'd cook things that we considered "special" and a bit different than they were used to in amounts that we were sure they would get their fill. (ie pork, vegetables, cake, ice cream ) We were told after several of these monthly meals that the families were getting upset stomachs and the bus trip back to the Comarca and long walks back to their homes were being made uncomfortable because of the food. ( Don't get me wrong...they appreciated it and did eat it ) Bill and I had to reconsider their diet and prepare foods ( such as chicken and rice ) that set better on their stomachs. It was a learning experience for us for sure. The Ngobe family we care for will go and glean plantains from a farmer that offers them when they had nothing to eat. One skinny yard chicken and a bunch of cooked plantains can feed a lot of people.
  21. Until they had land that was officially theirs they were being taken advantage of every which way. Gold mining companies were making roads right through their property , mowing down houses and basically taking over . A good book I've talked about many times here: Conditions Not of Their Choosing by Chris Gjording. It's the story of how the Ngobe Bugle finally got a bit of autonomy and the Comarca was part of the deal. The book might be found at the Bookmark in Dolega. It's still for sale on Amazon.com .
  22. I do not know about provisions provided to finca workers. I would imagine it would vary from finca to finca. The family we care for pays rent for a dwelling that is approximately 25'X25'. It's basically a corrugated tool shed without windows and a mud floor. They have one light bulb. On a regular basis 15 people live in there and sometimes more when extended family come to visit. They pay $80 a month rent plus they pay electric. There are two adult males who never have regular employment. We have supplied a weed eater so that one can do garden work. The other does do some coffee picking with his wife and as well construction from time to time when he can find work. It is not easy for Ngobe to find employment. It can be done...but you have to be assertive and generally they are not. More trade schools that are affordable would be wonderful. Two children have handicaps and need medical care on a constant basis. They go to clinics at the regional hospital regularly. The Comarca would be more user-friendly for them but it's too far away from the medical care they require.