Cloudy with a chance of no bites

The first morning I woke up in this house, I went downstairs, made myself a cup of coffee and wandered into the living room. I looked out the front windows and nearly dropped my coffee: Masked men in coveralls with machines strapped to their backs were striding down the street shooting billowing clouds of smoke…

OUCH

Bill paying is an interesting process here. Without a mail system, no bills in the mail. Some bills come by email. Some are put in your door. Some you are just supposed to know to transfer money to the correct account. And due dates don't seem to be consistent. Fortunately, penalties seem to be just…

After awhile, crocodile

No photo. My apologies, but this past weekend's wildlife sighting was a crocodile. He grows ever larger in my mind. There's been lots of rain and a particularly heavy downpour had the creek/river tributary behind our house was flowing. That tributary flows behind our house and keeps going to a nearby lake. Around the corner…

Monkeys!

I realized when I wrote the last post I hadn't told you about our monkey visitors. That papaya tree in the backyard is paying off in animals. There is a lot of noise coming from the rainforest. As Californians, we aren't good at identifying these noises. We usually assume it's a bird. After each good…

Night time visitor

We have had our fair share of animal visitors lately. Every time a papaya drops from the tree in back we get more. Neil is hoping for a black jaguar. I'm hoping for a toucan. When I saw a papaya had dropped over night, I wondered what we might see today. I'm pretty sure jungle…

Woke up to a holiday

Good morning! The president has declared a national holiday in Panama today. School is cancelled. Government offices closed. Let the celebrations continue! Panama made it into the World Cup 2018. Last night's victory over Costa Rica gave the country its first ever spot in the World Cup in Russia. Travel agencies are advertising round trip…

My sort of Chinese side

  My dad was born in China to missionary parents. My grandparents along with their children left China at the end of World War II after spending almost two years in a Japanese-run internment camp. My Grandma Baltau learned to make gyoza and scallion cakes there (though she used lard and white or brown onions).…

It’s a jungle out there

I'm sitting in my kitchen, listening to the wind blow through the jungle. I never thought of myself as a jungle person (too humid, too many bugs, too dark in there...), but the longer we are here the more I'm drawn to it. It's green and vibrant.┬áSo very different from where I grew up. Leaves…

Words are not enough

I'm shocked by the number of people we know who were at the Route 91 Harvest festival or had planned on being there. The descriptions of their flights for their lives, the horror they saw unfolding around them... words fail me. We are thankful for our friends who survived such a traumatic experience. My heart…

Tasty treat

My friend Sandee and I stopped at the Chinese Market today. I hadn't been before. Sandee said not to get my hopes up. It has more produce than other stores, but it still isn't the tropical paradise of fruits and vegetables we were expecting when we moved here. Fruits and vegetables have been a disappointment…