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Living in Panama has lots of pluses, but also a few minus. On the minus side, especially if you are a news junkie, is the difficultly in keeping up with what's going in the world. English language broadcasts (TV or radio) are pretty rare and the English print media even rarer in Panama. The result is that we get a lot of our news and information on the internet - all the big (traditional) outlets have a web presence, as well as smaller web only "publications". We follow what's happening in such diverse places as St. Croix (The Saint Croix Source) and Bardstown Kentucky (Kentucky Standard) along with our old hometown's Charlotte Observer.

Getting your news and information on the internet usually means a free site that's trying to pay their bills by selling ads - sometimes a LOT of ads. Can't really fault the sites, somebody has to foot the bill, but it certainly doesn't make for a great reading experience. When you read as much internet content as I do, having a TIVO like option for avoiding the clutter sure would be nice. Well . . . I may have found some help.

Getting our mail

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I've had a couple of people ask how we get our mail in Panama and what our address is, so I thought I would tell you about our "system". Be warned - it's not easy to explain so this post is WAY longer than this subject might be if I could just tell you "send our mail here".

First a couple of interesting (maybe) tidbits - Panama has a postal service, but they don't provide mail delivery to your home (might sound strange - but that's what we had on St. Croix, even with the USPS). You can get a box at the local Post Office, if you have one nearby (we don't) and they have a box available (not likely, because of the demand). We don't really have "normal" street addresses - no 435 Main Street type addresses in Panama (gee, just like St. Croix, again). Panama, like many countries in the world, has never instituted a traditional address system, even in the big cities. It's much more akin to the rural areas of the U.S. where directions are given using landmarks. Lastly the "courier" business in Panama is big, correspondence (and bills) are all delivered "En mano" - by hand. Read More...

New look and RSS explained

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If you are a frequent visitor you may have noticed that the sidebar has moved from the right to left side on this page. It also remains in a fixed position as you scroll the main content - something I've been trying to accomplish for some time. Occasionally these kind of changes have unforeseen consequences so please let me know if you encounter any display issues and what browser you are using. Also. if you have a strong preference - old vs new layout, let me know.

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Panama National Elections

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This Sunday (May 3) Panama's national elections will take place. It's basically a non-event for those of us who are just guests in this country - except for the noise (VERY LOUD music seems to be an important factor in getting your candidate's message out to the voters), the traffic jams (long lines of cars - with BIG speaker systems playing the aforementioned LOUD MUSIC and blowing their horns) and the ubiquitous fireworks. Read More...

Home alone

B.G. Wags

Jane is in Kentucky visiting family and friends. Wags and I are holding down the home front - working hard, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! So far we have managed to stay out of trouble.

Think we need to take a walk and get some ice cream. Take care

Moving day

Started our move to the new apartment so we might be offline (out of touch) for the next couple of days. We're changing our ISP, never know if the gremlins will strike, if all goes well, should have a post by Sunday.

Range install New kitchen

The new range was installed today - their second try, had a little mixup on the first attempt. Countertops and cabinets look great. If I could just get the sink drain installed we would be in good shape. Still have a couple dozen other "odd jobs" to complete, but it's lookin' good.

Back in couple of days. take care.

Not a fun ten days

Well, I'm back on my feet - sort of. For those of you who have had the bad luck to run afoul of a kidney stone, you probably already know more than you want to about the subject so I will skip the details. If your luck has been good with regards to this aliment - I only hope your good fortune continues. Suffice to say that I've only been "hurtin' for certain" a handful of times in my life and that these last few days rank right up their with the worst. I'm up and around, even doing a little work on the apartment, but basically feel like I lost a big time brawl - badly!

Hope to do another post with some details on our dealings with the Panama health care system and our insurance company - just give me a couple of days.

Thanks to those who emailed or phoned. Take care.

Out of service

For only the second time in my life I found myself in a hospital as a patient this last Tuesday. After a little prodding from Jane (maybe it was a lot, can’t remember because of the pain) we were in a taxi on our way to Punta Pacifica Hospital where the emergency room doctor quickly made a preliminary diagnoses of kidney stones. After an overnight stay, and an initial attempt to grab the pesky stone failed, I’ve been just laying around the apartment. Will have a “insiders” look at health care in Panama when I get back on my feet, although I’d much rather be writing about the apartment remodel.

How cold is it?

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As a special service to those of you residing in the northern climes I’ve added the Panama City weather to the sidebar. It’s tough here - but somebody has to do it.
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