It has been a few days again since I have written anything. One reason is that I have been busy finally moving into our rental house in town. Another “Hallelujah”! We are completely in our house as of October 9th. Although we had access to our house on October 1st, we were house/dog sitting for the B&B. This actually gave us time to move our things stored at the Tortuga apartment and start setting things up. The owners of the B&B finally returned home late October 8th, and after getting to know each other over coffee the next morning, we took permanent residency in our new home. We call it “Casa Verde de Moller”. We set up the kitchen, living area, and bedroom enough to live comfortably in for now. So the last few days we have been organizing and unpacking boxes. There is still plenty to do and we have a long list of what we need and what we want for the house, but that will all come in time. And for right now, another thundering heavy rainstorm has arrived this morning, so I felt it was time to write some more.
Then there are the Spanish classes we have started at the Language School. Both Mikkel and I take separate private classes for now, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons. I help teach English to the local children every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. This may seem like a lot, but it’s only an hour, and we live 5 minutes away. It breaks up the day and helps with reducing any stress that may creep in as we are making the house our home.
Yesterday we went to Las Tablas, originally for Mikkel to get a doctor’s letter for his driver’s license and to try to set up DSL internet with “Cable & Wireless” (a local cell phone & internet company). The doctor was not in until October 22nd and we have to get a neighbor’s landline phone number, if they have one, in order for “Cable & Wireless” to know if they can provide service in our house. For those in the US, this may seem antiquated, but it is what it is. Only DSL is available at a maximum of 5mb and there is no cable. Also, Mikkel had been informed there was a new butcher in town near “Cable & Wireless”, but it was not there or not yet opened.
So after we had come up empty-handed with our original goals, we at least came across a fresh fish street vendor and bought 2 nice size fresh Corvina for dinner, and then found the bakery that we were previously told about and bought some fresh-baked rolls. Then we went to a hardware store. One thing on our list was to fix an outlet in the kitchen. A few days ago it shorted out. We had come to move in some things and discovered the refrigerator was not on and the outlet it was plugged into with a surge protector had burned out. The other side of the outlet worked, so we plugged the refrigerator in there temporarily. So Mikkel being the handyman that he is, decided to fix the whole outlet himself. After purchasing the items he needed, when we got home, he proceeded to work on the burnt-out outlet. He went out to the electrical box and shut off the breaker to the kitchen (which shuts off all the outlets to the kitchen and living room, the overhead ceiling fan/light in the kitchen and back hallway ceiling light). He replaced the outlet, but when he went out to switch the breaker back on, nothing happened. The breaker just kept switching off. He thinks its a bad breaker which he won’t attempt to replace. So he had to call the landlord who won’t be able to come to fix it until Saturday. Luckily Mikkel had packed a long heavy-duty extension cord in the crate and the rest of the house has electricity. So the refrigerator is plugged into the outlet in the back hallway. In the meantime, we cook on a gas stove from the ceiling light in the living room. And if we need to use any electrical appliance, we plug it in the spare bedroom outlet. To live in Panama, one must be adaptable. I am grateful for my past camping experiences and I was a Girl Scout for 12 years; it has taught me how to live without many things we take for granted. Actually this situation is no where near to that of camping. We still have a roof over our head, electricity available, running water, and internet service (through our hotspot). What I believe is what I am still learning from God is patience. Just when I think I have acquired “tranquilo”, frustration sneaks in. That’s when I have to go to a quiet place, take a deep breath, and pray. Frustrations are occurring less and less, but I still fall into its trap sometimes.
Still, I am so glad we are here in Pedasí. I must remind myself that I have a different life now. I am retired now, do not have to work which I have done for at least 40 years. I am out of my comfort zone, but I chose this challenge. It makes life interesting, certainly not boring. At times I may fall back into my old ways when things don’t go right or as expected, but I am pulling out from those ways a lot faster and easier now. If I were back in California, I would still be caught up in the hurried lifestyle that brings on stress and uptightness. Here I can just sit back and enjoy the little things of life, even when things don’t work exactly right. This morning, I think about what we do have and thank God for it all. I am sitting on our sofa, listening to the rain and thunder with occasional lightening, and I am calm. Yes, there are things to do and to get fixed, but I am learning to accept that it will all get done in time (or not). My life now is different, but for the better. There have been lots of changes to accept, but it’s only be a little over 2 months since we moved to Panamá. These changes aren’t really hard to accept. So I don’t have a dishwasher and have to heat up water if I want hot water for dishes, but dishwashing is therapeutic for me and my hands certainly get cleaned; so I don’t have a dryer and have to hang up my clothes on the line to dry, but they certainly smell good; so I don’t always have fast internet service or tv, or even electricity at times, but I have been reading and writing a lot more; so I don’t have all the modern conveniences and material things, but I feel freedom in that. The list of changes of what I no longer have could go on and on, but with each change, I can list a benefit. And what I do have now is time to relax; time to discover and explore new things; time to pray and meditate; an opportunity to meet new people and learn new things; our fixed-income goes a lot further for a comfortable lifestyle; a chance to live with less worry and stress (healthier). I and Mikkel are so grateful that we chose this path which God has led us to. I just need to give myself a break as I learn to acquire patience and “tranquillo”. I am home for now.
Mikkel relaxing the 1st night in our home after a busy day of moving
The bedroom is ready, the suitcases are unpacked.
The kitchen is set up.
“Casa Verde de Moller”