Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas from a warm tropical 94 degrees in Panama City, Panama. He and She just returned from a nice Christmas brunch at the Intercontinental Hotel. Naturally, dogs were not allowed, so I slept. (On their bed, but don’t tell them that.) Today is hot, so we all slept in this morning. Then, enjoyed a nice long walk in the park next door, though because it was so late, we kept to the shade as much as possible on the way back. Took all of us a long time to cool down upon our return. When we got back, they kept saying how hot the apartment is during the day, and I just looked at them, because yes, it is this hot everyday which is why all we pets do is…… lay around all day until the sun goes down! So, we were treated to the AC in the living room which is a rare treat for the four-legged members of the family.

Now that the summer season has started, the days have really started getting hot. 90 degrees F is the norm now, and though a breeze blows most of the days from the South and the West, it is still really hot. Happily, the humidity has fallen a bit, more around 50-60 percent instead of 80-90 percent during the rainy/green season. So, we are all feeling good about the change in the weather.

In preparation for today, though it did not make much sense to me, I was sent to the vet twice this week to be bathed and have my nails trimmed. On Monday, happily, I was the 47th dog to arrive (though we got there by 9 AM) and they were only taking 45 that day, so I was saved. On Tuesday, however, no such luck, I was #41 and spent several hours there undergoing the usual humiliation. I came home smelling and looking really nice, and our houseman Joel even called me a lady. The things I have to do to keep the peace around here! I am not sure why I was the one that had to get cleaned up, when I never really go out. She said it was because they were going to be home more, and wanted me to smell good for them.

It does not feel like Christmas to us, in this heat and without family, though we cranked the satellite music on Sky TV last night to some classical holiday tunes. He said it does not feel like Christmas to him at all, as he is really missing the boys. This is the first time we have all been fully separated from them by such a distance (lasting greater than a week), and we have all had our moments of nostalgia and missing their presence.

We did not get a Christmas tree this year, as the firs and pines have to be shipped in to Panama, and do not last long, once you take them home (or so we have been told). So, we opted instead for a festive Christmas Palm and decorated it with lights. Unfortunately, because this decision was not made until the weekend before Christmas, the only lights to be found at the closest hardware store were orange. Well, the box said red, but they turned out to be orange. (No such thing as truth in advertising here.) So, in some ways, our festivity feels like an odd mix of Halloween and Christmas but without any scary masks.

They also bought some other plants during the Palm run last weekend, so now, our patio feels homey and comfortable, with multi-colored leaves, big pots and the orange lights even add a nice glow at night. She enjoyed getting into all the repotting of the plants last Sunday, though I did not get what was so fun about it with a bunch of dirt and water and a lot of clean-up.
They roped Elphaba and I into posing with them for a Christmas card photo last night on Christmas eve. We were, of course, minding our own business and suddenly, I found myself with a goofy green bow (borrowed from a gift of wine they received) around my neck and Her holding Elphaba on the hammock, which is never a smart idea. This went on for several takes and finally, they appeared to get what they were looking for, and then, it became a big production to get the photos on the computer and sent out to all of our friends via email. Meanwhile, so that you can appreciate the moments we shared in this holiday experience, we’ve attached some for your viewing pleasure with this posting. You may notice that Blossom, our older sister (and white feline) is not present in these photos. She escaped from the apartment on the Wednesday before last, and failed to notify the rest of us she had planned a vacation. No one has seen her since, and so we hope she is enjoying her time away, and that she will return soon. He and She have been a little worried since she took off, as there are a number of large owls that live in the park next door, and they certainly might enjoy some well-fed American feline for dinner. (We know that Blossom was not kidnapped, as Panamanians seem very confused by the idea of having a cat for a pet. Most cats in Panama run wild and hunt for a living.) So, we miss her and, of course, will open the door with open arms when she decides to rejoin us, if she does. Elphaba has had a very hard time adjusting, and has been sharing her anguish with us all night long the past few nights, which has been annoying but understandable.

