Travel

Summer and Other Stories

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Summer has returned! We had a week and a half of rainy season weather with some very big downpours. This is very strange in March. It’s supposed to be really hot and dry with no rain, but I appreciated the rain to cool things down and make all the plants green and happy. But, if you are working outdoors it would complicate your afternoon and my friend brought up another good point. If you are counting on summer weather patterns to know when to plant things on your farm, this could cause problems. But, the rainy weather has passed. Yesterday and today we have blue skies, strong sun, wind, and no rain is predicted all week. The mani (perennial peanut) in my backyard looks green and happy though.

green and happy mani (perennial peasut)

When you want to get things done here it isn’t always as straightforward as you would think. I have an internet data plan on my phone which I find very handy, so we decided to upgrade Joel to a similar plan from his pay-as-you-go thing he was doing before. I must have gone through this before and forgotten it, or I thought since Joel already had a phone number it wouldn’t be so complicated. ha!

There was a big form to fill out with all the information you could imagine, including three people as references. They guy wasn’t experienced with this so he had to ask questions of another guy who was in the back office. But, you can’t just pop into the back office. You have to knock and wait for someone to open the door. It finally ended up that they had to start over with a new form and do it together to get it completed correctly. Then there was also another form, and another. Then, there were pictures of his cedula (ID card) alone, the form alone, both of them together. His signature wasn’t exactly like the one on the cedula so that was a problem but they finally let that pass. Then they had to take a picture of him (pretend) signing the form. Then they gave him a new SIM card since he’s forgotten to bring his old one, and we were done! It was very nice that there were some young workers hanging out in the office playing disco music on their phones while we were all waiting around, memories of my younger days in NYC. The kid says his mother listens to that so that is how he came to like the music too. We had to wait for a phone call which came a couple hours later to tell us the plan was now activated. We put in the new SIM card and everything was working properly. Yay! Whew

The dog started scratching herself all the time. We have been using anti flea and tick medicine and we couldn’t find anything on her, so we have no idea what that was all about. I called the vet but couldn’t get an answer, so one day I rode my bike down there. They were in the office and said maybe they were just busy when I was calling. The doctor was on vacation until the following week, but they sold me some antihistamines which turned out to be generic Claritin. It seemed to help quite a bit, so after 5 days I stopped giving her the pills and she continued to do well. So, who knows what that was all about, but I’m glad she isn’t itching any more. This is Avionetta living her difficult life. I usually practice in my room in the afternoons and she loves to lie on her back behind the door.

Other than that, life is pretty routine at the moment. We continue our band gigs in Boquete on Sunday evenings. A couple weeks ago we were set up and waiting for our start time, and a big gust of wind came along and blew one of our speakers over the railing and on to the sidewalk below. On the way it took my plastic bin with it that I use for cords and other equipment. I had put my iPad in there instead of on my microphone stand so it wouldn’t risk being blown over in the wind. Believe it or not though, that was the only thing damaged. The speaker still works, the light on top of the speaker is fine, and nothing in my bin was hurt, just scattered all over the place. My iPad though.. 😢 thankfully it’s fairly old and I had already gotten another as a backup because I knew its days were limited. It’s surprising how much we have come to rely on technology and our devices. My poor iPad..

Speaking of equipment, there’s another story. Joel really wanted a Marshall speaker cabinet for his guitar. He found a place in Germany that would sell him one and ship it to Panama for way less than it would cost in the USA without shipping. So he buys it and a while later we hear from customs here in Panama. They give us the price of the import taxes, but you can only pay by credit card in Panama City. We had to go to their bank, make the deposit into their account, and send them a picture of the receipt. After they verified that the money was there, they put the cabinet on a truck and sent it to David. Two guys showed up in the afternoon after contacting us to expect them. They said they left Panama City that morning with a full truck and were making deliveries all day. Once they explained what was needed the whole process went like clockwork and it was all done with WhatsApp text messages! Technology again.

I think that’s about it for the moment. I have gone on quite enough for now. I have some pretty clouds and sunset pictures, and some interesting bugs, but I’ll save them for another day. I hope you all are doing well out there!

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