The Many Faces of Weevils

Weevils? Yes, I know. Who would be interested in weevils? But, so many of them are just gorgeous! Since I found that very strange and interesting weevil a few days ago, I have been doing some research. Check out these weevils. (all photos were found on line. None were taken by me)

Eurhinus magnificus  This one is found from Mexico to Panama!

Acorn Weevil – (Conotrachelus posticatus)  They suck the insides of young acorns, and also lay their eggs in acorns. (many parts of the USA and Canada)

Eupholus magnificus from New Guinea

giraffe weevil   from Madagascar

Diamond weevil Chrysolopus spectabilis  (eastern Australia)

Polka Dotted Clown Weevil (Pachyrrhynchus orbifer)  Phillipines

There are just a very few of the tens of thousands of types of weevils in the world. I think I should spend one of my next lives as an entomologist. I’ve always liked bugs but living here in Panama has showed me more of the huge diversity of the insect world.

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What is Going On With Immigration?

There have been news articles and a lot of talk about recent happenings at Panama immigration, and how this might affect people here as tourists. One of the news articles is HERE and another is HERE.

From what I understand, the problem has been with people from Venezuela fleeing their troubled country and coming here to work, but without legal status in Panama. There has also been this loophole in the rules. You are allowed to stay in Panama for 180 days as a tourist, but if you leave the country for some unwritten amount of time, usually three days, you can reenter Panama and get another 180 days. Some people from Venezuela tried to do this recently and were not permitted to come back into Panama. So far, as far as I know, no one else has been denied entry back into Panama. But there seems to be a trend towards tightening up border security and enforcing immigration laws, so it is quite possible that anyone who lives here as a tourist doing “border runs” won’t be able to continue this.

I checked Chiriqui Chatter since Mr. Williams in our embassy warden. Click the link to read his post, and I am also sharing here the response from the US Embassy.

We here at the Embassy have reached out to immigration to obtain details about the news pasted below regarding the implementation of immigration regulations. According to the Duty Chief at Migracion-Paso Canoas, the PNM Immigration Director is enforcing these migratory requirements across Panama. This means that if an Immigration Official determines that a foreigner is using tourism status to reside in Panama, the entry will not be allowed. The Duty Chief gave examples of this situation, indicating that persons who exit Panama before the 6th month approaches and re-enter after three days, which is a clear sign that the individual is residing in Panama under a tourist status, will not be allowed re-entry.

In summary, these regulations were already in the books but now it seems the immigration authorities throughout Panama are going to be stricter about enforcement. That said, we have yet to receive a complaint from a U.S. citizen actually denied entry at the border for the reason outlined above.

Someone posted the latest information that the Canadian Embassy received from Panama immigration and it is essentially the same.

Tourists may only remain in Panama for a maximum of 180 days. If you wish to remain in the country after that time, you must change your residency status. If you attempt to renew your stay in Panama by travelling out of the country for a short period of time with the intention of returning to Panama as a tourist, immigration authorities may deny you re-entry, as they are implementing stricter border controls. Consult Immigration Panama for more information.

It seems to me that anyone living here as a tourist would be advised to either get legal or consider moving elsewhere. There is no guarantee that the border hopping and perpetual tourist thing is going to work for much longer.

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What is this Bug?

Just when you think you have seen every new and interesting bug, something else comes along. This one was on the floor the other night.

When I downloaded the photos, I found a bunch more than I had forgotten about. I was house sitting for a friend who has a great yard full of flowers, so most are from there.

I looked up ti plant to be sure I spelled it right. It is Cordyline_fruticosa, has a number of other names, is from Polynesia,  and is in the asparagus family. The rhizomes can be eaten, and the leaves can be used to thatch roofs, store food, or make Hawaiian hula skirts. Who knew! Click on the link. The article is short but interesting. Ghost repellent? Good luck? Lava sledding?

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Cuba Photos, #3

This gallery contains 16 photos.

Originally posted on FindingMySelfinPanama:
More Cuba photos… ?

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Havana Cuba Videos February 2017

Joel has posted some videos of Cuba. Click on View original post  to go to his blog.

FindingMySelfinPanama

Some videos for your viewing pleasure.😎

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Havana Cuba, the Last Day

On our last day, we woke up to rain. Our hosts said rain was predicted for the next two days. That was OK. Since we had already seen so much of Havana, we didn’t feel like we were missing out. And, our host was home recovering from his cut hand, so more interesting conversations were in store.

