Things that make me smile…and other things that don’t always make me smile…


Yesterday we were at Banco National trying to figure out which type of deposit slip to use to make a deposit to the Bombero’s (firemen) for an inspection. The bank was really busy for some reason and all the tellers as well as the people at the desks were all busy with customers so we were struggling on our own, attempting to read each different slip, there were about 5 or so of them, and we were kinda stumped as to which one to fill out. I kept turning around and looking around the bank for any available employee to ask, but I could see that no one was available to talk to so we just continued to sort through the deposit slips. When suddenly I noticed one of the women at the desks who was helping a Panamanian man get up and walk our way. I thought she must be going to get something but then I realized she was walking directly to us. She had noticed our apparent cluelessness and kindly came to help us! How sweet this was. We told her what we were trying to do and she handed us the correct forms with a kind smile on her face and informed us that we needed to go over to the bombers first to get their account number. This small act of kindness made me smile.

Off we went for a little walk to the fire house just down the street. Found the office with a woman in a uniform sitting at a desk. She smiled, we told her what we needed and she came to the counter to tell us what we needed to provide to arrange the inspection. We had a bunch of copies of different papers, of course we were missing one. Because here in Panama you can almost never have ALL the paperwork on the first try…no! She did provide the account number and off we went , back up the hill to obtain yet one more copy of one more piece of paper, ugh. But she was so friendly and so helpful and again I walked away with a smile on my face. Isnt it nice when people are helpful and knowledgable.

Your probably wondering about this ‘inspection’ we are trying to arrange…well you see, I was planning to talk about things that make me smile…ugh. This doesn’t really make me smile but I should clarify why we’re out and about trying to get the bomberos up to our job site to do an inspection. Well, you see, once again it’s to do with our electricity…yes, that darn electricity is again causing us problems. I may not have mentioned that the hook up to the power company is just ‘provisional’. Yep, not permanent until we get our final inspection and occupancy permit. What I didn’t know,( but apparently Scott was aware of ), is that this ‘provisional’ power is only good for 90 days!!! (not smiling..) So, we got a phone call from the power company last week letting us know that the 90 days is nearly expired! What! Oh my gosh! So, we are really trying like crazy to not have out power disconnected. What we are told they do here is simply cut the wire! Gulp! Yep! Thats what we hear happens. Can you imagine what a pain in the , ahem, butt it will be to get that re-connected! Oh my gosh! I really really don’t want that to happen.

So, today, Tuesday, Scott is attempting to get all our ducks in a row, (not without a lot of frustration), so that we can get this darn inspection and start the 90 day clock ticking again. What we really really need to do is to have our final inspections done and get our final occupancy permit. I think this is what we will be working towards now. We are so very tired of the unexpected little things like this that seem to creep up on us, (when I say ‘us’ I mean ME!) hah! Its time to be done with this project, well at least as far as dealing with the city is concerned. I seriously doubt we will need to be totally and completely done, so Scott can take his time doing the more artistic aspects of the project which is his favorite part of what we’re doing.

Alas, I began this post to ponder things that make me smile, and I went down a rabbit hole that makes me cringe. Oh well! I may be cringing at times but don’t think for a minute that I can’t both cringe and smile simultaneously! You know me! I’ll never let a little aggravation stop me from finding something to smile about. As a matter of fact I feel a smile creeping up on me right this minute! I’m sitting at our island in the kitchen making homemade chocolate chip cookies for my very frustrated man and Federico and Richard are painting the living room and rec room. It looks so pretty! I can’t wait to move our things into it and settle in. It’ll be so nice to no longer have guys in the house all day invading my space, THAT really makes me smile!

The last few day have been quite damp, foggy and gloomy outside. But, I do love the cozy feeling of sitting on my terrace just reading or writing or working on my new water color painting hobby. I love thinking about days gone by, about so many things to look forward to in our future and mostly just about this very moment. I do love this place so. I appreciate so much about what this move to Panama has done for our lives. We’re living a life of intention and although frustrations slip in and try to make us crazy we never stop feeling grateful for where we are and what we’ve been working so hard to create. We’re working for us, not for anything or anyone but ‘us’ (well, maybe for the bombero’s today ! hah!) and this always makes me smile. Well, that and my furry dog curled up in a ball sleeping the day away….so darn cute! And, my gardener outside in the garden working in the rain to create a pretty garden….I think I’ll take him a warm chocolate chip cookie and see him smile too! Gosh, I appreciate having the opportunity to do such a thing on a rainy Tuesday afternoon!


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. Oh my Holly ! How do you keep a great attitude when faced with difficulty! You inspire me, more than you can imagine. I love baking , but I think I’ll wait for cooler days. Baking is so soothing to me.

    • Oh Dianne, You and I have both had our fair share of difficulties in our lifetimes and for me I find them much easier to face with optimism than with negativity. It’s just a choice I guess….I like being happy so much more than being miserable. And, Baking is a new thing for me, I never had time to do it before, now I’m finding that its pretty fun! I sure do miss our regular appointments! Love ya tons!!

  2. Holly, you are the most positive, uplifting woman I know and I’m proud to be able to call you my daughter. 😍😘 As my Mom would say “Happy, Happy Joy, Joy” 😍😉🤗😘

  3. Wish I was there for a chocolate chip cookie.. comfort food yummmmm… Have a book you must read Gifted hands The Ben Carson Story …true story and inspirational. I am currently reading more about him…Oh we have started a book club here been going six months and surviving XXX000

  4. Well Holly if you can wait until September to crawl down a rabbit hole that makes you cringe, I’ll happily pour an entire bottle of vino tinto to drown your anguish!
    You two have the patience of Job!

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