Friday, June 25, 2010

Simple Pleasures

The more time I spend in Panama, the more I appreciate the Panamanians and their simple lives in this rich country. It touched my heart when 2 workers from J&J Windows walked down to my beach after repositioning the screens on my windows from inside to outside (better for keeping bugs out). They returned from the beach with a very used, deflated soccer ball. They wanted to know if they could have it....! Sweet, small pleasures.
Soon I return back to the US for the 4th of July. I'll be with Mom for a few days in Washington, then escort her to Sacramento (my brother's house) then on to Kelseyville, CA for a family reunion. The week of July 7-14, I'll be at True North Health Center in Santa Rosa healing from whatever bad things went into my mouth this last year (mostly chocolate bars and sugar). I always have fun there making new friends (with like-minds), birding, shopping and reuniting with old high school buddies.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lunch With Noriega's Ghosts

Yesterday, I had a very interesting lunch that included a few ghosts who were murdered by Noriega in the 1980’s. A friend of mine (Dr. Jennifer Daniels who you might recognize from previous blogs) is caretaking a house (pictured) that was once “owned” by Manuel Noriega. I use the term “owned” loosely because he really seized the house when he was the military dictator of Panama from 1983-1989. Dr. Jennifer prepared an amazing lunch (at least if you are vegan like me) that included cucumbers dipped in guacamole, out-of-this-world split pea soup (which I hope to duplicate), a huge fresh fruit salad (with star fruit from her neighbor) and her famous oatmeal cookies. After lunch, she and her new husband Gary took us on a tour. The views were unbelievable (I could almost see my beach house) and the garden was one of the nicest I have seen in Panama. One of the bedrooms once housed Fidel Castro. It was a much better outcome for us than for Noriega’s guests of years past. They would be invited to the mansion for a meal followed by a party. You guessed it. They would be lead out to a beautiful vista and killed.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sunny on the Divide

It was a perfect day on the Continental Divide trail… highly unusual any time of the year and particularly unusual in the wet season. Fourteen of us saw 57 species of birds. Almost more enjoyable than seeing golden browed chlorophonias and hearing prong-billed barbets was simply being immersed in the lovely cloud forest on a sunny day. All pictures are mine except for the broad-billed motmot that was taken by Kay Wade.