Well, we are off to watch some movies in the cool AC, so hope that you and yours have shared some parvo (turkey), sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes and enjoyed it. They mentioned when they came home that their spread at the hotel that their dinner did not include any vegetables, except for tomatoes (which is really a fruit), so these are the things we are missing. And, of course, none of the usual pies or cakes either. So, enjoy those savory bites of tradition for all of us here in Panama, and Merry, merry, merry Christmas! We miss all of you and are thinking of you fondly on this tropical day in Panama.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

We are thankful this holiday season

It seems really funny to be home already. Granted, we traveled all day and it took a good 11 hours to get back to Panama. But something around the fact that we were in Breckenridge, CO and four degrees Farenheit on Thursday night and back in 80 degrees less than 48 hours later! We actually enjoyed seeing, tasting, smelling and feeling the snow. It felt clean. Nice. And, yes, very cold to our thin skins too.

But in a strangely familiar way, this time as we came back to Panama, it feels more like home than Colorado does. Now, it is still really nice when the immigration officials tell us ‘Welcome Home’ when we re-enter the U.S. each time. I love that. And while we were back in Denver over the last week, a good friend greeted us with ‘Welcome home!’ and that felt really nice too. But he told me over the last two days in Denver that he was really ready to come home. To Panama. Where Lily and the cats were waiting for us. Where our new lives have taken shape. It has now been nine months. Enough time to grow a baby from start to finish and perhaps that is a good analogy. We have formed and shaped and hacked out even through some very uncomfortable days here, a new life together. With our mutt and the kitties and each other. And, it feels pretty good. So, we are thankful for that and especially thankful this warm December night – to be home.

Thanksgiving Abroad
We were invited by one of our American friends to join their family and some other expat ‘orphans’ for a potluck Thanksgiving. So, she cooked her grandmother’s famous yellow squash casserole. Except that there was no yellow squash to be found in Panama, so the substitute of zucchini did just great! And, also, some creative sweet potato casserole. Again, a family recipe from down South Arkansas. Both were great hits, mind you and complimented by many guests.
Meanwhile, we partook in real Butterball turkey ( no organic turkeys to be found here; we have become oh-so-spoiled with our Colorado natural pastimes like this in previous holidays). But, no matter, the Butterball tasted great to our carne-starved tongues, as well as the tons of other great food – stuffing, Italian casserole, great tasting green salads with cranberries and oranges, cranberry jello salad, and pumpkin pie and cheesecake. Oh, yes, and lots of wine. Lots and lots of wine.

The best part was the company. New friends and colleagues. All with something in common. Our first shared Thanksgiving in Panama with each other. We heard stories from other expats about other holidays abroad and what had made them special and difficult too. We laughed and ate and were thankful. And, it was very, very good. We are thankful for new friends in a new country and the time to share an old tradition in a new way.

Naturally, we miss our friends and family. Very much. This year here has taught us so much. Patience. Letting go. How to enjoy and have fun, even when it is frustrating. New experiences to be tasted and savored. The challenges of new cultures, a new language, a new environment. The beauty of friendships and relationships from afar. The specialness of clinging to each other for comfort and friendship in all the new experiences. Learning. Laughing.

All this to say, we are grateful for the chance to share some words now and then with you. And, for your interest in sharing these tidbits with us, along the way. This is a special time in our lives. We cherish it (at least on most days) and we cherish your friendships and your love that we feel very much this holiday season.

Our thoughts, prayers and love are with each of you. Our very best.
He, She, Lily, Blossom and Elphaba

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rainy, rainy October and it is Election Day in the US

Well, I missed getting something up in October, but it was such a whirlwind, that I figure today is close enough! We are right smack in the middle of rainy season and actually really liking it. Yes,it rains a lot, but the weather is cooler and much more bearable, so we hang out on the patio at night and read and breathe the freshness. Plus, all the rainfall and the lovely sounds of it means we sleep like rocks. Nice.

