August, 2020

Do I start with complaining, or do I start on a happy note? Let’s start on the positive for a change!

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July, 2020

Here we are at the end of July and I am sorry to say that nothing much has changed here in Panama, especially with our lockdown situation. We are still having the 2 hours three times a week for the ladies and only Tuesday and Thursday for the men because the Health Ministry here has decided we really need to be totally quarantined all weekend long. Insanity at its best! Beginning the 5th month now – however, part of March has not been included in this count.

Sign on Lobby Door leading out to the Pool area

Sign on Lobby Door leading out to the Pool area

Panama City and the beaches here are the only two areas in the Country that are having this kind of a lockdown. The other areas have opened up and are already on Block 3. People can move about a bit more freely as well as some other store openings. Must be nice. You would think that they (or someone) could figure out WHY these two areas are having a problem. It is really only some common sense and if most of us have figured it out – what is the problem?

Using Yellow tape to literally TAPE OFF the pool Area

Using Yellow tape to literally TAPE OFF the pool Area

The big problem is that the people in the city that have money, also own a condo on the beaches and they want to get out of the city and come here for a while, especially now. They are coming to spend a few weeks or a month at a time as they have a little more freedom here than in the city. However, are they transmitting germs and the virus since it is definitely more prevalent in the city? Whatever, as I have been told, I have a roof over my head, food to eat, electricity, TV, etc, so what am I really complaining about? Life goes on!
Nothing really to write about this month. We all see friends as we don our masks in the grocery store

Phyllis and Isabel meet in Riba Smith

Phyllis and Isabel meet in Riba Smith

and we can say hello but need to move on so we can finish and get out. Ran into dear friend Isabel at Riba Smith one day and chatted for a few minutes. She has opted to come to her beach home and just stay here for have ever long as she has the freedom to move about on her property and has a pool to go into when she wants. Much more freedom than in the city in her Condo. The only problem is we dont even get a chance to visit one another – no time – no sleepovers – nothing!
I have ventured down to the Boga Bar, the restaurant here at our Marina. They have to be open for the people on their Yachts and Boats who have been stranded here for months. They have an outside patio where you can sit and wait to pick up and order or even get some food to eat there outside. a a very relaxing atmosphere

Relaxing with a Margarita

Relaxing with a Margarita

and their Sushi is the BEST I have had anywhere in Panama and I did have a favorite in the city – Nacion Sushi which has always been excellent. This is even better and more inventive.

This is called Pizza Tuna (a RICE crust)

This is called Pizza Tuna (a RICE crust)


The work from the leaking in the back two bedrooms has begun and I have no idea how long this project will take to get done. Having to break through walls to get to pipes to find the leaks is certainly not wonderful, but the guy has closed the doors off to the bedrooms with enough plastic to keep the dust from getting out and getting to me. Quite clever, but I am just taking everything in my stride at this point. There is nothing I can do to change anything that is happening, so I am just hoping it will all be over at some point – both the Virus and the fixing.

One of the two back bedroom doors sealed off

One of the two back bedroom doors sealed off

I am hoping by the end of the year we can all celebrate some really good news. Who knows – the world is getting crazier by the day!
I have been in touch with many of the Zweben Cousins on my side of the family and we have started writing stories about our memories from Childhood, our grandmother, where we grew up, etc. I want to make a scrapbook of photos, stories, etc and have one for each of our cousins so that they can pass down to their children. Very interesting to dig up tales and then let that just bring so many memories back to life.l Have not only emailed, but spoken to many as we do monthly and its always good to be in touch. Things have not been easy for several months, but when I speak to many in the U.S., we realize how much easier you all have it than here in Panama. However, you all need to be safe to stay well. Looking forward to writing, talking and whatever in the coming month, and hoping everyone will be safe and well.
As always, love to you all until next month………………………………………………

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Jumbled June – 2020

May 31st- Last day of 67days of LOCKDOWN, 1608 hours, 9 1/2 weeks of 24 hour lockdown except for 6 hours weekly ( 2hours M, W, and F) for essential grocery shopping which means “at home” 96 % of the time – and NO socializing!

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May 2020

I guess it is supposed to be the “Merry Month of May” but we are still on a tight lock down and it is getting to everyone, including me at this point!

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NO FOOL – REAL April – 2020

I cannot believe this is already another month, but you read last month about Quarantine, and as of March 23, it was more like LOCK DOWN!!! No more swimming in your pools, private or otherwise!. I was already wearing a mask when out in the grocery store, but now it was Mandatory, and even while driving in your car. Then came the separation of men and women. We (women) could only be out on M W F for one hour ( you went either at 12-1 (for the senior citizens) or the hour that was designated by the last number of your Passport (for the ex-pats) or your Cedular (Panamanians). YOu had an extra 1/2 hour on either end for travel, so if you were really close by the store, you could actually get to more than 1 store if needed, or the bank. BUT- that was it as everything else was and still is closed. Men could go out on T T S until they decided in the past few weeks to lock down Saturday and Sunday completely with NO outings permitted at all. YES, there have been many arrests, fines and if the Panamanians could not afford it, they are being put to WORK for the Panamanian government (road work, etc). To better protect us, when you enter a store, your feet go into a huge Alcohol sponge so that the bottoms of your soles are cleansed before entering, your temperature is taken and you better have that mask on and you are encouraged to be wearing gloves as well.
There is no question that the economy of Panama, as well as everyone else is suffering and it will be a hard recovery here. So many are not allowed to work or leave their homes. In fact, the Mayor of San Carlos, which is my community had asked the head Administrator and our Building Administrator if we could please do something to help. Norys who is a Panamanian who had married an American and does live on this property is well known in circles here had been involved. Then one of our Residents, Barbara got involved and asked me to please get involved, so we all brainstormed and Barb is extremely clever with her words and diagrams.

