Hola everybody; yes, it’s time for the latest Ocean Ridge Report. We’re approaching the end of the summer in Panama, and things are dry, hot and dusty. The cows are skinny, the hillsides are brown, and a little rain doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. We have one business item to discuss, and then some fun stuff, so let’s get to it.
Credit unions, interest rates, etc. Josh, Bob and Annie wanted some info, so I did a little research. Not to be too basic, but a credit union works pretty much the same as a bank, except you have to be a member and pay a monthly fee, usually around $10. They do pay a little better interest rate than a bank, and the money is considered to be very secure. One of the biggest credit unions in Panama is the Coopeve R.L. (their website is www.coopeve.com, but of course it’s in Spanish), which does have a branch in Santiago. The problem is that only Panamanian residents can be members, as is the case with most of the credit unions in Panama.Just for your info, HSBC Bank in Santiago (our bank) offers a 2.25% one year CD, for any deposit between $10K and $500K. Not a great way to get rich, that’s for sure.
The fruits of our labor. After two years, we’re starting to see some results from our gardening efforts (when I say “our efforts”, I’m really giving Patricia 90% of the credit). So far we’ve been able to grow and consume pineapple, papaya, tomatoes, yucca, limes, cherries, peppers, watermelon, corn, beans, carrots, passion fruit, cashews, lettuce and plantains. We have high hopes that within the next 2-3 years we’ll be able to enjoy mango, coconuts, pears, avocado, zucchini, oranges, squash, bananas and several exotic fruits that I never heard of but Patricia assures me are delicious. Check out the gardening photos.
Top of the mountain. For two years I’ve had my eye on the largest mountain behind the house – the locals call it Iguana Peak, and it’s the one with no trees except on the very tip. We happened to meet a guy whose family actually owns the mountain, and he took us on a guided tour. Only about a 2.5 hour hike; for you non-hikers, you can go the whole way on horseback. The views were pretty incredible – the photos don’t really do it justice. I did take a video from the top, and would be happy to send it out to anybody who wants to give it a look.
Cracks in Paradise. Over the last several months, our house has developed some significant cracks on the outside (two photos). I was getting quite concerned, and had visions of the entire house sliding down the hill. However, we’ve had a couple of builders to the house recently, and they told us to relax. Apparently when you build a house in Panama you let it settle for a couple of years, then you fix the cracks. They said it’s a completely normal process when building with cement. Keep that in mind when you build down here.
Parents, again. Some neighbors down the road brought us three parakeets that had fallen out of the nest, and of course Patricia couldn’t say no. The place is a madhouse of screaming birds once again, but we’re having a blast. We named them Big Boy, Silencia and Frisky, and the plan is to let them fly away when they’re ready. In the last photo, you can see that Loco is sitting on Patricia’s shoulder. He wants everybody to know that he’s still King of the Hill.
Jay and Patricia
Tags: Ocean Ridge Report