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At Home In Casco Viejo, Panama

About 3 a.m. night before last, I awoke to a fierce thunderstorm…and a stiflingly hot bedroom.

No power. No air conditioning.

All day yesterday, Union Fenosa, Panama’s electric company, was on the case, they assured us, but, by 6 p.m. last night, still no electricity in our Casco Viejo neighborhood.

Our daughter, visiting from New York, lit candles throughout the house. We sat out on our balcony enjoying the uncharacteristically quiet and still evening. Without the normally ever-present background sounds of air conditioning compressors and home stereo systems, we heard only the buzz of insects and had no choice but to, well, chat…

As darkness settled, we embraced the romance of our first brownout in Panama City.

However, as bedtime approached, the situation became less romantic and more humid. How would we be able to sleep without even a fan to stir the air?

Just as I was considering packing a bag and decamping the family to a hotel, our assistant Marion called.

“I’ve just spoken with Union Fenosa again,” she said. “They promise the electricity will be back on within 15 minutes…”

At that instant, at once, on came the lights and (ah!) the air conditioning, not only in our house but up and down the streets all around us, as well. A great “hoorah!” went up throughout the neighborhood. Then, windows were closed, doors shut, and we all retreated to our cooling interiors.

“Wanna’ watch a movie?” Lief asked…

Your New Life In Panama

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