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Bud last won the day on November 24

Bud had the most liked content!

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138 A Community Leader

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About Bud

  • Rank
    Expert Member
  • Birthday August 8

Personal Information

  • Full Real Name:
    Bud Huber
  • Reason for registering:
    Live and/or work in Chiriqui
  • Location of primary residence:
    In Chiriqui
  • Birth (home) country:

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  1. I have had a similar experience. US-based Rx for glasses, and got the same Rx here. That is encouraging. The cost of glasses here is essentially the same as prices in the US. The advantage here is not a reduced cost, but local availability for adjustments in the future should such be needed. A potential disadvantage was less selection of glass frames here when compared to the US, but so far that has not been an issue for me. Bottom line: I have had only good experiences with acquiring and follow-on adjustments regarding my eyeglasses in Panama.
  2. It is my policy not to disclose those kinds of details about my business transactions. José's price sheet says all that I believe to be appropriate.
  3. We gave José Abraham Quintero a call and scheduled a car wash and wax. That all happened yesterday. Since he did not know the area where we live, he parked in town and then I picked him and his co-worker (Juan) up for the ride to El Santuario. After a cup of coffee, their work began about 8:15AM, and they finally finished about 2:00PM. We provided lunch for both of them, along with our housekeeper. That is our normal procedure, and so they were included in lunch Bottom line is that their work was far beyond detailing. A total "restoration" of our 2007 Toyota Fortuner. There wasn't one square inch of the vehicle's surfaces that wasn't touched by them. And the inside was not only cleaned, but the upholstery parts were shampooed. We are very pleased with their work and will bring them back for maintenance waxing, etc. Here is a STRONG recommendation. If you want your car pampered, then these are the guys to do it. They bring all the tools and equipment and supplies. We provided only the water and electricity, and a very dirty car. Neither José nor Juan speak any English, but they arranged for a friend to help us through the initial communications via a telephone call.
  4. You certainly are not trying to suggest that there might be collusion between the drug growers and the security forces are you? Heavens to mergatroid. I never have heard of such a thing.
  5. Agree with Keith. For breakfast you can't beat McDonald's. And Marcelyn says their coffee is excellent. For other meals, there are many options.
  6. I got an email from a friend who knows me well. He asked why I was "grousing" about having a lot of homework. For clarification, I was not "grousing", but rather letting you know that there is a lot of homework. To my way of thinking, having homework is a good thing. Based on my experience, one cannot learn Spanish (or any language) by simply listening to a classroom lecture or participating in a discussion. You gotta work at it.
  7. We did Renny’s class that began last January. We found it to be worthwhile. I assess myself as competent only at a basic level, providing that the subject matter is not dense/complex and that the Spanish speakers talk fairly slowly. Marcelyn was not as successful. Our poor results are not a shortcoming of Renny’s class. At our age we just find learning a new language to be difficult. There is a lot of homework. Personally speaking, I am very skeptical of any class claiming success after three days. I still routinely complete one Duolingo session on my iPad everyday, and it is free but very basic, being more for vocabulary and phrases.
  8. Marcelyn and I dined last evening at the newly opened Butcher Chophouse, which is located on "restaurant row" here in Boquete, next door to Retro Gusto. It was a wonderful experience. The owners indicated that they had opened just a few days earlier. When we arrived there was only one other patron. Our timing was very good. The service was excellent, with all of the staff with whom we interacted speaking English. The menu includes domestic steaks, US steaks, Nicaraguan (surprise!) steaks, and Argentinian steaks -- your choice. Since we do not consume much, we ended up ordering a single entree, and we selected a US rib eye with a baked potato side and a grilled asparagus side, plus our drinks. Service was prompt, and obviously well-trained; e.g., when the steak knives were brought out they were meticulous about the proper placement on the table. While waiting for our food to be prepared, more patrons started arriving. It wasn't quite a full house, but likely was going to be after our departure. When the food arrived, it was a very nice presentation, obviously a large cut of beef (larger than we had expected), hot, and prepared exactly as we had requested. This was a very nice dining experience, with a warm and inviting ambiance. We definitely plan to return to the Butcher Chophouse. We understand hours of operation are 5:30PM to 10:00PM. This looks like another successful eatery by the same owners of A Pizza, Ottos Parmagiana, and Retro Gusto. We wish them continuing great success. Here are some pictures, not very good (iPhone only, as we had not planned to take pictures and thus did not bring our camera). First, a general view of the dining area, with the bar at the far right. Entrance to the Butcher Chophouse is in the upper right of this shot behind a wall. Here is the menu. Not easily readable, but maybe you can see what the selections are. Here is a shot of the kitchen area. Note the wood burning ovens (multiple ovens). And a departing shot with Marcelyn and the owner.
  9. Penny is bringing up some important considerations about this topic. This general subject has come up previously here on CL. Also see related postings at: http://www.chiriqui.life/topic/4584-why-is-a-boquete-bank-account-needed/, http://www.chiriqui.life/topic/37-best-way-to-handle-banking-coming-from-us, and http://www.chiriqui.life/topic/1120-depositing-a-us-check-into-your-panama-bank/. We use the Multibank approach of depositing a check on our US bank, have a 5 day waiting period, and NO fees involved. This option is limited to $3,000.00 per cycle, but we have never found that to be an issue.
  10. American Consulate ACS Outreach Meeting


