It was not the smoothest of days yesterday. We managed to knock out two major decisions in a very short period of time (pretty much simultaneously) but it was rough. We now have a car (Honda CRV, black) and a house we are renting in Pedasi.
The car was the rough part. We knew there could be hurdles but we didn’t expect them in the form of our own bank in the USA. The dealer assured us on Tuesday that wire transfer would be no problem. Clearly he did not work at Wells Fargo because they said not only would it be a problem but it was not possible. We should have taken our own advice of not taking the first answer we hear – even if it’s the one we want to hear. Evidently because we were not there in the USA we could not initiate a wire transfer to send us our own money. Meanwhile the seller of the car had taken 2 days off work to take a bus to Colon (12 hours one way) and back to get the title in order to give it to us. And he met up with Dan at 10 a.m. to finalize the car sale. Little did he know he would spend the ENTIRE day with Dan (and the seller’s compadre / best friend tagged along the whole day too. That was odd). Evidently the seller (he’s now our good friend so we will refer to him by his name, Joel) was more than happy to give the car to us since we have given him a cash deposit, and take our word for the rest of the money coming via wire next week. But Joel’s wife was not accepting of this. Happy wife, happy life! This whole process was complicated by the fact that Panamanian banks are closed until Thursday of next week due to upcoming holidays. So the time crunch was challenging.
Thanks to my mom who managed to get some money moved around from her investment account, we got enough of a guarantee of an upcoming wire of money that Joel’s wifey felt OK to release the car. Dan got the car in his hot little hands around 6:30 tonight. It’s too dark to take a picture so we’ll get one tomorrow. The thought of wheels in our driveway is intoxicating after 3 weeks of busses, walking and taxis.
Meanwhile it was the last day of Spanish school (not that I was in school much today with all the phone calls and texts I was doing) and we are now officially on vacation. From our vacation? I guess that’s how it works. No school – Spanish or otherwise – until the 11th when we go to the bilingual academy in Las Tablas to check out if it’s right for the girls (The Smiths and another expat family in Pedasi are going at the same time – this school could go from 0 to 7 Americans in one day!).
In addition to the car fiasco, we heard from a gal in Pedasi whose 2-bedroom house we were looking at, was being considered by someone else and we needed to make a decision. Ooooohh K. So we decided to go for it and we now have a rental from Nov 6 – Dec 6. It’s a place to land and get our bearings while we hope to find a 3 bedroom place. One step at a time.
After school The Smiths and Haley and Zoe and I went to a Halloween party put on by some expats here. It was nice. A little loud and a lot of people I didn’t know (like, everyone) but the smaller kids had a pretty good time and we made a few connections. Unfortunately it’s Zoe’s turn for a little meltdown, as the somewhat disappointing Halloween here is making her miss her friends and the USA a lot tonight. We’ve all been there and I’m sure we’ll all be there again.
So now we have an as yet paid for (completely anyway) car in the driveway and a place to go next week when we leave (rain)quete for our new home. We plan on just taking it easy for the next week or so. We might actually be able to explore this place we’ve been for the last 3 weeks. Yay!