I’ve been back almost a week now from my almost two month visit to the US, and it feels good to be back.
I’m glad I have’t forgotten all my Spanish! It’s easier in the US where I can talk with anyone and not hunt for words or miss some things, but I’m really happy with myself when I can communicate in my new language. I feel a bit rusty but I’ll bug my friends for conversation to help me get back up to speed.
I biked across town yesterday to visit various friends and I was greeted countless times by people in vehicles, people on the street, people everywhere. The smiles are genuine and they look you straight in the eyes, so you feel like they really “see” you. It’s good to be back.
(I’ll mix in some wildlife photos as we go along)
It’s messy here. There are weeds growing alongside the roads, there is minimal zoning, some roads are rough, and people park anywhere they want. But, what does this really mean? Where are the priorities? The US is very clean, manicured, orderly, and visually attractive but all that care and maintenance comes at a cost. Here the weeds will get cut eventually, and you may have to ask around to find the owner of the car blocking you in but he will be found with everyone’s help and a lot of smiles. No one cares if you dismantle your car in the street or have cows in your front yard. It’s a much more free and relaxed style of living and I have come to like it a lot.
It’s hot here. You get used to living with your skin always a bit moist, but you hardly ever need skin lotion or lip balm. You need more showers and laundry though! A lot of people go to higher elevations to be cooler but I like this warm weather. I was thankful for my kids in the US who put big comforters on the bed and did what they could to keep me warm, because it felt pretty chilly to me there. Here I’m fine in shorts and a t-shirt except on an occasional evening when rain has really cooled things down.
My grandson would be in heaven here! There are mighty machines (heavy construction equipment) everywhere, for sale, for rent, and on countless job sites all over town. One of these days soon, I’ll have to go out with my camera and take photos of all the projects that have been underway while I was gone, and I’ll be sure to include a lot of construction equipment.
My grandson would love the bugs too. I was thinking about him last night as we sat in the living room watching a video. There was a june bug and a beetle on the floor, a couple spiders in the corner, an ant walking across the room, and a moth flying through the house and that was only one room. He got very good at capturing bugs under a glass and taking them outside, so he would be busy with that and then we could go hunt more bugs outside. His mom wouldn’t be nearly as happy though, since she isn’t a bug person.
Oh yes, and my doggie friend. I stopped by to see her yesterday too and she looks fantastic. Her injured foot is totally healed with just a small scar visible, and she is running around on it like nothing ever happened. I think the fleas and bugs are gone, and there will be no more puppies. Best of all, she remembers me, and came to me and licked my hand to be petted. Sometimes good deeds are well rewarded (background info here – https://blog.thepanamaadventure.com/2016/03/04/my-new-friend/ Since that post, the guys at the business adopted all the puppies, I got her to the spay and neuter clinic before I left, and Joel was kind enough to continue antibiotics which she needed for tick fever and give her another dose of flea medicine)
So, life goes on in Panama, and we continue to wake up every morning and thank the universe for all of it!