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Over the last ten days Casco Viejo has had several important visitors:

The most important (to us) was a visit we had from Panama Notes reader’s Merry and Don. They were on their sixth visit to Panama and are making final plans to build on property they own near Boquete. We walked around Casco a bit then went to dinner at Buzios - it was a very nice evening to eat outdoors, a little breeze and no bugs. The best part, just chatting about Panama and the choices we make and how this place has something for everyone. Had such a great time I forgot to take any pictures - next time guys..

A couple of days before Merry and Don’s visit we noticed a lot of strangers in the neighborhood, all dressed in suits with a little radio receiver stuck in their ear. It was the Secret Service detail for Laura Bush who was in Panama to promote breast cancer research. She was eating at a restaurant a couple of doors from our apartment. Nope, we didn’t even go down and look in the window.

The Admiral Chabanenko
The destroyer Admiral Chabanenko entered the Panama Canal last Friday becoming the first Russian warship to transit the canal since 1944. Over the weekend Casco was crawling with young men in strange uniforms - the Russian Navy was on shore leave. Looked like the souvenir vendors were doing a good business, especially in Panama and cowboy hats. Had a brief conversation with three of the sailors (pretty good English) and they seemed to be enjoying themselves but really wanted to get back home after five months at sea.

Then yesterday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Panama for trade talks with several Central and South American countries. Looks like she will be in Casco sometime over the weekend as I’ve seen some of those snappily dressed guys in the dark suits checking the area.

Lastly, it’s obvious that the “tourist season” has started - more groups wandering throughout Casco Viejo. Must be getting cold up North? Hopefully someday we will be able to add you to our “VIP List”. Take care.

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