Today after much procrastination, I will start listing online the many items I would like to sell. It is not easy to get rid of many of the things one has collected over the years, but it must be done. The items that I do not want to keep, and have not sold by the end of the month, will be donated to thrift stores, with some items from my wood shop going to a local school where I know the wood shop teacher. Items that I definitely want to take to my new home will be stored with friends. Items that I am not sure about will also be stored with friends, and decisions about them will be made when I come back in June.
I am waiting for my new passport to arrive before I set firm dates for my four month exploratory visit to Boquete (February to June). Before I return in June, I will probably have made my decision regarding whether I move to Boquete on a Panama "Pensionado Visa," or look for subsidized senior housing in the U.S. ? The reality of this major life change is sinking in more and more each day, and little voices are asking me "Do you really want to do this, David?" Thoughts of what I will leave behind are being more than matched by the vision of the life I can live in Boquete.
I have my ticket for the Boquete JaZZ & Blues Festival - 2012, which will be my first event in the beautiful highland valley town that I hope to make my new home. And to even further reinforce my desire to make the move, here's another plus for the area. The HUGE La Amistad National Park is a mountain-top tropical cloud forest that spans nearly a million acres - and the southern section is right above Boquete. It straddles the Costa Rica-Panama border. I plan to hike into and explore some of the few accessible portions of the park, and take photos. The photo below is from Wikipedia.
"The park area is equally split between Costa Rica and Panama, as part of the former La Amistad Reserves of the Talamanca mountain range. It covers 401,000 ha of tropical forest and is the largest nature reserve in Central America and together with a 15 km buffer zone it represents a major biodiversity resource at a regional (ca 20% of the regions species diversity) and global level."
"This is recognized in its strategic position in the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor and its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its cross-frontier position gives it unique potential to improve bioregional planning. The park’s buffer zone includes coffee and beef producers and indigenous subsistence farmers."
"A consequence of the difficulty of the terrain, the park is relatively unexplored and the only substantial scientific explorations deep into the park have been led by the Natural History Museum London, INBio and the University of Panama in the last 6 years (2003–2008)."
"In 2006 the UK's Darwin Initiative funded a three year collaborative project led by the Natural History Museum, London, INBio (Costa Rica) and ANAM (Panama). The aim of which was to generate baseline biodiversity information for the park and a map of the biodiversity. This involved a series of seven multi-disciplinary and international expeditions to remote parts of La Amistad during which over 7,500 plant, 17,000 beetle and 380 herpetological collections were made and deposited in the national collections of Costa Rica and Panama. These expeditions also lead to the discovery of 12 plant species, one beetle species, fifteen amphibian and three reptile species new to science."