Although every day is an adventure to us here in Panama, I would call many days to be typical. I think we are accepting what would be atypical in the US as normal in Panama. Today was no exception.
Having acquired the landline phone number from our neighbor next door required by “Cable & Wireless” to get internet service in our home, we drove to Las Tablas this morning to finally sign up for DSL. On our way down the highway, we came to a slow crawl as a group of about 3 dozen cows were being herded down the road by 2 men on horses, one behind and one to lead. Some cars tried to drive around them, but the cows were walking on both sides of the road. One truck actually bumped into a large cow who had walked right in front. Nevertheless we were able to get around the herd after about 10 minutes without incident.
In Las Tablas, we stopped at Mailbox, Etc. to pick up some packages from the states. Continued on to Cable & Wireless where we were able to sign up for 5mbs of internet service per month without a problem since we now had the phone number to our neighbor. I couldn’t understand everything the representative said to me, but I got the gist of it all and was able to provide the information he requested. He finished be telling us that the installers will be out in 3-4 days.
We proceded to go onto “Cochez”, a hardware store chain, to purchase a few things Mikkel needed to finish building our fence and some things he needed for the house. We couldn’t find everything, but we did manage to find our friends we had met at the spay clinic and BBQ in Playa Uverito. They are the couple who have 15-18 dogs to adopt out, one of which we are adopting and picking up on Saturday. Mikkel helped them find the fencing materials they needed for building kennels. Afterwards, we went out to lunch and then checked out a new butcher shop in town.
On our way home, we stopped a Centro Supermercado in Pedasi where Mikkel purchased some more fence wiring he needed that he did not find at Cochez. Home in time for me to go teach the Children’s English class at the Language School while Mikkel went to “Centro de Salud” (Health Center) in Pedasi to get a physical and certificate needed for his driver’s license he will apply for tomorrow while we are in Panama City. Although he waited for about an hour to see the doctor who knew very little English, he was able to communicate what he wanted and after taking his blood pressure, weight, and listening to his heart, he received the certificate with 2 official stamps (they love to stamp everything in Panama). The doctor than shared with Mikkel pictures of his finca (ranch) in the nearby town of Patilla. The cost: $2. In the US, it would probably cost $50-$100; you would probably have to make an appointment way in advance; and a doctor would never take the time to share something personal.
The last few days I have been walking home from the language school afterwards. It really isn’t very far and I enjoy greeting everyone as I walk by. We don’t have to know each other, but everyone smiles and says “Bueno” or “Hola” with a few adding ” ¿Como esta?” I respond appropriately. I walk through the heart of the town and then past many homes, observing the extreme differences from one to another: some ornately designed, 2-story on large piece of landscaped properties to other small homes built with unpainted concrete blocks without door or screened windows on small dirt lots; and everything in between. Our home is simple, but compared to some including a few across our street, it would be considered upscale. We are blessed.
When Mikkel came home, we looked at and sent some email; Mikkel cooked dinner; I brought in most of the laundry hanging from the clotheslines; packed for tomorrow’s overnight trip to Panama’; ate dinner; Mikkel read a book while I wrote this. Some evenings we may see a tv show or movie through streaming; some evenings we just read. It is so quiet in our neighborhood at night; just hear crickets and frogs from the field behind. Since we are near the equator, we have 12 hours of daytime and 12 hours of night, usually between 6am to 6pm, give or take up to 30 minutes. So it seems people go to bed much earlier and get up at the crack of dawn. I used to go to bed at 11pm, but now find myself falling asleep between 9-10 pm and waking up before 7am.
So this was our typical, yet different day for our “third” life in Pedasi. There’s is always something unexpected that happens, but we just go along with the flow and the philosopy “it is what it is”. Wanted to finish the fence today and possibly a bookshelf, but there is always”mañana (which means not today). Well off to bed so I can get up early for another adventurous trip to Panama’. Praying for good weather(although it’s still the wet season) and a safe & successful trip.