I see and hear of plenty of people leaving because of property not selling in the country of origin so they have to return. Crime has driven some people out, certainly. Then there's the normal quota of expats who can't take the culture shock – I have come close to being one of them several times. It's hard to adjust. Then there's the money: we are not pensionados, no regular checks coming in, and have had to re-invent ourselves income-wise… not easy to do in a landwhere you can't work for the first three years!

We have stayed thru all the hard moments because a) my husband won't leave and b) we don't like the direction the U.S. is heading. Corruption there makes corruption here look downright innocent.

With two draft-age boys, the three unconstitutional wars being fought now (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan) with two more on the horizon (Iran and N. Korea) gives me serious agita. Where are they going to keep getting soldiers? The ones in now are killing themselves and each other! Once there, many of them are appalled at what is really going on, wonder what they are doing there.

If Hal had been more pliable, we would probably be living in the US now. Homesickness has overwhelmed me at times. And not being able to work – I like being productive, getting out there, meeting people. I can't do that for six more months till I'm a permanent resident, but at least there's a light at the end of that tunnel!

The crime has scared me as well. I finally feel safe in my house, but outside of it is a little scary. Our dark tinted car windows go a long way to making that easier. But crime in all the places I would live is up as well. (Not to mention crimes of the state against its people.) Or I'd have to live in snow. I prefer crime in CR to snow anywhere else. Is that dumb?

Thank goodness Hal wouldn't leave. I'm thrilled to not be living in the U.S., and appalled at the way this administration is allowing that police state access here. Panama seems to be holding its own on the privacy front and the new President is determined to keep it that way. Hopefully, the current President will not do too much more damage before the end of next month. So Panama is occasionally tempting… but we love it here, our new lives are here. Would we go someplace and start over now? I don't think so… it would have to get pretty bad here.

We would not go back to the U.S. unless we completely ran out of money (a possibility) and had to go live with my mom. I'd work sportsbook first…

And the bubble here has already burst, it's just that no one acknowledges it yet. That's how it was in Key West. It's like a waterbed with a pin hole in it: water is leaking slowly, the bed is still comfortable… but the water on the floor is getting deeper.

The commercial construction is downright ridiculous. I'd laugh but it's not at all funny. We are thinking in a few months, we'll be able to rent a loft for small money… just like NYC. Those landlords will be desperate for tenants.

There seems to be plenty of people moving here, lots of people who feel like us: that CR, even with its problems, is preferable to the police state the US is becoming. And with a soft real estate market, there are some good purchase deals and lots of rentals.

There's plenty of pura vida left for us. We try to keep our expectations low and enjoy what we have!

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