“Kathleen, as a retiree living in Boquete for the past 12 years, I was fascinated by your leap from the past to the present when you visited Boquete recently. It must have been a shock in some ways for you and the family. Even watching it develop over the years, I am still surprised by the differences. Some are wonderful: more choices in restaurants; more choices in homes whether they are purchased or rented; more expats with whom to relate, etc.
“Some changes are more problematic: traffic congestion (I know it can’t compare with Panama City; but a driver could park nearly anywhere when I arrived and now often must search for a place to leave the car); a tendency for some (not most, fortunately) locals to be frustrated with the expats who seem to have invaded their home town.
“However, as I am sure you noticed, the provincial capital David, 30 miles away, has exploded with new shopping facilities offering choices of supermarkets and countless big stores for everything from electronics and furniture to hardware. Furthermore, the widening of the tedious narrow road between David and Boquete into a modern four-lane highway is making the trip between the two communities a far easier drive than during the days when a creeping, heavily laden truck maneuvering the steep, winding road upward could trap countless cars behind it in areas where safe passing was impossible.
“I have worked on every continent, including the Antarctic, and, indeed, when I return to places I have known in the past, they are never the same. You are right; it seems that life is catching up with us. Yet, as you have done in the Azuero Peninsula and in Medellin, we are always moving onward, one step ahead. As a dear friend retired here from Colombia often said, ‘P’alante!’
“Good luck with your conference this week.”
–George M., Panama
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