This last Dry Season took a terrible toll on the plants and grass in the campo. We noticed it particularly in our back garden where, despite SU’s best efforts the grass began to die away.
When Wet Season came we figured it would be a good time to get some sod. SU ordered some from a local grower but then the rains came and it was always too wet to cut it at the sod farm. We pondered whether to wait until we could get our measly eight square meters of sod or look for other solutions.
One idea was to try to seed the area again, but given the deluges that we’ve had it was likely that the seeds would just wash away. I then did some research on-line and found that there was a synthetic grass company in Panama City. We decided that whilst I was there on my visit I would contact said company for a quote.
In theory it was a wonderful idea, but this is Panama. Getting someone to answer the phone or my emails became a problem. I kept trying to call but it was like no one was home. Perhaps they had gone out of business? But then why was their beautiful website still up and running. Ready to give up, my friend told me to keep trying; “This is Panama after all, things don’t work the same way here. They don’t care if they get your business or not”, says she. Finally, bingo! Someone answered the phone.
After asking and being told that yes, there was someone who spoke English there, my friend passed the phone to me. After explaining what I wanted, in impeccable English, the woman at the other end told me; “No habla Ingles”. All well and good, I can manage in most situations be understood and to understand what the other person is saying, but over the telephone it gets a little dicey. I handed the phone back to my fluent Spanish-speaking friend, who made arrangements for someone to come by and give a quote.
A day later, and on time the company representative took a look at my drawing and measurements and told me he’d get a quote to me. I told him that I was in the city until I received the quote as I’d have to figure out how to get the artificial grass home, implying that I was being held hostage by the quote. He also did some measurements for my friend. I received my quote by that evening, to my knowledge she has never received hers. Sometimes it does pay to convey a sense of urgency.
The quote for the grass came it quite high for the area that we needed to cover. Off we went to Discovery Center where I found the same type for a lower price. Now to arrange for transport. We spent two days trying to get in touch with a trucking company that came highly recommended. But, success came and at a fair price!
After two visits to Discovery Center, some incorrect calculations that had every person in the garden department involved, and a trip with the roll of grass strapped to a Toyota sedan that needed starting through the hood, we are now the proud owners of a green lawn. And I can boastfully say that I didn’t have a mental breakdown at the complexity of something that should have been so simple; as we gaze at our new green lawn (at least on one side)…in the campo.