Let me set the stage here: the house we’re currently renting in the Volcancito Abajo area of Boquete is accessed by a single, bumpy gravel road that leads for about two city blocks to our front gate. For us and our next-door neighbor, it’s the only way in and out. The road is a right-of-way through a large parcel of land surrounding both our houses. Let me also explain that we are at the height of rainy season, when even in the best situations gravel roads tend to turn to muddy soup in places.

img_6485 You can't make this stuff up! Boquete Panama The Expat Life
New culvert being dug across the entrance to our road. Our house is down on the left, past the white fence pillars. It’s further than it looks!

Early last week, we heard a rumor that the owner of the surrounding property was planning on ripping up our little road to do some drainage/culvert work. Our neighbor heard about it from her gardener. We heard about it from our neighbor. It’s a little like that old game of gossip, when a rumor gets passed around – but this one turned out to be true.

img_6483 You can't make this stuff up! Boquete Panama The Expat Life
The other new culvert, cutting across the road near our gate

Thursday morning, the road-ripping-upping commenced. A very friendly and considerate contractor was on hand to explain to us (all in Spanish) what his crew would be doing. He said he was happy to answer any questions and that he was “a sus ordenes” (at our service). And that the work would be completely finished by domingo (Sunday). Domingo’s here – and these photos show how close to completion this project is (as our friend Scott said, we should have asked WHICH domingo!).

I should mention that we have had zero communication from the owner of the surrounding property – no “sorry, I need to inconvenience you for a few days,” no “here’s exactly what’s going to happen and when.” NADA.

img_6487 You can't make this stuff up! Boquete Panama The Expat Life
That’s our car, parked on the outer road, with the entrance to our road in the foreground.

If we owned the house and if this were the U.S., we’d probably be livid (not that anyone could get away with this in the U.S. to begin with!). But we’re renters and we live in Panama – where it’s best to throw preconceived notions out the window and go with the flow.

And honestly, it really is a small inconvenience to have to park on the outer road and haul all our groceries in the rain through two city blocks of mud, jumping over numerous ditches, to our house. It’s all part of the adventure – just like our cruising days, when we though nothing of hauling groceries on and off buses, onto our dinghy, and out to our boat at anchor. We’re outside, where the air is fresh and the views are spectacular. We are soooo blessed to have the opportunity to live in this wonderful place, where every day is a new revelation. And today’s domingo – soon everything will be back to normal!


  1. Reblogged this on Let The Adventure Begin! and commented:
    My friend Susan has written a blog post about what’s going on at her house. We went over to have dinner with them last night and got a first hand look at the ‘small inconvenience’ they are having at the moment. They had warned us about the road work and told us not to wear good shoes and to be prepared for a bit of a hike to get to their house….hah! We were laughing as we trudged through the mud in the pouring rain! With a shrug and laughs all around we just had to say…”Ohhhhh Panama!” 🙂

  2. jasrpanama Reply

    Aloha John,

    Good post! We love your attitude. How is the house hunting coming along? Were you able to buy the place you were looking at? Do you see Bill and Penny at all? We have sent a couple of emails to them but have not heard anything back. If you see/talk with them would you please have them check their trash or spam?

    Looks like your attitude is continuing to make your adventure adventurish! Looking forward to seeing you guys in March.

    John Henry & Sharon Brooks

    • Thanks, John and Sharon. We see Bill and Penny pretty often and they’re doing well. They seem really happy! I’ll let them know you’re trying to reach them.

      Per house-hunting – we found a great house and we’re going through all of the legal hoops (it’s soooo different here) to purchase it. Stay tuned – blog post a-coming 🙂

  3. Keep a smile on your face all the time. That’s my motto for survival abroad. 🙂 I hope your big dig is soon filled and you won’t have to haul your groceries through the mud and rain.

  4. Terry and I read about your adventures and thought your attitude is amazing. Such a better way to live, to look at life as an adventure even with its ups and downs. Thanks for sharing. 💜

  5. Bernadette Cooper Reply

    Gosh what chore! But we have to take the rough with the smooth! You guys are great and will weather this problem gallantly. Love to you both.


  6. Susan Leverton Reply

    You are as picky about driveways as we are about paint jobs. We finally looked at the schematic they were supposed to follow. They were blind. We drive to Iowa to be partly repainted on the 12th. Jake is also struggling with electrical and solar issues . Oh the adventure……

    Sue Ps. But it sure is beautiful.

    Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God. Bokanon


  7. Sometimes these types of inconvenience make great travel story 🙂 Truly appreciate you are being relax and still seeing the humor within it – which Domingo – haahaha, that could happen in my home country too!

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