Coffee Beans! Growing everywhere around here!
Today began with a leisurely breakfast followed by a bit of Facetime for Scott with his Mom in California. We are really enjoying the easy mornings. Not having to be on a schedule and get out of the house is a dream come true. The only thing we had planned for the day was lunch with another (Former) virtual friend I met through blogging. I mean Former because now we are officially real life acquaintances, no longer “Virtual”. After our leisurely morning we enjoyed our 2 mile walk into town (45 min). We arranged to meet at the Fish House but it was closed and so we walked next door to Mike’s Global Grill instead. I’m so thrilled to finally be meeting all these people who I have been corresponding with during this last year of preparation for this move. Anyone who decides to pursue this expat lifestyle is sure to be a kindred spirit and it was no exception with these two! It’s been really fun to exchange notes with these folks here and to learn how and why they made this lifestyle change.
The stories all vary but one common thread that runs through them all is just a desire to experience a new culture and to have a slower paced, less financially taxing lifestyle. All of these couples we have met have gone about the move in very different ways. Most of the people we have exchanged stories with have, like us, sold their homes and if not all then most of their possessions. We seem to be in the minority as far as shipping a container of our belongings here. One couple actually managed to buy a house that included every single bit of furniture, dishes, linens, lock stock and barrel ! They didn’t have to bring one darn thing, just opened the door and they were home, Nice!! And to top it off, everything is so beautiful! Another couple we chatted with sold their house and all their possessions and are traveling around and spending several months in different places not feeling any inclination to make a decision as to a permanent residence anytime soon, true adventurers! After chatting with this couple Scott and I were commenting to each other that they are doing the exact opposite of what we did in terms of researching different destinations. We spent lots of time before our move researching and traveling around to decide on a place, they on the other hand are happily cruising around with a huge backpack each and very little material possessions doing their research hands-on. I really admire this way of doing it! They are truly having an adventure together and seemingly enjoying the ride. Another couple we know visited here about 10 years ago and on the first visit fell in love, bought their property and went back home, prepared to leave , selling their home and most possessions , shipping the rest of their belongings over and after arriving they began to build their home. They have made themselves a very nice life here . As I said everyone chooses their own unique way to proceed with a lifestyle change such as this, and I would venture a guess , each person hears about the way others have done it and they say to each other, ” I could never have done it that way!” lol! Or perhaps I’m completely off base and some folks say, shoot, I wish we had thought of that!
After a great lunch getting to know a great couple we said our goodbyes and headed down the road to the Wireless and Cable office to get Scott’s cell phone a sim card and buy some minutes so we can have an actual local phone number to use here. We had been told by everyone that there is a very helpful woman named Geovanna who speaks perfect english and we should ask for her. The office was closed until 2:00 and we walked up at a few minutes before it opened back up and Whammo! The rain started falling! Not California rain, noooo, Panama rain! Luckily, there was a security guard who very kindly let us in so we could wait in a sheltered area. Geovanna kindly unlocked the office and walked us right to her desk, and within just about 15-20 minutes we were locked an loaded with a phone number and $40.00 worth of minutes that don’t expire for a year. Scott may not use up the minutes too quickly given how much he likes to talk on the phone! Now we have a phone to use, yippee! And to top it off, the rain had miraculously stopped by the time we were ready to leave.
After the successful visit to the Cable and Wireless office we walked through town and to Habla Ya, the Spanish school in town. We had a few questions and then we found ourselves being interviewed separately to assess our Spanish level, me, well,, my question was, is there a level that is BELOW beginning? No, they placed me in the beginning class , okayyyy.. we’ll see how that goes. We are signed up for 10 weeks of classes beginning June 17. The classes are 1:00-5:00 five days a week. Here we go! I am both excited and terrified! I look forward to the day when I can actually carry on a conversation with the local people, I think it will go a long way to help me feel more a part of my new home. This, like I said, has been a very productive day. Whew…Adventures seem to take a lot of work, but work we are choosing day by day, minute by minute , and most importantly, together! Cheers!