In October, there was a lot going on. He officially formed his Panamanian corporation – really important – and started working pretty much full time for this three clients. We are all thankful for that, but especially him, as he really loves his work and we’re lucky that he is so busy, already! Of course, we had also gotten really spoiled having him around the house full-time. You might think that running a household in Panama is easy, but it’s not. Grocery shopping takes a minimum of four to five hours a week – including stops to multiple stores to find all the things we take for granted in a 30-minute trip to SuperTarget in the States. One such recent shopping trip took four stops just to find milk that was not expired. No kidding. We are so spoiled in the US.

She had one trade show in country, and then two trade shows on the road in the US the last week of October. And, oh yeah, she launched a new website on October 31st. Is she nuts? Yes! Thankfully, it was back home to Panama for three national holidays the 3rd-5th of Nov, which we are right smack in the middle of, so that has been nice. A lot of sleeping, reading and getting mentally and emotionally caught up from 8 days of travel. He was in Denver for five days too, and got back on Sunday as well, so they are both getting over the grumpiness and exhaustion of international travel. I know, wah, but it can be hard on the body.

It was fun to see the continued fervor for the political landscape while they were back in the US - we miss it sometimes. Today is the election and they will be walking down to the yacht club down the hill in an hour or so, to watch the returns. (Again, something we all take for granted – cable TV or satellite access. We have not had it since we moved into the new place at the end of July, due to a merger at which time DirecTV froze all new accounts, so that the existing accounts could be verified – hmmmm, one might think they would not want to limit GROWTH because that might lead to the bottom line and thus make the seller and buyer more happy. But that would be thinking like an American, not like a Panamanian, and thus, we have all taken to reading a lot more books.) At any rate, it will be fun to see the final votes coming in and watch the media coverage and miss all the watch parties happening tonight in our old ‘hoods.
The photos on this edition are ones from our rooftop on a particularly sunny day in October. You can see the Bridge of the Americas, plus the Amador Causeway, back to the City and the giant park where she and I walk almost every morning. Lately, with an umbrella in hand, most all the time.

He reminded her yesterday that she had ‘always wanted to live by the water’ to which she thoughtfully agreed. They then both agreed that it is wise to be careful what you ask for, as you just might get it. Really. Happily, as time progresses, this little family is becoming more and more accustomed to life in Latin America , what it is and what it is not, and not languishing over the latter, but instead, just going with the flow, letting life be what it is and actually enjoying it. It is a much nicer place to be, this mental state, then worrying about what we miss, and pining for things that simply do not exist here, like Starbucks and SuperTarget and doggy daycare. Call her shallow but even she is adjusting, pretty darn well, even without those things. Instead, enjoying 4 dollar manicures, 13 dollar haircuts, and pretty inexpensive dining out.

She surprised me with a bath today, unexpectedly to me, after I rolled in some iguana guano on our morning walk. I guess she did not fully appreciate the green and yellow colors added to my coat and what it might have meant for the upholstery of the couch and guest bed (which of course I do not lay on, they sometimes just take on my smell!).

We also saw a Harpie eagle today and yesterday on our morning walks – he is golden and brown and really really cool. He evidently lives in our big park and nests somewhere around here. Wingspan of at least four feel, really really cool.
Lizard tails and guano to all of my dedicated readers (which coming from me is a compliment!). ‘Til next time or sometime maybe around Thanksgiving. We here in Panama are very thankful tonight, on voting day, for free speech, votes that make a real difference, choice to live abroad, and all of our family and friends who support us with their love and friendship from afar. Blessings to all of you. God bless America and God bless Panama.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Bogota Adventure

She had a trade show in Bogota at the end of August and he want to meet up with her there for a fun weekend for their first anniversary. Of course, you know who stayed home and watched the apartment and had lots of down time with my favorite friend Joel.

