I officially moved to Panama
October 19th when I and our dog Cricket touched down at the Tocumen airport.
It was around noon and already hot but we had made arrangements for the vet
to meet us to take her off the plane and get her checked over then a
quarantine at home. I was nervous to say the least, I had visions of her in
the cargo hold and overheating, but lo and behold while I was waiting to go
through immigration the vet came up to me and said she was the first off,
even before we were, and was safely in an air conditioned office waiting for
the original paperwork from me. Five suitcases and one kennel later we were
on our way to our new home.
I say this lightly as the pre Panama move started way before October. First
with the decision in April, then with the ‘Why Panama’ or ‘wow, that’s a
gutsy move, good for you’ or ‘what about health care?’ questions from
friends and family, then there was our house to be sold, all that was in it
to either be sold or given away and the end result was just bringing with us
what we wanted to in suitcases. Not a small feat considering we have been
married for over 30 years and the last home was home for 14 years. While Tom
was in Panama, I was in St. Albert sorting, packing, and pricing for a
garage sale and let me tell you in a way it was a very good thing to do. Why
do I say that? Well for one thing, we don’t have children and after going
through all the stuff that one accumulates over time, it was a chore that I
didn’t want family or strangers to have to do.
You must be ruthless … and of course there will be things that you just cannot
part with ... that is why you take them with you. But all in all it is just
stuff and boy did we have a lot of it. I ended up giving about 4 bags of
almost new t shirts and 3 bags of small toiletries that I had picked up
during all my travels to a friend who had friends who were helping some
women and children in Brazil. A huge collection of garden books went to a
small garden club who now have what I believe to be the largest library of
any garden club in Canada! Our garage sale (which Tom kindly made it home
for and a good thing because I had lost my voice a day before it started so
croaked along for a few days) was a smashing success…everyone commenting on
how great the items were and what good shape they were all in…a recently
separated fellow came by and outfitted his new home with a lot of it.
I can only say that last year was one heck of a year for me ... with my
tours, travel, the old house, the new country and all the paperwork involved
in both, the new condo we now live in here…well it was no wonder my hair
went so gray!
Now being here I can safely say it was worth it … we always wanted to move
to someplace warmer and when the opportunity came up with Tom’s company that
he is a partner in, we said ‘why not”. So here we are, in a country where it
rarely goes below 27C at night and is usually around 30C during the day, has
two seasons – wet and dry, and loving it. The plant material here is
wonderful and with over 900 different kinds of birds, well it is just so
incredibly different than Alberta…we live in a condo on the 7th floor.
Looking out our living room we see the ships waiting to go through the
Panama Canal. We have a huge park in front of us and a drain canal beside us
that takes the water when it rains and channels it out into the ocean. As a
result we have lots of birds around us and I know there are many more in the
forest to be seen.
I will try and keep this area updated as we see things of interest …. I do
still work from my home and am so thankful for that…I still have the website
and garden tours to keep me busy and I continue to travel and write –
nothing has changed for me except my address …. but what an address! We are
meeting lots of new friends, and many people from Canada and the US are
making this their home now.
You can click on each of these and they will show you some of the areas
around us…we also encourage you to check some of these areas out on the
internet…this is really a fascinating place and steeped in history.