Tuesday, July 29, 2008


The word "serendipity" arose more than once on my recent trip to Panama. The two partners who travelled with me and I were struck by how some things just sort of fell together for us. It was a welcome change from the usual frustrations I face while trying to do business in a country where the people are lovely, the climate and scenery are beautiful, but customer service and any sense of business responsibility are almost non-existent.

I have been trying to find trees to plant at our development for about 18 months, perhaps longer. I have written emails and made telephone calls. My Spanish speaking friend and associate has done the same. Many calls, many emails. Promises of help were made by the occasional person we contacted but after each promise no further information or help was forthcoming. Now, finally, after all this time, we have found our trees. There is a large, government operated tree nursery about an hour's drive from our development. Yippee!

Not only have we found our trees, we have found a local man in Boquete who is going to work with us to plant the trees. He is also going to help us build a greenhouse and site nursery on our property and to make walking trails around our site, especially in what we call the jungle area down by the river that runs alongside much of our property. He is a graduate of an American university, really knows his stuff, and will be a great help to us. We met him serendipitously, by accident. He owns the hotel where we stayed on this trip.

See? To me this illustrates the fact that it never pays to give up hope. Eventually, just what you need will pop up from just around the corner. Of course it might happen after you are already dead or have spent yourself into bankruptcy while seeking a solution, but the answer is out there somewhere. All you need to do is to look for it, to recognize it, and be ready when it arrives.

Wearing rose-coloured glasses might help too.


  1. Congratulations! What kind of trees might they be? Like the ones in the photo?

  2. There are a number of trees we have targeted. One is called Neem (or nim, I'm not sure) another is Caribbean Pine and one is a tall form of cedar that I had never seen before. All trees create a tall canopy at maturity and allow the viewer to see 'through' the trunks without having the branching boughs block spectacular scenes of the area.

    There are some flowering trees types as well, none of which I can remember.

  3. You kept asking, seeking and knocking, and as a result you received, found, and the door was opened.
    The principle of believing works for anyone and everyone.

  4. I wonder sometimes, Ted, if perseverance is a laudable trait or simply the cumulative acts of someone who is too stupid to know when he's beaten. I hope it's the former, but on occasion I have felt like the latter.