Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ho, Hum but not humdrum

Rainy season continues with several days of sunshine in between the frequent storms/showers.This is a pleasant time mostly as temperatures are moderately hot instead of very hot, the winds are gentler than in dry season, and the rapid growth in the gardens is remarkable. Some of our new plantings are flowering, the palms are looking lush, and the grass - well it needs to be cut twice a week, is bright green and thick. Dry season will see a totally different look! The grass will brown, growth will slow to almost a standstill, and there will be an abundance of flowering. We plan to seek out more flowering shrubs as we plan the back garden. I am certainly a flower-loving person which is what I loved most about the Hawaiian Islands. I found a software program called 'Smartdraw' ' which is not expensive and with my limited knowledge of CAD, I made a plan of the back, not to scale, but close enough! Matt will appreciate the guide when next we meet. Execution of the plan will have to wait awhile as right now  funds are dried up and I need to save for the trip home at Christmas! I always buy well ahead if I can for the jolly season, and have started already with a few gifts.

Life has settled into a rhythm. It took the predicted six months for our comfort levels to reach the point of truly enjoying our home and its location! We have made many wonderful friends from all walks of life, most of them retirees also.  The lot next door was levelled this past week, so we will have true next door neighbours by about March/April. This was the first weekend in a long time that we had no social commitments! Tomorrow, we entertain Stan and Val before they head back to California. Next Saturday, there will be a crowd at our house for chili and various other goodies. Don't tell anyone, but we are planning to pay charades!

In Pedasi, the strip mall is almost ready, having been paved these past weeks, and the hospital moves ahead slowly. I thought both were to be opened later this year. There is also a large building being completed as you leave Pedasi, driving south, which is rumoured to be a large supermercaado. I haven't heard about the airport being refurbished at Rio Hato lately. It will be handling charters when it first opens, but is supposed to be for international flights from all over. The rate of building in Panama bodes well for the economy here! The roads are constantly being worked on, sometimes for upgrading, sometimes for repair. Whatever they use to construct these does not seem to last long, and neither do car tires! I understand the metro in the City is moving along slowly, but the forecast is that it will not be used enough to pay for itself, so is it going to be a 'white elephant'? It seems owning and driving a car is something of a status symbol in the City. Hmmmm? It has been highly disruptive with a lot of time and money invested.

Last Wednesday, I had lunch with a group of delightful ladies, all American except myself, and many from the southern US. I said I was eating with a 'bunch of furriners'! Lola made the most delicious salad I have had in ages, and Marilyn brought a coconut rice pudding to die for! Little drinking, but a boatload of laughter with these gals. Friends Bill and MaryEllen were in Panama last week and brought me back 'bread flour', whole wheat flour, yeast packets, and Cross and Blackwell marmalade from Riba Smith. We are SO grateful, and my bread is absolutely delicious as a result! You can find what you need in this country if you are willing to travel a little and seek the stuff out. I order many smaller items online and delivery is about two weeks for most. As we use Mailboxes Etc, added cost only occurs when an item is overweight. So far I have ordered three throw rugs, business cards and postcards. All arrived nicely packed and in good condition.

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