Getting settled into our new house and our visit with Pat…

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April 24th…
We’ve slept in our new house for eight nights! Getting ourselves all moved in was a flurry of craziness but we managed to make our goal and move in when we hoped to move in. Mind you, by the time we moved all our things both from the casita and from our storage unit this house was stuffed full and looked like the home of a serious hoarder! hah! Knowing we’d be having Scott’s mom visiting just a few short days after moving into our new house really added another layer of crazy to our move. And, when I say, ‘crazy’, I mean the best kind of ‘crazy’!

I keep looking at Pat and saying, with a big smile…”I can’t believe your Here!”. We’ve been looking forward to her visit for so long and to finally have her here in Boquete with us is just so unreal. Both of us have been dying to share our new home with her, knowing that once she was here she’d finally see just why we decided to make this massive life change. So far I think she’s enjoying her visit, I know Scott and I are beyond thrilled to have her here with us.

The week leading up to Pat’s visit, was, as you can imagine, a week of craziness in so many ways. But, all our friends here were so supportive, offering to help sending kind, caring text messages and emails asking how we were doing and reminding me that I only need ask if there was anything they could do, it meant a lot. Most of that week Scott was consumed by working on making this house ‘livable’ so it was up to me to get our belongings moved little by little from the casita up here into the house. I spent my days just boxing and bagging and stuffing things into my car for the short drive up the hill to our new home. Its funny how much ’stuff’ that little casita can hold! I didn’t really have an organized plan but simply moved little by little all our clothes, food, dishes, what small furniture and electronics, basically anything I could move by myself I stuffed into my car and schlepped it all day long.

The last day of this migration up the hill to the new house we finally asked for help. Scott needed more muscle to help him move the last few things from our storage unit that were too heavy or bulky for me to help him with. We had been slowly bringing the bulk of the things we had in the storage up here little by little for several weeks leading up to our move so there remained only the washer/dryer, the king size bed for the guest room, the pool table , kayak and a few other things. I needed boxes to put some of the things from the casita into in order to move them so I had unpacked some of the boxes that were in storage in order to re-use them. We had asked Bond if he would mind helping Scott move the last few things from storage and Luana said she would be coming over to help me while the guys did that. That same day my neighbor and friend Kat said she’d be coming up as well. So, this day was the final ‘push’ to have all our possessions moved. It was exhausting and I was beyond overwhelmed by the reality of how much crap we brought with us from the states.

I think this last three years of living with so much less really made me realize how little I really need and to face the reality of how much we still have was very overwhelming. Not only that but our original plan was to rent our casita totally furnished and we ended up renting it to a couple who moved here from Panama City and already have an entire household full of their own things. What this means is that we now have two households worth of dishes, furniture, towels, sheets, pots and pans and just general household things that we had not planned to have in our one house! ugh! We planned to furnish two houses and found ourselves moving it all into our new place. This really contributed to my feelings of being a ‘hoarder’! It’s not all bad though because I didn’t really bring much furniture for the new house, since I was planning to leave all the living room furniture in the casita I was going to have to buy new furniture for the new house. But, since the casita doesn’t need any furniture I didn’t have to buy new and this has been a really nice thing.


Before we flew to the city to collect Pat we had stuffed all the boxes in every nook and cranny that we could and just locked up and left. So, when we got back here four days later, having only slept here for two nights, this place was a total disaster for our house guest! hah! We had warned her and she knew what she was getting herself into but I’m pretty sure actually seeing it in real life was a little shocking at first. We did manage to make her room nice and clean and the only room in the house that looked livable. We couldn’t bring her here and not have a nice room for her to stay in.

I don’t think we could have planned Pat’s visit any better. You may be thinking it sounds as though the timing was terrible for her to come, but no….she is a pro at organizing and cleaning! Her first day here she was like a Tasmanian Devil, making a plan and digging into organizing , beginning with the kitchen! Scott had not quite gotten the water to the kitchen sink hooked up and running so we had to wait about a day until we could clean. And when he did get water to the sink it took a couple more days to get the hot water to function, which meant we had to heat up hot water in the tea kettle on the stove in order to clean. No big deal, this didn’t stop Pat from finding ways to get our kitchen in order so her son could begin to cook! Cuz’, ya know, he does like to feed us and we love to eat!