But, soon there were spots of blue in the sky, and by noon it was bright and clear! We decided to head out for some more exploring. One thing I enjoyed was getting a closer look at the sculpture. Check out the artist’s website http://www.artsanjuan.com/  He’s Cuban, from Havana and does some really interesting stuff. I wish the photo of the sign had come out better. It says – “Faces can show the soul of the people, the diversity of gender. It is impossible for me to avoid beauty, confrontation and transculturation among us. Today our globalized world is this. It is presence here and there. Why women? Because they are the utmost expression of life. My interest, as an artist, is to donate this piece to the heart of the city. May it beat among us, so that passerby may coexist with it and forever treasure it in their memory.”

We decided to set off for the Malecon, and turn left towards a different part of town.

We ended up in a more commercial part of the city. It looked like this is where the citizens lived and worked, not a tourist area.

It turned out to be a really beautiful day so it was a pleasure to be out exploring again!

After wandering for a few hours, we decide to turn towards home. We felt like we had been in an entirely different part of town but we actually weren’t that far from our home base.

About the red car and the goats and chickens… something caught my ear, like a child hollering but when I spotted the source, I realized it was a guy putting a couple little goats into that red car. Soon he came back with chickens, and then the bigger goat in the picture, and then more chickens. I mentioned this to our hosts and they explained it was the Santeria religion, that they use the animals for sacrifices. They didn’t know what was done with them later but according to some information I found on line, they are eaten. This BBC article talks about it.

It rained later in the evening and during the night, but we got lucky with the weather all day. We had a great morning talking with our hosts and did a bit more exploring as well. And, when we got back we found out our hosts had enjoyed a much needed nap. His parents aren’t well so he, and often both of them go to their apartment every evening to take care of them, sometimes returning after midnight so along with their daytime activities, our hosts have a lot going on.

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Hasta Luego Boquete

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Originally posted on mebeinpanama:
We have beautiful Boquete in the rearview. So why snake pictures? No particular reason, except it seemed odd that we were greeted by the fellow on top, a lovely coral snake on one of our first…

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Havana, Hanging Out on Balconies

I spent some time on the balcony one late afternoon just watching the neighbors. These photos were probably taken in the space of 5-10 minutes, and as you can see a lot of living is done outdoors even if there is only a small balcony available.

About the blue trash bins in one of the photos, they are found on every street and sometimes later in the day they are overflowing. We were told that trash trucks come around every night. And, the lady with the water on her balcony – no one drinks the tap water in Cuba. Our hostess boiled the water and then put it through a filter in a big jug on the counter. Any time we or anyone else needed water we would go there.

I also mentioned the extra living spaces on roofs. Our host pointed a number of places that had been built on roofs by people who needed living space, and it seemed that almost every roof had these places. He also said it’s common to build an extra floor in apartments that have very high ceilings. Living space can be very expensive for people on limited incomes so they have learned to be creative and use every resource they have.

I liked hanging out on the balcony, enjoying the warm breezes and sounds of the city. It reminded me a bit of New York City in my distant past, when spring would finally come and you could open your windows, and then the sounds of the city would flood in and you would feel so much a part of the energy of the city.

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Tuesday, Day 5 in Havana

Today we walked north to the water, thinking we hadn’t seen that area but it turned out to be where we got off the bus and walked towards old Havana. But, there were still quite a few things we hadn’t seen in this area and more things to photograph.

This is still the historical area full of tourists so of course there were dozens of fancy old cars, mostly convertibles, and we were approached countless times for taxis, rides, tours, cigars, anything anyone thought they could sell us but this led to a few pleasant conversations as well.

We stopped into a few art galleries, but for me the street art is the most interesting.

Somehow we missed Plaza Vieja before. This dates from the mid 1500’s, and has gone through a number of name changes and uses.

We saw many buildings under renovation but for me, the old untouched buildings are almost more interesting with their remnants of paint and trees growing on the top floors. If they could talk, what stories would they have to tell?

We had been doing hours of walking and our legs were starting to feel the strain, so we returned to our place in the late afternoon and stayed in for the rest of the evening, napping, sorting photos, and relaxing. The next day, our last, we would visit some of regular Havana instead of the touristy historic areas.

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Cuba Photos #2

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Originally posted on FindingMySelfinPanama:
Here are more photos from our trip to Cuba. I have cropped many for emphasis, some photos were too “busy” so I gave them more focus. I photograph what catches my fancy and modify the result…

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