    Marcelyn and I attended this outreach meeting at Hotel Valle del Rio today. We had no business transactions to take care of (notarization, passport renewal, etc.) but we did want to meet and hear the Consulate staff's talks. Here are our notes from this meeting. There were two speakers, Bryan Weiler, who is the Assistant Regional Security Officer (part of the Diplomatic Security Service), and Adrienne Harchik, who is the newly arrived (as of late October) Consul General. The meeting started off a bit late because the staff was delayed as a result of transportation issues. We found both speakers to be well-informed and candid in their remarks and answers to questions. From our notes taken during this meeting: Mr. Weiler was the first to talk, and of course his subject was primarily about security matters in Panama. In 2016 there were 416 murders nationwide, and 415 is the projection for 2017. In general, traffic accidents are a major source of deaths in Panama, basically one death per day, which is a number that includes deaths for pedestrians who are hit by a vehicle being included. Most arrests in Panama for violent crime are males aged 18 to 30, and those are related to gun violence associated with gangs and illegal drugs. A normal sentence for a violent crime (meaning resulting in death or the use of lethal weapons) is about 80 months. Lesser crimes (e.g., pickpockets, etc.) have a typical incarceration period of about 5 years. There is no perceived movement by Panamanian authorities to charge minors as an adult when a young person commits a serious crime. October, November, and December are when crimes like pickpockets and rape are at the highest. (No explanation as to why.) Ms Harchik talked about: driver licenses, US medical prescriptions coming into Panama, the moving of US Social Security Administration matters to the US Embassy in Costa Rica, proof of life forms, getting Panamanian citizenship, the firing of about 5,000 customs agents due to corruption, the role of wardens, and other issues of general interest to American residents here in Panama. We did not count the number of attendees, but every chair was taken and a few people were standing around the room. Our estimate is perhaps 50 or so attendees being present. The presentations and Q&A session lasted about 45 minutes, and then the staff started processing the individual requests for consular services. Here are the business cards for the two speakers at today's meeting: And here are some pictures of the two speakers: Bryan Weiler Bryan Weiler Adrienne Harchik (left) and Bryan Weiler (right)
  11. Further on the matter of the "rules of the road" booklet discussed above, it turned out that my copy was not so current, being dated 2007, and so I felt it prudent to get a more current version of this booklet. We went to Supercentro Ivan yesterday, and upon asking for the book (in Spanish, but the clerk responded in English) I was directed to an area about ten feet to the left of the check out stand. There they were. That book cost $8.00, and it includes a copy of the also required accident report form. After my purchase, I counted 14 more copies being available. Here is a scan of the cover the current version (note that it is labeled as the 2018 edition): And here is the accident report form:
  12. You might also try La Reina here in Boquete. Behind their main store on Avenida Principal there is another “store” ( building) that specializes in appliances. If they don’t have what you are looking for then give them the make and model and I’m told they will order it. It is my understanding that they deliver, install, and take away old appliances (orr at least did such in times past).
  13. Keith, Interesting information based on close scrutiny of the photo collage. For instance, all were Panameña except one Ecuadorian. All were speeds over 100 KPH. All were violations in Chiriqui (4th zone, whatever that means). Different classes of driver licenses involved. There appears to be different cosmetics in the background designs of the licenses (or possibly the differences are because of a watermark in the photo collage itself). Can you tell us what the differences between classes C, D, F and E3 licenses are?
  14. Thanks for this information. A local guy with a good recommendation is grounds to give him a try. And then possibly from his business card we see that he could also power clean our driveway.