They loved Bogota – pop. 7 million people. Lots of culture, amazing food – they told me every restaurant they ate at was very good- and the people were SO welcoming, which was really nice.
Zona Rosa and the Zona T were their favorite areas. A lot like Lower Downtown in Denver, with lots of walkable streetscapes, small parks everywhere and good shopping.
She discovered a new designer named Bettina Spitz, who is now at the top of her list for clothes and very reasonably priced.

The people of Bogota were so friendly and open to Americans. They both mentioned to me that they were the only Americans they saw the entire four days there – except for one other guy in their hotel, and three guys in ugly American clothes outside one of the pubs they discovered. Her light-colored hair really stood out in a sea of Latin people.

Bogota is very urban with a new bussing system, and lots of museums and things to do. They went to the Museo Nacional, which was very busy so they did not get to see the exhibits, but it is beautiful, and then also the Museo Botero who is an artist that is still alive but from Columbia and has donated his own collections as well as his own art to the museum for the public to enjoy. All, amazing stuff. The Museo de Oro was being renovated but one of the exhibits had been moved to the Museo del Banco Columbia, so they did see a bunch of gold from the Aztec periods, which was interesting. The old city is beautiful, and has had some renovation and there are still a lot of areas that have not started renovation yet.

Bogota sits up against a mountain. The entire city is at 9,000 feet above sea level, so the weather is a lot like Colorado – cooler and very fresh. It reminded her lot of being in the Rocky mountains. On Sunday before they returned to Panama, they went up a tram on one of the mountain facia to a small church, market and park area on top of the mountain. You will see some photos of that here, but the views back down into the city were stunning.

The Sofitel, their hotel, was extremely nice and they recommend it to any travelers travelling there.

The only drawback to Bogota is the security. And, of course, that is necessary given that it has suffered so much at the hands of insurgents like FARC for years. There were dogs everywhere- for sniffing out bombs and drugs and whatever else. Every time you enter or exit a parking garage, you must stop and have your car checked out by a dog and a police man. When you enter busy night clubs or restaurants, it is normal to go through metal detectors, dogs and pat-downs. It can be a bit disconcerting at first to be sure, but after a while, you do get a bit used to it.

They had such a nice weekend there together, exploring the city and enjoying their anniversary, that she cried on Sunday when they had to leave. That says a lot for the beauty there. They agreed that as time goes on, if Columbia stabilizes, that they would strongly consider retiring here.

Meanwhile, I was happy to have them back in Panama. I always sleep better myself when I have them back in our own place, all together.

Joel and I had a party while they were gone – chasing bugs and lizards on the patio, but there’s no need to go into that here, as we cleaned up the remnants of it before they arrived back.

Until next time, fond regards and lizard tails.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Our first guests in Panama!

His son Jack-o came back to Panama with us after we were in Denver for about a week in late July, early August. It was really great to have him. We have moved to our second place – another apartment – in Panama City, on the Amador Causeway. Thankfully, there is a lot less noise – while the original place in Punta pacifica was beautiful and right on the ocean, it was loud – with Corredor Sur and 12 other high-rise buildings next to it, all under construction. With the concrete and steel shortages here, when concrete arrives, no matter what time it is, they start pouring. And,when steel arrives, they drill caissons, even when it is 2 AM and so forth. Aw, well, this is Panama.

No matter, we did decide that it was too much for us – that, and the fact that our international landlord had not had anything fixed in the time period we had agreed to in our lease. So, we gave our notice and got out early and found the new place that we really like in Amador.
The new apartment on an isthmus (not sure if it really is, but it sounds cool) – surrounded on three sides by water, essentially – overlooking the Panama Canal, the Pacific Ocean and back to Panama City. Some photos show the views, which we think really must be the best views in all of Panama.

We like to sit up on our 7th floor social area and watch the huge ships come through the canal. It truly is spectacular to see.

