Yes, I’m Still here…

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I realize I haven’t published a post in some time! Sheesh! My life is really beginning to feel as though it’s taking on a sort of Rhythm. And it’s hard for me to discern when I should share what’s going on. I don’t want to bore you to death with the same ol’ same ol’! To be honest, what started out as a big adventure has somehow begun to just feel like a normal, everyday life! Nothing so special so share. Shrug! But I know my friends and family get a kick out of knowing what’s going on , so….

Here’s what’s going on in our life, not especially exciting or even very interesting, but here goes…Let’s see, well, I’ll begin with our construction project, since that’s what seems to dominate our lives these days. Our workers have been making good progress on the roof of the workshop. They’ve got the majority of it nearly framed with the cariolas. Which means the walls are all done as well. So, In about a week or so they will begin to put up the zinc part, which is the big metal sheets that go on top of the metal beams, (for those of you not so familiar with this type of roofing procedure!). Earlier in the week we went down to David to a place our friend Keith told us about, a place called Kame. This is THE place to find the commercial-type, roll up garage doors that we wanted to install in the workshop. We need three of them. We got a quotation which seemed fair and so Scott drove back today (Saturday) to order them. Check that big thing off our list! Just when I begin to wonder,”How are we gonna find that?”, someone here who’s in the ‘know’ shows up and saves the day! Now, the next big thing we need to find is an electrician who will actually follow through and get our power run up to our property! Ugh! This is proving to be a hard one.

We’ve spoken to about 5 different electricians up here in Boquete with no luck whatsoever. They come up and take a look at the job, then never respond and seem to drop off the face of the earth. With the exception of one guy who eventually sent us a quote which we figured seemed fair enough only to have him raise the price each time we spoke with him! Sheesh! That just turned Scott right off! So, now it’s been since about February and still no electrician. We’ve been tempted to go back to the guy who at least gave us a quote and seemed to want the work, but I’m not convinced we won’t find an electrician who we feel good about hiring. Our theory about this problem is that we think that the guys who have come up here are just small, ‘mom & pop’ guys who just aren’t really prepared to take on a job of our size. It’s not a small job. So, they come up and see it and then instead of just being upfront (cuz’ that would be very un-Panamanian of them), they just never get back to us. Humph! Okay…..So the search continues. I’ve been spreading the word and hopefully we get some recommendations soon. It sure would be nice to have electricity in January when we hope to move into our casita. But, not a total disaster because we did purchase a big propane generator! Whoohoo! So, it won’t be ideal but better than no power at all. And who doesn’t enjoy candle lit dinners! I’ll just have to join the kids down at AL & Kat’s place and charge my kindle at their house! Hah!

On the subject of the Casita…we got all the windows installed last week. How did that go? Meh…I hate to be a negative-nellie….but….I don’t have much good to say about this experience. The workmanship is pretty bad, that’s putting it ’nicely’. Just to name a few little problems we had… They used silver screws on black frames, (not the biggest problem!) But, they had no level so most of the windows are going to need to be removed and leveled. Luckily they neglected to caulk most of the windows so Scott should have no trouble removing them. We have a pane of glass above the big living room window which we specifically asked them to make it out of one solid piece of glass. We did not want a piece of metal bar running down the middle, which is what we ended up with and then noticed after they left that the glass is cracked…Ugh! Then the screens…which I think are important, especially with all the critters around here. They tried, unsuccessfully to fabricate a screen door for the sliding door. It was an epic fail. Sadly. We ordered awning windows for above the two large picture windows, my idea of being able to have windows that can be kept open without any security problems, giving us plenty of fresh air flowing through the house to keep down any mold problems. They kind of ‘jerryrigged’ the screens for these windows and so when the windows are closed the handles are in the way and the screens have to be removed. Again…Ugh! And to top it all off, it really should only have taken them one day to install the windows, it took them three whole days. Then they ended up telling us that they made a mistake on the price quote and it was now $600.00 more than they originally quoted us…once more, Ugh! I gotta say, they guy was such a nice guy and he’s trying to start a new business. We realized he didn’t have a lot of experience, and to be honest, took a chance. His customer service was unlike any other service provider we had come across, he was great. He really wanted the job and returned emails and was extremely professional in all his dealings with us. I know he wanted so badly to do a good job, and tried to the best of his ability to please us. It was evident that telling us about the added cost was a really hard thing for him to do, I really did feel bad for the guy. We of course paid the extra money, I believe it was an honest mistake on his quote and didn’t want to see him lose money. But we know we will be searching for a different place to get the windows for our main house. So, that’s the saga of our windows. I hope I don’t sound like an ‘ugly American’. Sigh….

So, the next thing we will tackle on the casita is getting the electrical wiring ran through all the conduit throughout the house. In the hopes that we someday do actually get electricity to our house! Pfffffft! Then we’ll begin the fun work of drywall throughout all the ceilings. The metal framework that the drywall attaches to is nearly done on all the ceilings and nearly ready to get the final install of the drywall. We have all the canned lights installed and ready to go. Then we have to do all the tile work, the entire place will have tile throughout. Here in Panama they don’t do carpet and wood floors are not an especially good idea what with all the moisture here. When we were in the states we had ordered a small ,corner, gas fireplace. That arrived last week and we began installing that as well. I think a fireplace in the living room will be nice on these cool, stormy evenings. The last big purchase will be the appliances. We need to go to David and buy the oven, the dishwasher, a microwave, refrigerator, and washer/dryer. As you can see, we’re getting close and making fairly good progress. We’ve had the entire crew working up at the workshop in order to get it ready to be able to store all Scotts tools. So this last month or so it’s only been the two of us working in the casita, which has felt very very slow . Ugh!

