Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Lightning Show 4/30/08

"Lightning is a beautiful but deadly natural phenomenon", according to one Google definition. It didn't seem very deadly as I watched silent lightning explode over distant portions of the Pacific Ocean. Of course I was seated in my newly-purchased deck chair on my lanai, listening to gigantic toads courting each other. How could anything seem deadly! How could life get any better?
Here's a picture of Volcan Baru (the highest point in Panama @11,411 feet). This shot is taken from near the back window of my condo. It can also be seen from the ocean (reminiscent of swimming on the Big Island of Hawaii and while staring at Mauna Loa). Wood storks hang out in those trees along with great and snow egrets.
Good news! The Banistmo Bank will give Las Olas Development Group a promissory note by the end of the week. That means I can move my newly-purchased furniture into the condo by the weekend (I hope). One can't get too worked up about time here. I'm just glad I found nice furniture in David & didn't have to make a special trip to Panama City. Furniture City will transport the furniture for a mere $30.00! It cost more than that to have Sears move an elliptical exercise machine across town in Fairbanks!
Adios for now! If I knew retirement was going to be so nice, I would have done it years ago!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

4/29/08 - I've been here a week!

I'm starting to feel like a real Panamanian after only one week. I'm getting more aggressive in my driving habits, I can rattle off my Passport Number in Spanish (as important as a Social Security number is in the USA), and I use my cell phone several times a day. Not to mention that I successfully chased out two geckos from my condo (a broom works very nicely to chase them out windows or doors). At breakfast (picture a huge fruit plate with mangoes, papayas, watermelon and pineapple... for $2.50), I saw dolphins jumping out of the ocean. At lunch, I ate salad from my lanai as I watched an iguana eat his from the planted greenery in front of my lanai. Last night I got talking to Eliecer (a very funny Panamanian who works at Las Olas) all about sharks and dolphins in the Pacific. The reason sharks don't bother swimmers here at Playa La Barqueta is because the tide is too variable for them. If you swim way-way out, I imagine you might encounter them. The biggest danger here is the rip current (which occurs mostly at high tide). I'll only go into the ocean if I have my body-board (secured to my wrist) and fins (& it's low tide). Just last week, some egotistical California male surfer type nearly drowned when he failed to heed Eliecer's advice. He had to be rescued by locals who know how to swim in this ocean.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Here's a picture of my Condo

Hola Everyone! So I'm playing with this new blog adventure. I'll try to upload some photos & see what happens. The first picture is of my corner unit. The second picture looking out my bedroom window. I have a corner unit on the first floor (lucky me) so I have a similar view out the living room through the sliding glass doors & side window. Good night, Elena

Settling in Panama 4/27/08 Update

I arrived on Earth Day (4/22/08). It has been a great ride so far. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe I'm really retired from 32 years of mostly fun Federal Service and sometimes I just have to laugh out loud. Like today, as I walked from my room at Las Olas Resort to the pool area, a huge 4' long green iguana was blocking my way. Hummm... we aren't in Alaska any more, are we? The iguana was resting on the cool marble/tile floor and seemed content to stay there. As I moved closer, he didn't realize that I didn't want to eat him (being the vegan I am) and quickly tried to move away. However, he couldn't get any traction on the slick floor and looked much like a cartoon character as he ran in place. I can't understand why the rest of the USA hasn't moved here yet. It's quite lovely. But one needs patience. Things move pretty slowly. One of my new found Panamanian friends compared living in Panama to living in the US in the 1950's. I hope to move from the Las Olas Hotel to my condo (Las Brisas Del Mar) tomorrow. My first furniture purchase will be a bed. Stay tuned!