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Jim Bondoux

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Jim Bondoux last won the day on September 20

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About Jim Bondoux

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  • Full Real Name:
    Jim Bondoux
  • Reason for registering:
    Live and/or work in Chiriqui
  • Location of primary residence:
    In Chiriqui
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  1. My phone lights up with an SMS message from Banistmo, about twice a week since the end of August, telling me that my debit card will expire soon and to visit a branch to request a new one. The card says it is "good thru 12/18", so the it seems that the bank is planning ahead to avoid delays in replacing the card. Nice. Hoping to put an end to the tiresome SMS nagging, I stopped in this morning at the Plaza Terronal branch, and was happy to find only a short line at the triage/receptionist desk. But then he declined my request, saying that my card is good through December, and that he could only accept my request after December 1. I nominate Banistmo for this month's customer (dis)service award....
  2. These two Burmese cats are brothers, and just over two years old. They are neutered and have their shots. Burmese need company, which is why having a pair is a good idea. Our frequent and occasionally extended absences are now proving to be unfair to Felix and Oscar, and causing our search for a new home for them. Burmese are gentle, playful, talkative, and intensely curious. They are busy companions. Also, they lack self-preservation instincts, and will not survive for very long if allowed to roam. We have kept them indoors and on a terrace enclosed with mesh. Their new home should provide similar safeguards. 6839 9421
  3. There appears to be some movement. There is news that a negotiation will be undertaken to liquidate the contract with the present builder, RIVA, S.A. and to issue a call for proposals to complete construction. https://www.tvn-2.com/nacionales/provincias/Llamaran-licitacion-construccion-policlinica-Boquete_0_5091990760.html
  4. Automatic fire control systems may or may not be effective. We've gone through some fire at sea training and were told that if the fire on a fiberglass-hulled boat isn't put out within the first 60 seconds, the boa6t will be a total loss. If interested in our experience with boat fire, I invite you to check out my account: http://jimbondoux.com/Miscellany/Fire1.html
  5. My recollection is that the clinics in Volcan and in Caimito are part of a 20-clinic program launched by Martinelli to bring health services to underserved remote parts of Panama. They are not hospitals, and they offer mainly consultations via online video connections with doctors in Panama City. I believe that only ten, or fewer, of the 20-unit program were funded and actually completed. Since Martinelli's programs were terminated at the end of his term, I don't expect that the program will be extended any time soon. Perhaps it would be best to think of them as diagnostic centers operated by the Ministry of Health...
  6. Jim Bondoux

    Rife in Boquete

    "You are unique, like everyone else" (aphorism borrowed from Margaret Mead). What works well for one person is no guarantee that it will work for any other. Some folks need a soft mattress, others a hard one. I've never seen a drug trial report that claims 100% efficacy (or 100% same side effects, for that matter). The placebo effect explains cures effected with totally inert medications. It seems fair to debunk remedies that have have no scientific evidence or rational theory to back them up, but the mysteries of mind/body suggest an open mind toward folks who try tea bags, prayer, laughter, or ocean dips to deal with an affliction. I use a Rife machine at home, and I believe it has enhanced my quality of life. I hope to receive tolerance of my belief. I also admire Newslady's dexterity...
  7. It seems that the Tugboat Captain's union has decided that the safety of ship transits through the new locks is being compromised by the extended work hours required of the tugboat fleet. Worker fatigue seems to be the primary issue. Some captains have made their point via a work stoppage, and the Canal Authority has "sanctioned" them. Apparently transits are continuing with slower passages and without the forward tugboat. In my opinion, this problem will continue to fester until they increase the tugboat fleet and associated crews by a significant number (i.e. 50% +) https://www.prensa.com/economia/Buques-transitan-nuevas-esclusas-remolcador_0_5007249239.html
  8. An experienced house sitting couple will be caring for our Boquete home until August 15, 2018. After that date they will be available and interested in a house sit assignment anywhere in Central America. More info 6839 9421 (Phone, SMA, or WhatsApp)
  9. I am not at all clear what this is about, but it may be of general interest anyway: http://ciudaddelsaber.org/en/press-room/news/cooperation-agreement-between-fcds-municipality-boquete/2559
  10. What would interest me most in the way of comparative statistics is the number of accidents vs. number of drivers, and at a secondary level the number of accidents per vehicle-mile. There are issues in comparing accuracy of the various numbers, and then there is the question of the severity of accidents, i.e. injuries/fatalities vs. fender-benders. It is my sense, gathered from motoring around Chiriqui, that Panamanian drivers would benefit from more education in defensive driving, and would enhance their safety by improving their situational awareness instinct. Perhaps both will happen over time.
  11. Jim Bondoux

    And Now I Know -- Tailor Shop

    We went with Domingo once, and we quickly decided not to return. Much better luck with Mercedes, the "modista" with a sign on her lawn on the right as you exit Los Algorrobos on your way to Boquete. Just past the school, the apparently very popular "tipico" restaurant and the two car washing places. She shows her phone number (6928-2198) and her front door is open when she, or her daughter, is home, which seems to be most of the time. No English. We've paid one dollar for hemming a pair of pants. Prompt, pleasant, and good work.
  12. We have the history of the Chiriqui railroad that linked Puerto Armuelles with Boquete. It had a good 30-year run based on moving agricultural produce to port, plus a couple of passenger trains per day. When the road was built allowing buses and trucks to offer greater speed, frequency, and flexibility, the railroad died. This is a microcosm of what has also happened in the USA. Railroads are required to build and maintain their rights-of-way, including crossings. Taxpayers pay for roads and airport runways. Unless that difference were to change, rail would seem to face an unsurmountable handicap. Passenger rail in Europe works only because of taxpayer subsidies or direct government ownership. Huge "unit trains" move coal, iron ore, grain in the US, and crude oil in Kazakhstan only because rail has an advantage for moving those volume/weight extremes. I find it difficult to imagine either of large commodity movements in Central America, or local taxpayer funding of railroads. I believe the feasibility study will come to a negative conclusion.
  13. I'm guessing that a "technical stop" will work better for the link, if that means that no visas will be required of passengers. Visas are required for all transit passengers in the US, even if they are just making a rapid connection. The time, cost, and uncertainty of US visas for citizens of the PRC and for citizens of Panama who are not going to visit the US would certainly impair the market opportunity for those flights.
  14. One of the three bidders was GSI, a sister company of Sertracen, both owned by the same parent outfit. I assume, and hope, that there will be a new tender for the contract. Corruption lurks in these matters more or less frequently, so who knows? Perhaps the anti-corruption campaign had something to do with the outcome.
  15. Apparently an accident occurred on the highway below the Caldera turnoff checkpoint, causing a power pole to collapse in a tangle of wires. Multiple service trucks and police on site, with workers on several of the adjacent poles sorting it all out. It's wise to expect several more hours of interruption....