Posted by: pennyinparadise | July 10, 2009

Back To Boquete – 2009

Ecuadorian visa rules require me to spend 9 months each year in country, for the first 2 years.    I took 6 weeks of my 3 month out of country allotment to return to Boquete to take possession of my house, and prepare it for a new tenant.  My friend Wanda from Miami came too…to pick up her permanent residency visa and spend a week.    Then, the work began…the house needed major overhaul and maintenance, so the next 5 weeks were a lot of work, with a little time for socializing.

We're enthralled by the live entertainment.....

We’re enthralled by the live entertainment…..

The night after I got back, Erin and Dave Ross threw a huge party for our friend Garn’s 90th birthday, complete with live entertainment by the Boquettes (the new Do-Op Girl’s Group singing the Oldies), and others.

Panamanian guitarists serenaded the birthday boy.....

Panamanian guitarists serenaded the birthday boy…..

And he got the Presidential treatment, with a Marilyn Monroe (at an older age) ballad of “Happy Birthday….”

Our own Marilyn singing...Happy Birthday to Garn...Roady on keyboards

Our own Marilyn singing…Happy Birthday to Garn…Roady on keyboards

I forgot how much fun it is to live in Boquete…..there’s something going on all the time.   I really miss this group of ExPat’s when down in Ecuador.   It’s great to have a life in these two very different places….

Live music at Guari, Guari in Palmira on a Sunday afternoon

Live music at Guari, Guari in Palmira on a Sunday afternoon

The Boquettes singin' the Oldies at Guari, Guari in nearby Palmira

The Boquettes singin’ the Oldies at Guari, Guari in nearby Palmira

Here's the monthly Ladies Who Do Lunch club ...a group I started 3 years ago, and it's still going strong!

Here’s the monthly Ladies Who Do Lunch club …a group I started 3 years ago, and it’s still going strong!

View from Rancho de Caldera, a small, beautiful resort near Boquete

View from Rancho de Caldera, a small, beautiful resort near Boquete

Three of my girlfriends celebrated Gemini birthdays and they invited me along for their spend-the-night fun at Rancho de Caldera….

Linda, Mikey, me and     (birthday hostess, owner of the resort, Gina was busy at work)

Linda, Mikey, me and Sharon…….                                                                                        (birthday hostess, owner of the resort, Gina was busy at work)

The next day, the rest of our women friends joined for lunch and a dip in the infinity pool

Wonderful women live in Boquete, and look for any reason to come together

Wonderful women live in Boquete, and look for any reason to come together

Yes, some of us really did get in the pool....out of camera range!

Yes, some of us really did get in the pool….out of camera range!

The world famous Boquete Chicas (a group of 45 single women living in Boquete, who get together for fun and to support each other in times of need) got together for the monthly birthday celebration.   This month we went to Volcan (on the other side of Volcan Baru) for lunch and a visit to the VERY interesting Petroglyphs.

Chicas nestled between the giant petroglyph stone, calculated to be almost 3,000 years old, and beautiful Lobster Claw heliconia flowers

Chicas nestled between the giant petroglyph stone, calculated to be almost 3,000 years old, and beautiful Lobster Claw heliconia flowers

Chica Louise Orr isn't really this tiny....it's just a giant plant!

Chica Louise Orr isn’t really this tiny….it’s just a giant plant!

The petroglyph place has more than just rocks with carvings….it has plants of all kinds!

And talk about giant plants.....this is a LEMON!

And talk about giant plants…..this is a LEMON!

In 1949 National Geographics visited this site, and discovered things they date back 5,000 years!   The stones below have magnetic energy in them that is registered with a compass…..and there’s a spring that creates a stream that flows AGAINST gravity….up the volcano (instead of down)

These stones are amazing...with carvings that date back 5,000 years

These stones are amazing…with carvings that date back 5,000 years

This blind dog's leg was broken, which makes it seem he is begging with palm up.  He is one of many Dalmations living at the petroglyph place.

This blind dog’s leg was broken, which makes it seem he is begging with palm up. He is one of many Dalmations living at the petroglyph place.

One of the great things in Boquete is the Tuesday Morning Information & Networking Meeting, started several years ago as a simple monthly pot luck in the home of Sylvan and Barbara Cohen.   As the number of ExPats living in and visiting Boquete grew, so did this meeting.   Every week, a speaker is asked to present information of interest to foreign resisdents.    Depending on the topic, the meeting is attended by 40 to 80 people each week.   I was asked to present information and field questions from the group during my stay there….about the differences between Panama and Ecuador, and Boquete and Cuenca, since I now live in both places.   It was well attended.  I got an assist from Cheryl and Richard Johnson, who live in Boquete and visited me in Cuenca last September….they know more about the area around Quito than I do.    Just after this, they returned to Ecuador, and bought a condo in Cotacachi, north of Quito.  They too will live bi-country….spending the rainy season in Boquete down in the drier climes of Ecuador.

