Expat Life In Panama City

“I Don’t Think My Kids Have Enough Money To Pay The Kidnapper’s Ransom!”

Back in Panama City this week after more than a month out of the office, I’m catching up on the news …

Carlos, our contractor in Medellin, reports that the renovation of the apartment we purchased in that city nearly a full year ago is, finally, complete. After 11 months of sometimes daily communication, many gigabytes of e-mailed progress photos, and extended time together on the ground, designing, planning, shopping, choosing, correcting, I’m going to miss Carlos. He has proven himself a professional with vision, experience, and good connections. Should you be considering a renovation project in this City of Flowers, I heartily recommend him.

Meantime, rental management contacts in the city assure us that we should be able to charge the monthly rent Lief would like to charge. Now we have to decide if we want to rent at all. Before we make that final determination, we’re planning a month-long stay, in July. We’ve invited the kids and, as well, family and friends from the States to join us as they can.

“Kathie, the U.S. State Department can’t be doing your business any favors,” one friend from Baltimore wrote this week after I’d invited her to come down to visit us in Medellin in July. “Have you seen what they have to say about that city on their website? I don’t think my kids have enough money to pay the kidnapper’s ransom!”

“You can’t believe everything you read on the Internet,” I replied. “Once you’ve seen Medellin, you’ll understand how absurd the State Department’s warnings are. This city really is one of the most misunderstood on earth right now…”

I’ve invited my mom to come stay with us, too. While she visited often when we were living in Ireland and Paris, she’s yet to travel down to Panama City. My mom suffers from advanced arthritis that is aggravated by heat and humidity, so I’ve understood her reluctance to spend time in one of the world’s steamiest outposts. Medellin, on the other hand, boasts a spring-like climate year-round. My mom is looking into flight connections.

My daughter, Kaitlin, officially launched her new business, started with partner-dad Lief Simon, this week with a launch party at the Radisson Decapolis Thursday night. Her AngloInfo website is part of an international franchise of web-based resources for English-speaking expats, retirees, businesspeople, and travelers in key places of interest and opportunity for folks fitting those descriptions. Panama City sure qualifies. If you’re hatching some live, retire, or invest plan that involves this town, I think you’ll find AngloInfo of use.

Also this week, The New York Times published a great piece on Americans retiring overseas that we appreciated the opportunity to be a part of. Read it here.

Finally, to all moms reading in the States, Happy Mother’s Day. We’re celebrating with a bar-b-que on the patio this afternoon. Lief just returned from the store with the steaks and ribs. I’d better go help unload the car…

Kathleen Peddicord

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