Wow! It’s been over a month since I posted anything. Busy? Not anymore than than the usual. I have thought of several different things to post, but then get distracted by other things-good things though. Besides working with my husband on his online business (ExpatImports.com) as the webmaster/comptroller and heading up as Chairman of Animal Advocates of Pedasí, I am back teaching English at the nearby school in Los Destiladeros; this time with my friend Brenda to assist. And since there are only 13 children this year, we combined all ages (6-12 years old) and their teacher stays to also learn English as well, and he helps with discipline if needed. Brenda and I spend a couple of hours on another day planning for the next 2 hour class, which is each Monday morning. Then we go out to lunch afterwards. It is great to have the help and Brenda has been real supportive.
We took another day to go clothes shopping together; found some great bargains at two stores in Las Tablas- “Yajois” and “Cheaper”. Both stores buy and sell clothes they have purchased in bulk from stores in the U.S. such as Macy’s, JC Penney, Old Navy, and Target, clothes I am familiar with and will fit me. And then they sell them for even less. Plus that day, everything at “Cheaper” was 50% off. I have found the sizes of clothing in many “Panamanian” stores to be much smaller and a lot made from polyester. Hard to believe since the weather here calls for cotton. And most shoes only go up to size 40 (U.S. size 8.5-9). I wear a size 43 (U.S. size 10.5-11). I have been wearing men’s flip flops, although you really can’t tell. Anyway, Mikkel and I are planning a trip to New York, Annapolis, and Washington DC in the fall for Mikkel’s 50th Naval Academy reunion. Since the stores in the U.S. are getting rid of last year’s Fall and Winter lines, and since I no longer have very many clothes suitable for the possible cooler weather on our future trip, these two stores offered plenty of choices (sweaters, coats, long pants, etc.). I made out with several articles of clothing including a nice coat; I just had to look beyond the hot weather outside when trying on each item. I did buy some clothes to wear here also. At least the stores were air-conditioned.
Speaking of weather (or should I say “writing”), the rainy season has finally started here in Pedasí-Yeah! For a couple of weeks before, Pedasí was being teased by dark clouds that would swirl around us, but never drop their wet load upon us, and it has been exceptionally hot. All around us-Las Tablas, Chitré, Tonosi, Panama City-received downpours. But Pedasí remained dry until about a week ago. Now it has rained about 4-5 days in the last week, usually only a few hours and in the evening or during the night; sometimes just a light shower, sometimes much heavier with thunder and lightening. It will be nice to see everything green again. It is definitely good to have it a little cooler, although I still wear summer clothes all the time.
This past year of drought, water shortages, and electrical outages, along with the devaluation of the Euro and the Canadian dollar, has taken its toll on tourism. In turn, several businesses in Pedasí have closed. We have had to say goodbye to many friends- owners of restaurants and hostals, as well as those who have decided to just move back to their home country for various reasons. This time of year there are always the “Snowbirds” who leave and will possibly return next dry season. So living here in Pedasí, Mikkel and I have gotten used to the cycles of making friends – some will leave, some will remain, some will return, and new ones will come. We do stay in touch with many of those who have left though, thanks to Facebook.
Finally, some of my readers have requested an update on all the construction I have reported on. Although entirely not finished yet, the construction is winding down. Our back wall is complete and painted, including a drainage ditch for runoff (we now have some privacy again).
Our surrounding wall including the wrought iron gates and wall around our veranda, along with the garden shed have received a fresh coat of paint.
The house behind has been built, doors and windows installed, fences and gates up; they are still bulldozing to landscape and painting along with many other things to be set up inside. The house across the street has been built and windows installed, but not painted yet. And the apartment building down the street has now been painted; I guess I will have to take a short walk to see what it really looks like. It has really been an interesting experience to see how everything has come together. I will post a few more pictures when each building is complete. With this progress, means possibly more new friends to meet who have moved into the barrio.
Well, I see my seven cats outside the office window on the wall of the veranda patiently waiting for their food. It must be that time again. They always seem to know. My work is never done, but I wouldn’t have it any other way for our “third life” in Pedasí.