We registered the truck! Notice that the new plate is the same number as the old plate. We were confused on why we had to drive into a city that was further away to register the truck, but now we get it! The plates are stamped each year and held in the cities that the vehicle was first licensed in. So even if you sell a car, that car will forever have to go back to the original city each year and get a new plate. We also learned that if you go close to lunch hour, they get you in and out fast!
There are many homeless dogs and cats here. There are a few organizations that donate time toward spaying/neutering, finding new homes etc. for these animals. Animals are one of my passions. As a child, I thought I would be a vet. But then I realized that I would have to deal with blood and that ended that notion. I did work at a pet store for awhile to help families learn how to take care of animals and then later became a dog trainer. The money was not good and I had to eventually move on to careers that paid more, but I do intend to help the organizations out here after we get more established. In the meantime....meet Karma. She will be coming to live with us in a week or so. She was part of an abandoned litter that was starving, but is now thriving with one of the organizations that is fostering close to 30 dogs.
Meet Dante...this is Karma's brother. He will also be joining us. :) The family that is housing the 30 dogs is from Peru and has only been here a few months and they just can't turn down helping a helpless dog. They give the dogs and puppies all of the medicine and food to get them all back on their feet and only ask for small donations of food and $15 when someone adopts a dog for all of the expenses. Amazing!
So...this week is full of stuff.
1. We should have internet installed on Tuesday. It is expensive here and not the quality we were used to in the States, but we are hoping that we get something resembling stable up here on the coffee farm. To give you an idea of internet pricing here, it is $180+ a month for 3 Mbs., which is the highest speed plan offered. Crossing our fingers and toes that we get close to the 3 Mbs for that price!
2. We go to the customs yard tomorrow to get our container and see what they valued all of our stuff at and pay the customs fee. Crossing our fingers it is something affordable! Then the shipping company will bring the container to the bottom of the hill and shuttle everything up and drop it into the wood shop so that they can safely bring the empty container up the hill. Then the container gets dropped (hopefully) in the area that we had a worker prep and level. Then we start unpacking our boxes and totes...fun, fun
3. We should hear if we are approved for a bank account this week. We were told 5 days...so we are hoping by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest. Due to the Panama Papers and bad press...all Americans have to pay $250 a year for a checking account to pay for the paperwork and administration that now has to be done between Panama and the US. I can't believe we are paying for a checking account!
4. We should also hear if we are approved for health insurance by Monday or Tuesday. Insurance here is cheaper than in the States. Since we will be travelling to the States we applied for probably the most expensive insurance that they offer here, but it covers anyone in our family while travelling in the States for up to 3 months a year. The other insurances did not offer that. On Friday they had a few clarifying questions regarding a few surgeries that I had in the past, but there were no questions on my husband or our child. One thing that is different here is how the pharmacies work. I have to take a daily medicine. In the states, I needed a prescription on file and it was expensive. Here....we went to the farmacia and asked for the medicine and it was $10 for 30 pills...no questions asked. Very relieved that it was easy and I can actually get more than a month at a time if I want, since it is something that I have to have to live. Doctor visits are cheaper too. A visit to a doctor that speaks English is $12, after hours is $15 and I think for them to come to your house it is around $20. The clinic we use in Boquete has all English speaking doctors and we have never had to wait more than a couple of minutes and they are open 24 hours a day. They are also known as the expensive clinic, but for the few extra dollars that they charge over other doctors, it is worth it in my mind. No waiting, no communication barrier and always open.