Call to Give.
Vladimir, Norys, Jose and Phyllis.

Before we knew it, we were contacting friends and people we knew within our VistaMar Community and were trying to raise enough money for 25 food bags which Norys was overseeing with a local grocer that she knew. After only 1 week, we raised enough money for a little over 100 bags of food to some very needy Panamanians within our local area. So proud of us and what we can accomplish when we really need to help! Thank you Vladimir, Jose and Norys for truly coordinating all of this and being “on duty” to collect all the funds from people and keep us moving so we could not stay and socializing! Very well coordinated! I wanted a picture, so got it and was literally “shooed away.”
I had my Seder for ONE on the eve of Passover,

Candles lit Erev Passover.
Matzah Ball soup.
Main dish – Half Cornish Hen.

and I must admit that that this evening was most meaningful. I , having had to be alone because of isolation, did a lot of thinking and remembering so many wonderful Seders of the past years – with family, friends that are family, and even my Childhood Seders at my Grandmother’s hotel in Lakewood, New Jersey. So many truly wonderful memories for me and especially with my children with me and Larry so many years ago in St. Petersburg, Florida. When do we ever get the time to think and remember? Whatever we are going through right now in our lives is giving us the time for reflection and it is truly so wonderful. I do honestly believe we will all emerge better people – more caring and loving and giving!!! Whether or not our lives, or our Country will ever be the same, I do not know, but as individuals, we will be better!
When our “lock down” here will start subsiding, I do not know, but I do hope soon. It is truly getting to many and causing some people to start going batty. I take walks 4-5 times a week. Although not allowed out, we are a gated community with LOTS of open space. There is not a soul out when I have chosen to walk, so I am OK for the 30 minutes or so that I am out. The guards that are on duty know what we can and cannot do. I also sit in the sun 3-4 times a week as I do know that the fresh air and sunshine is healthy. In fact, Barb and Joe, who are friends in this building have one of the larger Condos with a BIG wrap around Balcony and the breezes will blow you away! I went to their Condo this past week for Champagne and Cheese and Fruit to just celebrate “US” !

Toasting on Barb’s and Joe’s balcony.

It was a lot of fun to be out in the breezes and talking to someone other than myself for a change!!! The time has come – we know we have to be careful, and the Seniors do know that better than anyone else. BUT- enough is enough. We still cannot buy any liquor and this is now over 6 weeks. Thank heavens some of us keep our wine cellars full. Cant say that anore. I need to find a Bootlegger!!!!!!
And as another month comes to a close, I must say, I have gotten to speak with a lot more of my friends from all over, and even on Facebook, many of us from hears ago have sort of reunited with comments, messenger and it has truly been so gratifying to know you are remembered and that I am remembering old friends and being in contact. When in our busy normal lives did we have time for this? We never TOOK the time but now we have the time, we are taking it and channeling it to good use. What a fabulous feeling for so many of us. Many memories o the past food our minds and as we reconnect with those we have not been in touch with, new memories pop in. Its a great feeling folks, I must admit!!!

I can only wish all of you reading this, the very best. I do hope you and your families are well and will continue to be so. WE WILL SURVIVE THIS TOGETHER. I love and miss you all and let’s not lose the contact. It is stronger than ever!

Until next month……………………………………………

P.S. Please note that the format of Word Press has changed and it took a miracle and a lot of help from my friend here, Eryka to get the images inserted. So forgive and know I will post more pictures in the future.

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Terrifying March -2020
What a difference a month makes! Although we know that this Coronavirus was already in China and might make an appearance here and there – I dont think anyone truly realized

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Fabulous, Fantastic February 2020
I call this month Fabulous and Fantastic because it is my birth month and no matter what, there will always be “FUN” times with friends!

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Jubilee January – 2020
WOW- a great ending to 2019 and a dynamic beginning to 2020! Chanukah and Christmas coming together but Chanukah going until almost New Years and then a wonderful beginning to a brand new year and also a new decade! read more…
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December, 2019
A crazy end of the year/decade! As I was read more…
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November, 2019
Peter, Karl.Leslie,Phyllis and Irene and Lorry

Peter, Karl.Leslie,Phyllis and Irene and Lorry

(this photo refuses to go where I want it to go. It is part of our Thanksgiving get together at Pete and Pennys and I am trying to put it where it belongs!. Sometimes computers just will not listen to directions. Sorry)

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. At this time of the year, I like to thank my “super power” for the many blessings bestowed upon me read more…

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