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Jim Bondoux

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Jim Bondoux last won the day on April 15

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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 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...
  2. 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...
  3. 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
  4. 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)
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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....
  12. The current sun cycle is extremely weak, and is predicted to weaken further, i.e. with a much reduced number of sunspots. The graph issued by NOAA measures the sun's energy output, and I note the much lower recent peak in 2014 compared to the peak back in 2002-3. The last cycle low occurred in the 2008-2010 time frame, which happens to be the time when the Panamonte bridge was taken out and other flood events occurred. The way to bet is for very tough winters in the next few years in the Northern Hemisphere.
  13. FWIW, we use a Rife machine at home with some regularity. Perhaps it's the "placebo" effect, but we do record positive changes with respect to arthritis pain and vascular health. The effects seem to wear off after a while, but a repeat treatment usually produces the same good result. We think electromagnetic frequencies are likely to have fewer undesirable side effects than the ingestion of chemicals. But we are good customers at the pharmacy as well....
  14. I have yet to encounter a convincing explanation of the rationale for the decision to manage transits through the new locks with tugboats, rather then with the "mule" system that proved itself in decades of use. The expansion locks are capacity-constrained by the lack of tugs, and in my view maneuvering control with mules is far more reliable and safer than it is with tugs. The old locks can easily handle 35-40 transits per day, compared to the current 11 per day for the new set.
  15. Thanks, Keith. We were scheduled to connect at Tocumen from David this morning, but the warning last week of the labor dispute caused us to pay the change fees and leave a day early. In the event, we are pleased with our decision. The trip was sufficiently stressful without the threat of openended delays. PS. An additional consequence is that we are rewarded with an extra day in Bridgetown. Sipping some of the local Mount Gay Eclipse, an agreeable alternative to my usual Abuelo 7!