As soon as the workshop is lockable and we move the tools in we can start having the guys down at the casita helping with that. I’m sure things will begin to move faster when we have more hands. Meanwhile, we’ve also been doing some fun things too. I went on a really fun Birdwatching/hike with my friend Luana. We actually ditched the birdwatching ladies early and high tailed it to Cafe Ruiz! Where we sat outside and enjoyed a wonderful Frappacino! Yum! The birdwatching, was okay, but I think Luana would agree the Frappacino and chit chatting was by far the highlight of our excursion. hah! I’ve most certainly found a new kindred spirit! And lucky, lucky me! She’s retired from teaching Spanish for 30 years!!! Whoohooo!! I get to practice and hopefully become more proficient at speaking Spanish! Of course, I’m trying not to totally drag her out of her newly blissful retirement so we make sure to mix in plenty of time for drinking wine and laughing with our husbands while enjoying this wonderful place where we live. We’re of the same mind when it comes to maintaing a balance between, having fun, learning new things , exploring, hiking, exercising , being at least a little bit productive and then letting all that come to a screeching halt when Happy Hour comes around!! Cuz’ hey! We’re retired gals after all!! Nobody’s the boss of us and it’s our turn to embrace all this new life has to offer! We can handle that…..

Talking about embracing all that this life has to offer, Scott & I are heading down to Boca Chica for two nights. I’ve mentioned before that we have a ‘Groupon’ like thing here in Panama, called “Oferta Simple”. We bought a coupon for half off at a wonderful place called Seagull cove Lodge. So next weekend, off we go! And since its whale watching season we plan to go out and see if we can spot some whales while we’re there. I’ve never done that so I’m looking forward to it. It’s good,( heck, it’s necessary,) for Scott to take a break every once in awhile from being the Jefe! He really needs to just relax and enjoy a little down time away from the project. Aside from Sundays he really doesn’t have a lot of down time, so I guess I’ll just have to suffer and drag him away from here for a couple of nights! I know, very generous of me, hah! 🙂

I decided to sign up for more Spanish school! Yep! Here I go again. I already spent about 20 weeks at Habla Ya and now that I’ve spent some time on my own trying to practice in the real world, I think It’s time to get back to taking some more classes. Every year about this time the school offers half off to residence. So I start on Monday and I gotta admit, I’m a tiny bit nervous. I have such negative self talk when it comes to school, and learning! Sheesh! I really gotta work on that! I hope I feel better this time around! When I first started learning Spanish I felt so dumb and so overwhelmed! It felt as if I would never be able to memorize all the things I was learning. But, seriously, I’m determined to learn! And I think, with determination, and lots of practice there’s no way I’m not gonna become at least somewhat proficient at communicating with all these great Native speakers! I may sound like an idiot at times and I may make all sorts of mistakes and slaughter their language as I’m learning…but eventually I’ll get it! Truth be told I’m beginning to really feel as though I’m moving forward and I’m most certainly learning! I can now understand more and more of what’s being said to me! Not always mind you, but If I can pick out just a few words here and there, I can almost always figure it out! MOSTLY! Hah! When think back to how much I knew when I first moved here, compared to what I know now! WOW!! I feel pretty good, because, seriously…I did not know anything at all!!! So, as I love to say…”Poco a Poco”!

May I say….when I think about our life here in Boquete, I can’t help but feel so happy. I would not change a thing about this adventure. Making this move to Central America has had its hard moments, of course! That’s called… LIFE! We’ve had to, (and continue to) adjust to an entirely new way of living our lives. Learning a new language, adapting to a different culture, learning and accepting how to have different expectations about the different ways things are done here in Panama, making new friends and of course building our house… just to name a few of the challenges that come along with a move to a different country. To be honest, the list of things, good and bad, goes on and on! And, truth be told, NEW is exactly what we signed up for! And NEW is just what we receive in this life here in the highlands of Panama ! Every single day there’s something NEW to experience and Scott & I embrace it all with pleasure. I just can’t imagine not being right here right now! It feels so good to know that I’m where I’m meant to be! Doing exactly what I’m meant to be doing! Life is such an Adventure…don’t you agree? It doesn’t matter where you are in this great big world, if your choosing to make it your very own adventure then your probably just at pleased with your decision as we are! Good For All Of Us!! Whooohooo! Life is good!

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3 responses »

  1. Amen to the “Life is good” statement. We are so happy with our decision to move to Panama. One of our friends just posted on Facebook about how wonderful the fall weather is in Florida. I could’t help myself and wrote back “We have 365 “Fall” days in Boquete. We so appreciate you guys for the help and encouragement you have been to us — about to celebrate our 4 month anniversary next week. WoooHooo

  2. Just booked a coffee tour through Cafe Ruiz! The casita will be perfect in the end–just a matter of straightening those windows out (no pun intended!) with a level! Our main doors didn’t have screens in this rental house (windows did), so we set out to create our own. They really are a must if you want to keep doors open at night for the breezes.

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