We worked non stop on the first day of her visit and managed to dig ourselves out of the total disaster that was in front of us. Its been so good to have her here helping us, I honestly don’t know how I would have done it without her. And, she has not uttered one negative word! Not one complaint about the construction dust and the bugs that are just par for the course living in the tropics and in a construction site. She’s just been a champ.


May 8th…
As we’ve been working to get settled in we’ve been attempting to pace ourselves too. I’m trying not to work her too much, although truth be told, its not easy to stop her! Hah! She’s been my shadow and together we are managing to turn this new house into a home. Nearly all the boxes are unpacked and out of the house and yesterday we even managed to organized my bedroom enough that we can now see the floor! Wow! The steady flow of work on the house is still in motion. Every day we have our workers up here making all sorts of noise. Pat is really getting to see first hand just what our life here is like.

I think she’s also been able to see why we made this move to Panama. Not that she didn’t already understand , but somehow being ’told’ about how beautiful it is here and actually seeing it all for yourself I think brings the reality into a much clearer focus. We’ve taken time off from our scurry of settling into the house and paced ourselves by taking Pat out to some nice meals, although, she much prefers eating her sons cooking! 🙂

This week I took her on a little field trip along with our friends Bond & Luana to the little town on the other side of our volcano, Volcan. We have a friend who lives over there named Raquel. She rescues exotic animals who have either been domesticated pets and then abandoned, or injured or found separated from their mothers at a very young age and need to be cared for. Pat got to hold a two toed sloth, a baby howler monkey and she got to see a Margay (a wild cat) and coatimundis (related to a raccoon). After visiting Raquels house we all went to lunch at a nearby Mexican restaurant. When I say, “All” I mean….Boomer too! Boomer is Raquel’s baby howler monkey! This part of our day, while unique, and fun, may have been just a tad outside of Pat’s comfort zone! haha!

We all drove in my car to the restaurant and it turns out that Boomer enjoys laying on the dash board of the car while driving. He also shocked Pat, who was sitting in the front seat, by jumping from the dashboard to the her lap and swinging from the handle up at the top of the door next to her head! Oh my gosh! Then, at the restaurant Pat was treated to a once in a lifetime experience of sharing the table with a monkey. I think Pat’s Panama experience may have peaked with the lunch with a baby monkey! teehee! I haven’t even told you about the very first part of our visit when we picked her up in Panama City. I’ll have to get to that later because as I normally do, I’ve written way too much already! Oops! I’ve been told more than once that I have a tendency to go on and on and on , so here is where I’ll stop! hah!

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About hollycarter184

Life is Good! But it's time for a change, and more adventure! I'd like to share the whole experience of preparing then actually making a reality of expatriating, and moving to a new country. It's an exciting, and slightly scary move full of possibility . I'm looking forward to learning a new language and making new connections with the people who share our spirit of adventure. This blog is my way of continuing my connection with my friends and family in the States. Sooooo here it goes! :)

6 responses »

  1. It was great to see you again Holly, I’m looking to getting together in September. Ah yes, Boomer. Raquel took By & me on a trip to Limones with– of course, Boomer! Boomer can climb under the seats, across the dash and hang from the “oh shit” handles with amazing speed and agility only known to monkeys. We were mesmerized by the flurry of his moves. An amazing experience to be sure. I’m glad to hear Bond, Luana, and Kats jumped in — great people. Boquete has a plethora of super people. Great blog!

    • Mariah! You know first hand how fun Boomer is! I’m so glad you guys had such a great time here in Boquete! I hope we’ll get more time to spend together when you return in Sept!!!

  2. Hi there ! What a blast , pet monkey out to lunch! I can only imagine how crazy that is . Scott s mom is a real trooper and a great lady. Have fun setting up your new home ! Love ya Diane

  3. If your courage and tenacity and energy didn’t already impress me, I would be blown away by how much you have accomplished and how daunting a task nearly EVERYTHING has been for you and Scott since you undertook the great building experience(s). You are an inspiration on so many levels. Moving stinks no matter when and how and that you managed this with grace and humor is wonderful and inspiring (as I already said but cannot find another word to use in its place). You go girl. I cannot wait to see the final result.

  4. Sounds like Pat is a God’s send. I am so happy for all the help, sounds like she is getting things put away. Her reward in see those amazing aminals,and having lunch with that monkey sounds hilarious along with the car ride😂. I see where Scott gets his drive to get things done😉.
    Oh and you do have some wonderful new friends to help with your move, can’t wait to met them.
    Love to you all Mom😘😘😘

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