Life in Pedasí at times can be quiet and slow; other times can be full of challenges or lots of activity. The last two weeks has been a mixture. You never know what to expect which certainly keeps me from being bored.
Last week a young couple from Mission Viejo in Southern California came into town and stayed with us a few days. We had met them through this blog and another internet site. This blog has certainly opened opportunities to host many new friends in our home whether it be for a meal or drinks or staying overnight. This couple, Gerardo and Marla, are backpacking through Panama and researching where they might start a tour business, formally having a tour company in Germany. So they stayed in our home while exploring Pedasí and we thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them. They went on to stay in Playa Venao for the weekend and came back for one night more before heading further north toward Santa Catalina & Boquette. Having enjoyed this area and discovering the many things that this area has to offer (surfing, fishing, whale watching, snorkling, etc.), they may be returning to Pedasí after Carnival and rent a house for a month or two as they pursue their research and possible dreams.
After they had left for Playa Venao, our kitchen sink stopped up. As Mikkel has told others, he spent 2 1/2 days under the sink trying to get the stoppage unplugged. We used plungers and drain cleaner; Mikkel took the pipes under the sink apart and tried to force water with the garden hose down the drain in the wall, although we did not have much water pressure. Nothing seemed to work. So thinking a plumbing snake would work, we started asking around as where we might get one. Having no car still to drive to Las Tablas or Chitre, we walked over to the local hardware store, but they had none. They told us to go across the street to the market who has some hardware supplies, but they didn’t have one either. I decided to post on a Facebook page I ascribe to called “Pedasi Post” where many locals can share stories, advertise, and ask questions of others. Sure enough, I got two replies saying we could borrow theirs. I love living in this little town where people are willing to share and help each other out. Anyway after walking over to a friend’s home to acquire the snake, Mikkel tried cleaning out the drain from under the kitchen sink and the pipe opening located in the garage on the other side of the house. The water still kept backing out. Just when we were now starting to ask around for a recommendation of a plumber, the water then started backing up in the outdoor kitchen sink. So one more time I plunged that sink and all of a sudden everything went down both sinks. Not sure what exactly worked, if it was just one thing or a combination of things. But the sinks drain better than ever now and we were certainly glad we didn’t have to hire a plumber and possibly dig up floors. I was definitely glad I could clean up the kitchen and didn’t have to keep stepping over all the cleaning products that had been stored under the sink but were placed out while working on the drains. Thank God this didn’t happen while we had guests.
I think it is time to update you on our car situation. As I had reported before, our car broke down on Christmas Eve. We had to find the parts ourselves instead of the mechanic and were quoted by the Honda dealer in Panama City, the closest dealer, $1000-$1500. Well with the help from friends, Mikkel found a auto parts store in Las Tablas. The salesman, Willie, spoke English and was able to find all the parts except for one; the cost so far – about $300. He was referred to a place in Chitre to have the head milled – cost $58. We had to order the one part from the states we found online at a place in Florida – cost $38. So we are now just waiting for that part which has been shipped to our forwarding address in Miami and possibly already at the Mailbox Etc. office in Las Tablas. Mikkel will go there by bus tomorrow. Thanks to our friend Tim, Mikkel was able to go around to pick up all the parts and head and deliver them to the mechanic here in Pedasí; just waiting on one more part for them to fix the car. Plus, we had been waiting on another mechanic in Las Tablas who had supposedly ordered differential fluid for our car about 6 months ago, but told us he was still waiting on the order each time we would stop by. Through Willie, Tim was able to find the fluid at a transmission shop in Guardaré, a town outside of Las Tablas toward Chitré. So we will have that taken care of as well. Still not sure of the mechanic’s cost though. Again, I thank God for our friends and leading us to the right people and places which saved us a lot of money. He continues to answer our prayers and supplies us with our needs. Once the car gets fixed, we still plan to eventually sell it and purchase something more reliable. But in the meantime, we have been walking everywhere in town, being satisfied with what is available here, and getting a lot of exercise. I think we will continue to do that even with the car, only to drive it when necessary such as picking up our mail in Las Tablas. I will keep you updated when the car is back on the road.
There is another event that has taken place this past week, but I decided to write about it separately. So stay tune to the next saga in our “Third Life”. I may be retired but life is not boring here in Pedasí.