Anyway, Jack came and he and his dad did a bunch of exploring the city together while I had to go back to work for a couple of days right after we returned from Denver. They had a great time, even getting over to the Caribe side to have lunch one week day. Then, they had a 4.5 hour ride back (only 60 miles) because the construction on the one highway between the city and Colon shut the highway down to one lane. And, then of course all the Panamanians got impatient and there was no one moderating the traffic, so everyone started pushing through trying to get through and it turned into a crazy standstill for literally hours. They were so stressed by the time they arrived home, he said, ‘I will NEVER go that direction again,until that highway is finished.” So, we may never see the Caribe again while we are here unless we fly. It was interesting for Jack, no doubt, to see the stupidity that exists around no traffic planning for a major construction project. Bottom line, we take all that type of thing way too much for granted stateside.

My sis Hannah came in from NYC which was really special. She arrived Thursday night, and I took off Friday so the four of us could go the beach. We drove up to a tiny beach called El Palmar – about 60 miles west of Panama City – a great tiny hotel there with 30 rooms, very rustic but clean. The beach is good for learning to surf, which originally we thot Jack might enjoy. But, instead, we all did a lot of hanging, which was lovely. We ended up drinking a lot of beer, eating a lot of fish and lazily wandering up and down the beach. It was a really nice day and a half.
The next morning and afternoon, more of the same. Again, lovely.

Then mid afternoon, we packed up and drove further west – 15 miles or so, maybe – to Playa Blanca. This is an all-inclusive resort, probably the second nicest in all of Panama. The grounds are really nice, the rooms are pretty nice, and the food is the expected middle of the road, all inclusive crap you get at most all-inclusive places. We tried to get into the nice restaurant there, but it was a busy weekend of holiday-ers (kids were out of school, we had no idea, so the place was booked), and we could not get it. Drat. Anyway, we enjoyed the two pools and the beach too and all got some more R & R in, and some sunbathing. After dinner, Playa Blanca has its own theater for entertainment and they do a kids show first, and then a pretty erotic adult show. It was a bit of a shock for us, when we walked back through around 930 PM and the adult show – mostly mimicking videos by Beyonce and stuff like that – but with the ladies on stage in thong swimsuits and such – going on and dancing like strippers…..and all the kids were still there! I guess maybe in North America we are pretty tame, according to Latin American standards, no one else really seemed to mind it. And, no, I did not take any pictures.
Jack and Hannah left early the next week. We both were sad for a few days because we had enjoyed their visit so much. It really was special to have both of them.
Now, we are getting adjusted to the new place in Amador. We love it because there are a mating pair of Toucans right outside our apartment. We probably see them about once a week, flitting around and sounding like frogs. They are beautiful birds, such pretty beaks. For those of you that do not remember what a Toucan looks like, think of the bird on the Fruit Loops box. That is them. Pretty frigging cool!

I am back to work. He has started his company and already has two clients, which is really exciting for him.

Now, back to hanging our new hammock on our porch……and we are having some new friends from Columbia over for dinner….should be fun. It is nice to be making some social contacts and getting a little more acclimated to life here. The first few months were really lonely, and we missed our friends.

Til the next time. We love you all and are thinking of you!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

From our balcony

I decided today to take some photos from our 16th story balcony, so that you can share with us what we see every morning and every night.

When we might have a moment of 'why did we leave our organic dog food behind?', it is good to go out, grab a seat and breathe.....
This is a fabulous opportunity, and a beautiful place. We are incredibly blessed.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

