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Odds and Ends

Damcers on stage

I thought I had better get something posted so that everyone knows that all is well in Panama. It's just that we've settled into a state of tranquilo-ness, i.e. - nothing really exciting to write about and I've simply been short of inspiration lately.

So . . . . what's been happening:

Weather: Rainy season has started - just infrequent showers so far, but things are looking green already. On Sunday, April 18th we experienced the hottest day of the year when it reached 96°. It will start cooling off (a little) now that we are in the rainy season. We also had a high tide warning this last week (this happens several time a year) as tides on the "Pacific Side" were nearly seventeen (17) feet. Surf's Up! ! !

Day Trips
: We've been back to the beach at Santa Clara - it makes for a nice relaxing day away from the city and Wags really like to play in the sand. Also went back to the "Atlantic Side" - just drove around the back roads and had a nice $7.50 lunch (total for both of us) - Jane had pollo, pescado for me, Wags had some papas fritas.
Santa Clara - Atlantic Side   Pacific Side

Jane: Has been busy, busy! Just finished up a round of Spanish lessons and has started tutoring English as a second language to kids at a learning center along with some adult classes here in Casco Viejo. And, a real surprise - she now drives around town on her own. Beep, beep.

Taxes: Yes, even when you live outside the US you deal with the IRS. On the plus side we are now living on the infamous "fixed income" so our IRS footprint is pretty insignificant. That, coupled with the ability to eFile make it pretty much a "non-event" for us. A couple of hours of my time and five days later our refund is in the bank.

Our tax obligations in Panama are almost nonexistent, as they don't tax any of our "income." Pretty good deal.

Opera: Nope we haven't joined high society but Casco did host Opera Fest last month. One of the performances targeted us non-opera folk - a night of Broadway Show Tunes. We had our usual front row galleria seats and enjoyed the evening, but don't see myself becoming an opera fan anytime soon.

America Concert
Rock and Roll: A couple of days after the opera we had a change of pace with a live concert by America ( "A Horse with No Name", "Sister Golden Hair", "Ventura Highway", "Tin Man") on their 40th Anniversary Tour. Also on the show, singer/songwriter Roger Hodgson ("The Logical Song", "Dreamer", "Give a Little Bit"). Had a great evening listening to some of the songs from our younger days. The most amazing thing about the evening - that young Panamanians were such BIG fans, even singing along when prompted to do so. Fun!

Construction: A couple of new restaurants and shops have opened, but the big news is on the construction front. The Union Club is coming down (mostly) to be replaced by a small hotel. It's the building shell that until demolition started was the kids "skateboard park" and "diving platform," art show venue and movie set. Maybe someday, we will actually have a hotel in Casco.
Union Club - before   Union Club - during

The Kays
Visitors: Panama Notes reader's, the Kay family from Dallas stopped by Casco for a couple of days and of course got our tour of the neighborhood. As usual it was nice to share our experiences with visitors. The reason for their trip, Krista (their daughter) is getting married in June and this was her last fling before the big day.

Amanda, Tim and Michael
Our other recepients of a "Grand Casco Tour" got hooked up with me not via Panama Notes but through a chance meeting while I was in the hosptal for those pesky kidney stones. Michael (a Peace Corp volunteeer from Honduras) was in the bed next to mine in pre-op. During our conversation he mentioned that friends (Amanada and Tim, NGO volunteers, also from Honduras) would be joining him for a couple of days in Panama. I mentioned that if they ran out of exciting things to do - give me a call. He did, and we had a great time.

Think that's it for now. Will try to get back to making more frequenst posts. Take care.

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