Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Questions About Life in El Valle

This is in response to the comments on the previous post:

Hello Claudia,

I went over and looked at the house today. I am amazed that it's for rent. Those types of homes are usually owned by rich weekenders and they don't typically rent or sell them. How much are they asking?

So, the street that goes off the main road is at first unpaved, then paved but badly pitted. An ordinary car can manage it, but in general for living in El Valle I recommend an SUV or 4-wheel drive vehicle.

Once you get near the house the road is smooth. The house itself is nestled in the foothills among the trees and birdsong. It's a lovely location. I viewed the house from the street, but from what I can see it looks large, and the yard is huge.

Seeing the inside is important however, because Panamanian homes are often dark inside (to minimize sun exposure and heat), and some people don't like that.

Answers to your other questions:

American TV: You can sign up for Direct TV (cable service) which offers a wide selection of American programming. I don't know how much it costs.

Internet Connection: The most reliable service provider here is Mobilphone. It's wireless. I don't know if they offer 5mps, but another web developer here (Zach) has 1mps and I think he pays $150/month. I have 256K and pay $45 per month. Are you sure you really need such a high speed?

My internet connection is stable, though sometimes slow in the afternoon. The power goes out often here (a few times a week, several hours at a time, usually at night but occasionally during the day) and of course when that happens you won't be able to use your computer unless you have a large battery back-up unit. I do have one and it provides about 5 hours of power.

Things to bring: for us, nothing but thank you for offering. For yourselves, I wrote a post on this topic some time ago. See it here:

What to Bring When Moving to Panama

1 comment:

Claudia Schumann said...

Dear Wael.

Thank you very much for your information and especially for going there to the house. We have reserved the house and we are feeling now more comfortable that we are making a good decision. Btw. it has 2 ha land.

As you can imagine, we still have questions and we do need advice :-(
What better way than asking you!?
However we do not want to bother you too much, so please whenever you feel you need a rest :-) let us know and we back off!

Regarding Backup System: We would like to bring an electric backup generator. However this part is heavy and we do not know how to bring it in! Any idea what we have to do when bringing such a piece of equipment? All our furniture is going into a US storage until further notice. The house in El Valle is completely furnished which helps us for the time being.

This brings me to another question:
When we are coming we will bring many things in luggage's, how does the airline handle it if we are over packed? (We also have a friend of ours coming for a visit right away so she can take some luggage on her ticket).

There is only ONE El Valle, correct? And it is also called El Valle de Anton?
From Google Map it looks like El Valle is very close to the town of David, and much further from Panama City. Could I be wrong on that?

Regarding medical treatment facilities: Is there an emergency facility, clinic, doctors in El Valle? In other words in an emergency what is being done there (heart attack, stroke, injuries)?

Can you buy all essential foods in El Valle?

Can you buy wine in El Valle or at other Supermarkets. I am a wine lover .... however my husband also loves a good Calvados, Cognac or vodka.

Can you buy powdered coffee creamers?

Now one important question which is Postal Mail. How do you deal with it. Are you getting your mail forwarded? Do you have a special service in the US, handling your private and/or business mail?

Ok that's enough :-) .... though one more thought going through my mind and that is your expression when talking about bringing in house shoes and the reason that brought it up: "Giant Spiders"!

What do you understand by "Giant Spiders"? :-( ..... Tarantulas?
I am scared about spiders and may be your little daughter is too :-)
However my husbands loves them to the dismay of myself.

All the best from an already excited