Explaining Ecuador to the Tuesday Morning meeting in Boquete

Explaining Ecuador to the Tuesday Morning meeting in Boquete

There are a few sure things about Latin America….bars on your windows, dogs on the street and roosters that crow at first light.   You get used to it…..actually, you begin to love it.   But some roosters have a special job…that is cock fighting.  I know, I know….me too, but it’s the culture and I prefer it to bullfighting.   So below is one VERY valuable guy who was transported up to Boquete from somewhere in the country, via the trucking company that does so much for us by getting our stuff where we need it to be.   He has his own, color coordinated, leather bag for traveling to the fights.  I kept looking around the trucking office to see where the crowing was coming from….then I spied the bag with his cock’s comb sticking out the right side.

Look closely at the top right side of this red bag...just above the black plastic.  A fighting cock is peeking out on his way to the matches.

Look closely at the top right side of this red bag…just above the black plastic. A fighting cock is peeking out on his way to the matches.

One of the changes in Boquete since I left 9 months ago, is the new shop Tucan Tiles…..the woman owner is a fabulous artist from Santa Fe, New Mexico.   She designs the tiles, and hires local women to do the production work.

Local woman helps produce the tiles at Tucan Tiles

Local woman helps produce the tiles at Tucan Tiles

And here’s my very own tile…oh, it’s of roosters!!!   No, not because of the cock fights here….because my maiden name “Hahn” means “Rooster” in German.   I have wooden roosters topping my kitchen cabinets in Boquete, so it seemed appropriate to get a Rooster tile from Tucan tiles…I love it.

Beautiful Rooster Tile in my kitchen

Beautiful Rooster Tile in my kitchen

So…I know you’re asking yourself….what about Zap the Dog?    Well, yes…in addition to bringing her toys back from the US (she just LOVES fibre-fill), I visited with her several times at the home of her new parents, Donna and Ken O’Brien.  I am so lucky to have found this loving home for her…..and she’s growing up to be a lazy old dog.   She’s 3 1/2 years now but I still remember that day 3 years ago when I found her starving at the Zapadora open house…and took her home, just long enough to get her healthy, spaed and find her a new home….well, you know the rest.   She was my constant companion until I moved to Ecuador, where my condo doesn’t allow dogs.  Here she is….I know she looks like an ordinary dog…you’d never know she was so extraordinary just by looking at her.

I still love this dog!!!!

I still love this dog!!!!

During my visit, I took her to the beach for a 2 day romp….unfortunately, she was attacked by another dog and while attempting to extricate her by pulling on her tail, I dislocated 3 ribs….ouch!    (Yes, that is the attack dog in the shadow).

Lorraine and me from her patio overlooking the Pacific...and Zap, of course

Lorraine and me from her patio overlooking the Pacific…and Zap, of course

I must say that one of the highlights of my visit back to Boquete was getting to play the amazing new course, Cielo Paraiso (Heavenly Paradise)….which is definitely is!   LONG holes, up to 500 yards, offer amazing views of both the Pacific Ocean and the beautiful rainforest mountains.  I cannot wait to return and play there again.

Finally!!!!   A REAL golf course in Boquete.  Here with my friend Michael Mullin who lives here with his beautiful wife Debbie.

Finally!!!! A REAL golf course in Boquete. Here with my friend Michael Mullin who lives here with his beautiful wife Debbie.  Yes, that is the Pacific Ocean in the background.

One last thing….remember last November, the 40 year flood that practically swept Boquete away?   To refresh your memory, here’s a hotel that was just completed 6 months earlier.   Below that is the repair job being done on it as I departed Boquete…..

This hotel is brand new and is now ruined....water above first floor

The waves were crashing above the first floor windows and water was over the road

The road, rough as it is, is open now and reconstruction has begun!

The road, rough as it is, is open now and reconstruction has begun!

Yes….those are the very tiny footers you see exposed at the bottom of the photo…..the entire building is sitting on a little dirt and rock in the center of the structure.    They are now pouring HUGE footers inside the empty space.

So….that’s my report on my trip back to Boquete….GOD, I love that place.    I returned to Cuenca on June 29th, and am glad to be back in my cozy condo….of course, I found lots of projects to increase the beauty of my condo (cabinets, tile work and lighting),  and spent the first 2 weeks working on it….now it is finally finished!   Stay tuned for my next report from Cuenca.


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