April 1st, a few weeks late

Where to begin….
I have had so many emails asking about where we live and what we like most about Panama, that I thought perhaps I should start from the very beginning.
They thought they had rented a place for us in a high rise in an area called Punta Pacifica, an area where there is a lot of new high rises and even one going up named after some guy named Trump. We thought we were all set to move in the night we all arrived from Colorado. Furniture was to be delivered two days before we all arrived, so that we would have beds to sleep in, and places to sit, and so on. (Ahem, let me clarify, ‘they’ would have beds to sleep in. They packed my two dog beds and thus I was subject to sleeping on the tile floors on a blanket. As if this were ever a substitute that I would have approved!)
At any rate, being the A types that they are, we all thought we were set.
Ha. The fun began
24 hours before we got on the plane (again,do not fall for the ‘time to go to bed’ trick when the kennel has been placed in the yard.), she received a phone call. The new apartment had had some issues. Of course she freaked out, and there was a lot of anguished calls and words and a bunch of stuff that I did not understand, except for a bunch of high pitched exclamations.
At any rate, some arrangements were made and when we did get here, the five of us spent a week in some very small place. Seriously. My dog bed was more spacious. And, I was left there much of the first few days we arrived here by myself,so they could begin the process of finding us a new home. I did not approve of this either, but I conceded so that we could get out of there as soon as possible.
A week later, we moved into another apartment in the same part of town where they originally had found the first one. She kept saying how karma worked things out because the new place is even nicer, and I had four acres just for me to walk in. (As it turns out, this is not entirely true – the ‘just for me’ part – because we keep running into a bunch of smaller dogs in my four acres.)
The new place is really nice and really big. Plenty of room to chase the cats and lots of windows, so I can lay in the sun in the morning. And plenty of tile floors, which is a new experience for me, and nothing to hold me back from sliding around corners while chasing the cats. Evidently they get some level of fun out of the sliding action because they are always laughing about my running efforts. Some comment about the road runner, which I do not understand.
He especially likes the deck, which looks out to the Pacific Ocean, facing southeast. He and I spend a lot of time there in the evenings, he with a cigar and me with a tennis ball. Well, at least I did have some nice tennis balls out there, until I pushed one under the fence and it fell 16 stories down into the swimming pool. Now for some reason, tennis balls are taboo on the patio. They don’t allow the cats out there either, though I personally think it might be a lot of fun to see one of them jump out there. (He made some comment about the exorbitant cost of getting the cats down here as being a reason not to see them do some fun acrobatics off the patio….I am not buying it.)
After five weeks, the rest of our stuff arrived yesterday from the U.S. I was not too pleased to see a bunch of strangers in our place bringing in a bunch of boxes, but after they unloaded my two beds, I forgot all about them. She always makes comments about ‘it is the little things’, but frankly, sleeping on the cold tile on a blanket for five weeks is not a little thing. It does make Panama more like home to have your own bed.
For some reason, when I go on walks in the four acres behind our building, there are a bunch of kids playing in the street around dinner time. Often they ride by on their bikes while we are walking and appear to talk to me, but I can’t understand a word they say. One little boy keeps using a word that sounds like mohair (muerta) and evidently that means do I bite. I would like to show my teeth as a badge of honor but neither of them will let me do that, so I ignore him. She keeps saying she is going to reply that I only bite in the apartment, but she never has. (I am not really sure why the boy would be coming to our apartment, but I do not ask questions.)
A few weeks ago, she came home one day and said she figured out why the kids keep asking if I bite. They went to a party and at two of the homes near the party, they saw dogs like me behind the gates (everything is gated here). When they turned around in one of the driveways (directions here are a whole ‘nother story), she said the dog went nuts and attacked the fence and showed teeth and so on. (If I had been there, I am sure it would have been different, but alas, I was not invited to the party.) Anyway, apparently, mine and similar other fierce looking dogs are not kept as pets, but only used as watch dogs and guard dogs, and so I am generally taken for one of those.
I do not understand the word ‘princesa’ or ‘nina’ but I have heard her describe me that way when she is talking about me. As long as people know I rule the roost, then they can call me whatever they want. Now that I have my beds back, I am feeling much more like the one in charge!
It is April 1st today. April Fools Day does not exist in Panama, but this day does officially mark the end of the dry season. I do not understand the ‘dry’ description when I get wet every time we go outside. This thing called humidity really wears me down. She and I used to walk for hours and now I can barely manage 20 minutes.
Anyway, back to the weather. This ‘dry’ season is actually really hot. It is summer time in Panama and it lasts from December to April. It has been so dry here this year though, that there have been some mild fires. Not anything like what used to hear about on the news back home (you know,the governor saying the whole state was one fire), but fires here (anywhere) are pretty unusual.
Now, we begin the green season. She laughed because she says someone in marketing came up with this name. At one time, it was called the rainy season. We have heard it rains every afternoon for months on end, and that at times, it can become a deluge with street flooding and things like that. Really, we have no idea, but supposedly it does get a bit cooler. Like maybe 80 degrees instead of 98 and so on. Anything cooler would be nice. I have never liked the rain, and I am hoping some other arrangements can be made for my walks when the rain starts (involving someone other than me, walking). However, no commitments have been made.
Next time, I will tell you more about their recent trip to the beach. Some place called Coconuts. And they left me alone with my new buddy Joel all weekend. It was strange but Joel and I bonded, which was good. It is nice to have a new friend.
I forgot to mention that while they were gone that the cats and I had a party on the patio and I took some photos. One is of the cats hanging from the balcony edge. But of course I can’t post it because they will find out and then there won’t be a next time. But we did have fun.
Hasta luego! (Until next time)
Ps. Gosh, we are way behind. I think I have begun to embrace Panamanian time. This has been on my computer for a really long time and I just did not get around to posting it. They are on me tonight to write a new one, so I figured I should get this one up first. A new one later.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

