23 December 2011

A Time to Reflect

Well, another year is almost done and I am still happily living in my personal paradise in Panama. It has been almost 5 years since I first came to visit the Volcan area in western Panama, near Costa Rica. The picture above, with text and drawings, shows my new, giant wire antenna for ham radio. It allows me to talk more easily to friends in Japan, Europe and Australia - New Zealand than before.

In the past five years I have met many wonderful people (and a few stinkers, just like anywhere else). I have lived in a rented house in the city and walked, or taken a bus or taxi everywhere that I wanted or needed to go. I have lived in the city and driven almost everywhere, and now I live in the country about 3.5 miles from Volcan. I have a pickup but there is also bus and taxi service out here. Everything, including building my house for several months has been a positive experience.

There have been challenges and disappointments, however probably less so than in the U.S. I am quite happy talking on amateur (ham) radio almost every day and I am still doing some photography in the mountains, valleys, and beaches of Panama.

In early September I rode the bus to Panama City to visit with friends who were visiting from Florida. We had a good dinner and a great visit before I came home the following day.

Sadly, I lost one of my 3 dogs in early November (see article below). The other 2 dogs are great company and do a great job of protecting the place. They also take me for a walk 3 times a day.

I enjoyed Thanksgiving with a small group of Gringo friends in Volcan and will join them again for Christmas dinner. In January I will have a party at my house for 25 to 40 Gringo and local friends to celebrate my 71st birthday. We'll have a picnic with hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans and potato salad. Several people will also bring deserts. This will be 3rd annual gathering here.

This is also the time of year when I miss my family the most. My daughter, her husband and the triplet grandchildren are still in Nashville. I hope to visit them sometime during 2012.

Happy Holidays to all from Panama!

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