Paul and Kelly DeRocco enjoying life Pedasi, Panama. (Contributed)

Paul and Kelly DeRocco enjoying life Pedasi, Panama. (Contributed)

GUEST COMMENT: Enjoying life to the fullest

Former Sooke residents find paradise in Panama

Paul and Kelly DeRocco are the former owners of Fudge In A Round in Sooke. They recently moved to Pedasi, Panama.


Paul and Kelly DeRocco | Guest Comment

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow reaches our one-month mark in Panama.

Is it everything we expected? The answer is yes, and more.

It’s not like we woke up one morning and picked this small town in Panama with a population of 3,000. We did our research nine months prior on different locations and countries and decided Pedasi, Panama was the place for us.

On our first morning, we had a severe thunderstorm, so severe that in front of our house, the lightning hit a bamboo tree, which then landed on all the hydro wires by a transformer.

The bamboo tree caught fire, and blew the transformer. We were without power for only five hours, we thought it would have been much longer.

We have seen some interesting creatures so far, a venomous coral snake at the end of our driveway, which luckily enough met his fate with a truck. We have a family of iguanas that live in the bushes, just outside our kitchen window. And we have squatters in our house, taking up residency, the geckos. They are actually great to have around because they get rid of insects.

We have coconut, mango, almond, tangerine and grapefruit trees all around us.

There is approximately 300 Canadians and Americans that live here for most and part of the year. We have started some great friendships here. It is very laid-back here, and everyone will help you out if you need help.

An example is that we caught a bus to the next town, almost like going from Sooke to Victoria. And on our way, I was telling the bus driver that the mosquitoes are really feasting on my Canadian blood.

After about 15 minutes into our ride which was on a main road, the bus took a side road, and we were driving through an area with Panamanian houses. The bus stopped, the driver ran out and went into a house and came back and gave me a bottle that’s similar to tiger balm to put on my bites!

He actually drove to his house, with a bus full of passengers to give that to me. No one got upset or asked why the detour, and we just continued on our trip back to the main road.

This town has the feel that Sooke gave and showed us, that people are willing to help others. Pedasi is the closest place that will always remind us of Sooke. Panamanian style, of course!

So to answer the question, has it fulfilled our expectations? The answer is obvious, yes!

We think we have found our new home away from home. Sooke will always be in our heart, and the people and ventures that we had will forever be a part of us.

Just wanted to let you know that we are doing great, and enjoying life to the fullest.

Anyone can do what we did, you just have to take that risk and know that if doesn’t work out, it’s never a failure, just a destination that was not meant to be.

We know that Canada will always be there for us, but most of all we know that Sooke will be there with open arms if ever we need to return.

Until we meet again, Sookites.

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