I could get used to life in Boquete. It has a small town feel but has every amenity. It possesses a quiet charm that sucks you in. The weather is perfect. Cool enough at night to snuggle up underneath a blanket but not too warm during the day to require air conditioning. I’m here during the rainy season but I’ve been told there has not been as much rain this year as in prior years and because of that the temperature is slighter warmer than it should be around this time. According to the residents this has not been good for the coffee trees because the warmer temperature means that mold builds up on the coffee trees and creates disease. A type of mold which has to be treated with pesticide which they would prefer to not have to use. I guess climate change is affecting every region in the world.
My home while in Boquete
I consider myself friendly but I’m not the most outgoing person. To build a network of friends and acquaintances during my stay I’ve been attending the Newcomers dinners. Resident Expats and newcomers (visitors/new expats) meet at a different restaurant every Friday night for dinner. There is a social hour prior to dinner where everyone mingles and get to know each other, ask questions etc. During dinner the social interaction continues. It has been a wonderful experience. I’ve attended three of these dinners. I arrived on a Thursday and didn’t go the very first Friday I was here. Everyone has been so welcoming and helpful. In my 30 days here I’ve met more people than I have in a year of living in Powder Springs, GA. Except for my immediate and extended family I haven’t really met many folks in Georgia. Truth be told I’m hardly ever in Georgia long enough to make friends but I have a feeling even if I were it wouldn’t be as easy as it has been in Boquete.
A different angle of where I’m living while in Boquete
It is easy to be active here because everything is so accessible. I walk just about everywhere and the few places that are not within walking distance are accessible by bus or taxi. There are hiking groups and other social groups. One could have a very full social calendar if one were so inclined. I like having a lot of time to myself and a lot of down time so I haven’t committed to many things. I go hiking once a week (which I may increase to twice a week). I do yoga twice a week although I still haven’t gotten the hang of it. I explore the town. Take trips to other towns and basically just go about living a day-to-day life.
I just started Spanish classes. I’m in a small group of five. It’s a basic beginner class and as of this writing I’ve had two lessons. We meet for two hours a day three days a week (Mon, Wed, Fri). The school was offering a 50% discount for expat residents. I asked to enroll at the discount rate even though I’m not a resident and they said yes. It’s a 10 week class and though I’ll miss the last week of class I thought it was a good enough deal to go ahead and enroll. Altogether that’s 60 hours, if I miss 6 hours it means I’ll still get 54 hours worth of lessons for $250. It works out to $4.63 an hour, I can live with that.
Eating out can be inexpensive or expensive. It all depends on how much you are willing to spend. Typical Panamanian style restaurants with Panamanian menu is relatively inexpensive. US/European style restaurants with International menus are priced just about the same as in the United States or Europe. If I’m eating alone I usually eat at Panamanian style restaurants since my dollar goes a long way and I get a good, solid, quite tasty meal. No frills, no bells and whistles, just simple nutritious food. A typical Panamanian breakfast with coffee cost me around $3.25. A typical lunch or dinner will set me back anywhere between $2.75 and $3.95 depending on whether I get one vegetable or two, beans or no beans, one starch or two, a drink or no drink.
I have not yet spent any time in Panama City. During the next 60 days I’m hoping to spend some time in Panama City, Bocas Del Toro, and San Blas. Since I now have Spanish lessons three days a week (Mon, Wed, Fri) it may be a little more difficult to fit these trips in but nothing is impossible. So I’ll just have to make it work or maybe I just need to return to Panama next year.
The natural beauty of Boquete