Life as an Expat…the bumps, the bothers, the beauty

Archive for the ‘Kunas’

Christmas in San Blas; NY’s Eve in Portobelo

January 02, 2007 By: admin Category: Beaches, Customs & Culture, Kunas, Portobelo No Comments →

I have had a couple of holiday traditions since moving to Panama. One has been to ‘play Santa Claus’ for about 1000 kids on 4 islands in San Blas. It is always treacherous and taxing to get there as the weight I take out mandates a trip by other than air. Last year, it was an overloaded canoe over the ocean in 15 foot swells for 7 hours after a bus ride from Hell. This year, we passed over the mountains near Chepo on a dirt road that grew progressively worse as we neared the Atlantic side until we were simply sliding down sideways to seemingly certain death. I repeat, mud is to driving in the tropics what snow and ice are in the US mountains. That was one of the 2 scariest drives of my life. Flying back and looking at that ribbon of a road
that runs along the very peak of the mountains, I knew that if I had seen the realty of the drop offs beside as we slid sideways down the steep grade that I would never have considered going up there to begin with. The old addage is true, ignorance is bliss. (more…)

The Little Things

October 18, 2005 By: admin Category: Birds, Casco Viejo, El Chorrillo, Kunas, La Cresta, Spirituality No Comments →

I have written that what I love most about Casco Viejo is an intangible in the same way sparks fly when two people meet. You can’t put that in words that can adequately explain it, but you sure know it when you feel it. (more…)

Urban Nature, Art and Death

September 16, 2005 By: admin Category: 9-11, Art & Culture, Casco Viejo, Humidity, Kunas, La Cresta, NYC No Comments →

All my life, I have longed to live where I have both views of mountains and sea. That dream has finally come true. Yesterday, I walked across Calle Segundo and right into that wide open view of Paitilla. It seemed like a different world merely two blocks away. The view of the city evokes such a different internal energy than the view facing Amador where the mountains of Veracruz, the Bridge of the Americas and the greenery of the Canal banks dominate where there isn’t sea. Fortunately, none of the green is close enough to cause a mildew plague, yet is close enough to create a lovely, peaceful view. Now that’s my kind of green. I have come to associate greenery with intolerable humidity and mildew, nice to visit, lovely to look at, but I don’t want to live in it. (more…)

Patina of the Ages

May 17, 2005 By: admin Category: Bitch, Bitch, Casco Viejo, Expat Life, Kunas, Real Estate No Comments →

I’m coming up on a year of living in Casco Viejo and boy is this a very different neighborhood from the one I moved into. Yesterday was the most perfect day, a rare and beautiful bright blue sky filled with clouds of all configurations. I decided to go out and take a few pictures as it’s a rare opportunity to shoot with a blue sky rather than a white or grey one. The flame trees are in full, orange-red bloom. Later, they’ll turn to a deeper red, but for now, orange is the more dominant hue. I walked up the Paseo, stopped at the tree where I shot a pelican last summer and know them to roost when the trees are in bloom. Apparently they nest there, too! A large baby pelican was sitting in the exact spot I shot the adult pelican last


A San Blas Christmas

December 27, 2004 By: admin Category: Beaches, Kunas No Comments →

This Christmas was easily the most incredible, most memorable ever. About the time Santa started bringing computers, my son began to understand where they came from, so I quit Christmas and we began what we call our anti-Christmas, trading what had become almost as work as moving for a new adventure each year to get as far away from the commercialized American Christmas as possible. Before this, gambling in Atlantic City on Christmas Day was sitting at the top of the success in terms of an anti-Christmas.


October 11, 2004 By: admin Category: Avenida Central, Casco Viejo, Humidity, Kunas, NYC, Rainy Season, Shopping No Comments →

So indeed, dog tired, I arrived back in Casco Viejo Tuesday night missing both the opening day of post-season baseball and the vice-presidential debate. I had arrived in NYC in the middle of the Republican Convention. Those two flights couldn’t have been more poorly timed if I had tried. At least it wasn’t boring when I arrived and thank God the flight didn’t have a lot of people on the return. I think I’ll try to always book flights on Tuesdays in this direction.

I don’t think I will ever get used to the overpowering blast of humidity when you open the door at Tocumen. Even before that, the smell of mildew is present from the time you deplane. (more…)

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