You have to start somewhere!

All right, here are the ground rules for this thing called a blog that my people have been after me to get up for at least two weeks now. I am a dog and my name is Lily. Against my better judgment, I ended up here in Panama with my people (a he and a she) and I plan to keep a regular script of the happenings here for my own records, much less your enjoyment. Topics will be chosen at my own free whim and while you are welcome to send me a text with requested topics, don’t count on it. I don’t have opposable thumbs remember, so certain stories may be easier for me to bang out than others.

I’m a dog for god sake I can’t type. It’s hell trying to get my pads on these little keys. Thank God I’m not getting paid by the word. It’s bad enough I can’t understand a word anyone says down here besides my people. I don’t think they understand much either. What a team! He can’t speak a word anyone can understand besides me. Maybe I could learn Spanish and he could learn to type? Unfortunately that would take too long he is a veeery slow learner as most of you know.

Oh, Panama! How the hell did I end up here? Don’t ever fall for the “get in your kennel for the night trick. I will never let my ass be put in one of those again. I swore my people said Pueblo at the airport, next thing I know it’s 14 hours in a kennel and my God, did the weather change. It was 26 degrees in Denver when we left, it was 90 degrees in Panama (Yes, I said Panama) when we arrived. Did I say it was hot? Did I say it was humid? Damn right it is! It’s great on my skin, not that you can tell, but I seem to be ready for a nap all the time.

Speaking of time, it seems to be very different down here. Let’s start with zones. We started out on Eastern Time, then, the United States sprang forward to put us on Central Time last weekend. Then, there is the perception of time. Somehow when someone says 10 minutes here, it means 3-4 hours. When they say 3-4 hours it means 2-3 days. When they say manana (and, no, I can’t find the right n on the keyboard), it means sometime next week. It will take some getting used to this Panama Time. I can only hold it for so long.

I have been spending a lot of time with my new friend Joel. Thank God he is around because otherwise I would have to ride in the car with my people driving. Not a pretty site! When Joel is behind the wheel the pandemonium that is Panama traffic makes a bit more sense. When my person is behind the wheel, I cover my eyes with my paws and hope he named me in the will! This traffic piece is going to take some serious getting used to also.

When I am not praying for my life in the car, I am looking out over the Pacific and what a view it is. From the apartment, I can see the ocean and all of the city. I can also see the ground is a lot farther away from the floor then it was in our house in Stapleton. I don’t know about this. In the Mile High City, my floor is sitting on the ground and in the city on the Bahia, my floor is 200’ off the ground. This is more than a mere dog can understand.

Until the next time,

Very truly yours and I hate fleas.