So now we are back home in Auburn, California and life as we have known it returns. Connie continues her work as a parenting teacher and child behavior counselor. Mikkel, although semi-retired, works part-time with a commercial real estate company in marketing & research. But one other thing has been added to our busy lives: planning for our next trip to Panama and possibly moving there when we retire. Part of our hearts were left back there in Pedasi, and something told us that we would be returning. We did a lot of praying, asking God to open or close the doors in directing our desire to eventually retire in Pedasi. So we moved forward and the doors kept opening little by little.
We forgot to mention in the previous posting that while we were in Panama, we spoke with two different attorneys about what it would take to get our Pensionado visa which would give us permanent residence in Panama. Now that we were home, Mikkel looked further into what documents we would need and contacted one of the attorneys for more information. Both of us researched everything we could about Panama. Mikkel started following a few blogs and we would discuss his findings together. Finally, we decided to visit Panama again in November, 2012 and made the necessary arrangements and gathering the documents to apply for the Pensionado visa. But a few weeks before the trip, the attorney contacted us informing us that the FBI background report is now required as well. We discovered to obtain this document would take a minimum of 6 weeks from the FBI and another week for it to be apostiled. So we postponed our trip until January, 2013 and applied for the FBI reports. Unfortunately, to our surprise and 6 weeks later, although Connie’s report came back cleared, the FBI could not read Mikkel’s fingerprints and requested he submit new ones which would take another 6 weeks. This was not enough time before our already costly postponed trip in January. The decision was made. We would continue to go to Panama as a vacation and more exploring and just cancel our plans for now to apply for the Pensionado visa.
This time we arrive in Panama City and rent a car at the airport. Mikkel had researched and found a good download of Panama for our Garmin GPS. Although Connie really is uncomfortable driving in Panama City, we made it through and continued onto Coronado where we stayed for 2 days. While staying at a nice bed-and-breakfast hostel, we met a french couple from Canada. After the first night and breakfast, we drove up to El Valle de Anton, saying goodbye to the french couple who were headed to the beach. When we arrived in El Valle de Anton, there was that french couple walking along the street. We stopped and said “bueno” and continued on to shop at the Sunday market. Later we hiked to some waterfalls, and when we started to head back to Coronado, there was the french couple walking toward the bus stop. So we offered them a ride back to the B&B, which they accepted. That evening, Connie went swimming in the pool, only to over-extend her arm and dislocate her shoulder. With much pain, the shoulder was re-set and arm placed in a sling. She was determined to continue our journey.
The next day we drove to Las Olas Resort in Playa Barqueta near David, about 50 miles from the Costa Rica border. What a beautiful place to stay right on the beach, at times, no one but us on the beach. From there we visited the city of David one day, like Panama City without the high rises. The next day we visited Boquette in the mountains. At the recommendation from a friend, we went to a bakery for lunch. And guess what? There was that same french couple from Coronado. Anyway, after more hellos and goodbyes and lunch, we continued to explore the town. Surprisingly, it was so cold, I had to put on a rain cape (all I had) to stay warm. We found Cafe Ruiz coffee shop at their plantation and roasting/packing factory. Best coffee ever.
A few days later we returned to Pedasi, staying at the same Hostal as last time. Greeted with open arms by the owners, we were now invited to a Home/Garden/Craft/Auto show, located in a cow pasture outside of town. The next day we invited over to some friends new home that they had finished building since the last time we visited. Went to dinner together and during the conversation, they informed us that the house they used to live in and still manage was available to rent in this September. Connie had seen this home previously on Craigslist and had commented then that it was the type of house she would like to live in, not knowing it was managed by our friends. So we went to see it the next day and placed a deposit on the home. This was only one of the confirmations by God that we would be moving to Pedasi.
Next blog: Getting ready for the move.