It’s been another interesting and busy week in the campo.
Carnaval is over and our tranquilo life has returned. We decided we didn’t need to take the event in this year as we had seen it all last year and ended up pooped out when it finished. We had planned on taking in the last day which in our opinion is the best but sometimes life has a way of telling you, “No!” and so we missed it. The last of the fireworks went off around 0500 Wednesday morning to mark the Entierro de la Sardine; a symbolic burial of the past allowing for renewal. In some respects it represents the overindulgence of the festival being destroyed. In any even Lent has begun in the pueblo and the silence is golden. (Amiga Connie took may pictures, you can see them on her blog at Our Third Life – Pedasi, Panama.)
The Panama Canal expansion was shut down for a little over two weeks in February because of cost over runs of 1.6 billion dollars. The original price tag was $3.2 billion dollars. The project seems to be back on track and The Panama Canal Authority and the group led by Spanish construction firm Sacyr are reviewing the documents before signing an agreement to carry on the Third Set of Locks Project. There is a verbal agreement in place to inject fresh capital of 200 million dollars into the construction. The project entails building two new locks, one each on the Atlantic and Pacific sides. Each will have three chambers with water-saving basins. The project is also excavating new channels to the new locks, widen and deepen existing channels, and raise the level of Gatun Lake. The original scheduled completion date was October 2014, in time for the 100 Year Anniversary of the Canal. The new completion date is expected to be June 2015. But this is Panama, so we’ll see…
In April the first commercial flight will land in the Scarlett Martinez Airport in Rio Hato, about two and half hours away from us, it cost 53 million dollars to build the airport. It is rumoured that the first flights to land at the airport will be from an airline that will have direct charter flights from Canada to Rio Hato. My guess is it might be Air Transat as it already offers all-inclusive vacations from Canada; although Air Canada, Can Jet and WestJet are some of the airlines also interested in flying in all-inclusive vacationers to the Pacific Beaches area of Panama. The airport is to be working next week and in April it will be ready for the first commercial flight. 138 million dollars has been invested in remodeling airports David, Colón and Rio Hato and 274 000 passengers flew within the country in 2013.
I was asked to answer a questionnaire sent to Expatriate bloggers about the Expat Bloggers Journey through Expatriation by the website Internations, that’s their little bird logo on the right of the page. I received a neat little infographic this morning to show some of the data. It was too large to compress into one file that was big enough to read to I’ve broken it down into different sections:
The statistics were pretty interesting to me. I thought our computers were the most important things we brought with us, we use SKYPE quite a bit and it’s interesting to see where people originate and where they have moved to.
And finally I’d like to discuss the weather. We keep anticipating that the winds will die down any day but they have changed from “gale force” to nice gentle breezes that seem to start and stop at a whim. When there is not breeze it’s just stinking hot but this morning it was actually somewhat cool and the temperature now (according to the outdoor thermometer) is 30 with 65% humidity. Interestingly Accuweather says that we are going to get rain. Ummm…I don’t think so. Dry Season is very drrrryyyy here, not that we would refuse any rain sent our way.
It’s been a very bad Winter in Canada, so I feel for you all. It’s good to see that the temperatures in Edmonton will be on the plus side this weekend.
We’re sending you wishes for un buen fin de semana from the campo!