Friends heading north
03.11.2015 - 04.12.2015 83 °F
For the past month Panama has been a buzz regarding the Summit of the Americas, April 9-12, 2015. All of the leaders of the 35 countries in North, Central and Latin America met in Panama City, Panama for two days of international cooperation and friendship. Of the 35 countries in the region, 33 of their leaders (elected or otherwise) showed up. The President of Chile wasn't here, dealing with a union strike and the Prime Minister of Dominica didn't attend.
Panama pulled out all the stops for this event. In Panama City the schools were closed, government offices were closed as were some commercial businesses. Selected highways were either closed or partially shut down for all the motorcades and security vehicles. As an interested outside observer, Panama a country slightly smaller than South Carolina with a population less than Colorado's, did a great job as the national host of this every four year event. There were probably some minor glitches but all in all it was very successful. The next one is in Peru.
Because of this event many Panama City residents escaped to the beaches and the interior of the country. Our normally quiet and very peaceful condominium was completely filled with the absentee owners and some renters. There wasn't an empty spot in our parking lot. They will all start heading back to Panama City later today or early tomorrow morning.
Speaking of leaving, many of our snowbird friends headed back to North America just prior to the beginning of the summit. They wanted to avoid the traffic detours and the congestion at the airport caused by the summit. We will miss all of them, the old friends that come every year and new friends that were here for the first time. Thankfully, we know that we will see them all again.
Another issue that Panama has during the dry season is fire. Some are started on purpose to clear a field or to clear away weeds and brush along a roadway. Sometimes the fire hits residential areas and homes are put in jeopardy, the fire in the photo fire burned for about three hours even though the bomberos (firemen) were on sight. In addition to the fire hazards of dry season, there is always the possibility of running out of water. One of our favorite restaurants closed for this weekend because it didn't have water. Our buildings have their own water supply and back up generators just for times like these. The other night the power went out in Coronado and for a brief time the town was without electricity...the fun of living abroad.
We walk the beach practically everyday for an hour or so. Sometimes the walk is uneventful finding a few interesting shells, some beach glass, maybe a sand dollar or two or just watching Tashi jump in and out of the surf. However, some days the beach presents stuff from the sea as the cycle of life continues. We've seen sting rays, some weird looking fish we have no idea what they are, small hammerhead sharks, and other sea life washed ashore. Even though the days might look the same they are always just a little different.
Our neighbor bought a new couch and it was delivered the other day. When it arrived they realized that it won't fit in the elevator. So Panamanian ingenuity kicked in. The couch was raised from the ground floor to the 20th floor, two floors at a time since the rope wasn't very long, thru the "rabbit hole" and eventually into the condo thru a front window. This is a reminder to us to always measure before we buy.
On the day before Easter we had a beautiful sunrise, a great sunset and then the full "blood" moon rising. I think these images will close out this latest blurb from Panama. Hasta luego amigos