I haven’t written anything for this blog for a week or so. It’s not because I don’t have the time, because I have. I think it is just that I am experiencing this new life to it’s fullest and forget about blogging. Or to be honest, maybe I just don’t feel like sitting down and writing at times. This writing a blog is new to me as well. Also, I read other blogs who share some of the same experiences, so I don’t need to duplicate. But then I realize that some followers are not following them or I can just link to the other blogs. And I also know that writing can be very therapeutic for me at times.
Life has been exciting and good these last few months. Wow; it’s almost been 3 months now!. I have to admit that everything didn’t go as planned; there have been a few glitches and frustrations, but I am learning to accept them as part of the experience in this life I have chose. But this past Thursday was one of those days when I just couldn’t shake a feeling that I can’t really describe; I just was moody. It could have been for a number of reasons-hormones, receiving some not-so-great news about someone’s health close to me back in the states, the ATMs not working in Panama and unable to get cash along with trying to recover the money that was taken out of our bank account when we tried to make cash withdrawals, or possibly all the moving boxes and various things we brought that seem to just sit around instead of being set up or put away. I think all those things added together with the many changes that have happened in my life recently just came to a head and I just felt emotionally off. I am just trying to be truthful that there are times I am not always excited about what is happening. But my friend Christine who has been in Pedasi a few years assured me that it was normal to have an off day occasionally. She suggested that’s when I should just go to the beach and just sit and chill. Sounds like good advice. I am not complaining about this wonderful, fun, exciting, new life. As a matter of fact, I thank God for this opportunity every day. I love being here and seeing what’s next. I just need to give myself a break every now and then. It is no different than when I was back in California (and there I had a lot more off days).
Anyway, the next day I was back to enjoying life. So today I thought I would catch up on a few things that happened this past week. Tuesday, Mikkel went to Las Tablas. He talked to Cable & Wireless where he found out that the installer who had come out the week before when we were in Panamá had cancelled our order for internet. So luckily the sales rep, Cesar, was able to get it rescheduled for Thursday. As promised, the installer did come (Mikkel had to drive to where he was a few blocks away and show him where we lived). So now we have internet in the house along with a landline phone. It isn’t always fast, but at least it’s something and only $30 a month.
Mikkel also saw an internist to acquire the correct certificate required to get his driver’s license. The doctor happened to be a specialist for diabetes, which Mikkel has and was looking for a doctor. Mikkel has been experiencing swelling in his ankles and feet since we moved here, so this doctor also ordered some lab tests and an electrocardiogram to see what might be going on. Tomorrow Mikkel will go back to Las Tablas to apply for his driver’s license and get the lab tests done. Praying all will go well.
Friday, we went to another expat BBQ at a home (more like an estate) in Playa Albino Grande, north of Las Tablas. The US Embassy warden for this district was there to inform us of some things about living here and Social Security requirements. The home and gardens were lovely and the food and fellowship was great.
Saturday, we walked into town for XI Gran Desfile de Carretas la Cultura y el Folklore. This is a local celebration and the start of several holidays to come within the next few weeks. It included dancing, music, a parade, fireworks, and even the running of the bulls. We met up with several other expats and local Panamanians to celebrate and had a great time. If you want an explanation of this festival, you should go to my friend Karen’s blog: http://indacampo.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/the-cart-festival-traditional-carts/. She shares a great story about this tradition, better than I can, and has many pictures on a few posts. Anyway, Pedasí knows how to party.
Hooray! On Sunday, after reading from other bloggers and forums, the ATMs were working properly again. We tested one in Chitre where we went to buy some things at the Do-It Center and El Rey Supermercado and were able to get cash. Hopefully this won’t happen again, but it’s Panama. So we have a couple of back-up plans next time just in case. We continue to learn from our experiences, and it definitely doesn’t discourage us from living here. Life is good and we have been blessed. God reminds me of His handiwork with a beautiful sunset to view outside my back patio.
UPDATE: Still no driver’s license. The wrong carnet/passport number (by one number) was on doctor letter and the exact statement failed to say “No restrictions, both mentally and physically.” So back to the doctor (who is not there today).
Playa Albino Grande Estate Pictures
Desfile de Carretas Festival
Sunset from the back patio