01/26/2011, Red Frog Marina, Bocas Del Toro, Panama
Sending you some warm weather and beautiful flowers from the southern hemisphere where it is summer. Actually Panama has only two seasons, wet and dry. Arrived at the end of rainy season where the mildew was growing all over the boat- inside and out. Now that we have managed to clean it up and unpack all our luggage plus fix all that was broken, we can begin to play and enjoy the season of transitioning from wet to dry.
In our quest to repair a fuel injector pump, we took a trip to a major city where a shop was located that could take the pump apart and diagnos the problem. It would be a three day journey there and back by way of boat and bus. The Panama bus system uses old school buses packed to capacity for shorter distances and new luxury buses also packed to capacity for longer journeys. So a good seat is essential, by a window and near the back. Otherwise a baby or toddler could be on your lap for most of the trip.
After dropping off the pump to an immaculate shop we left with confidence that our pump was in good hands. We took a side trip to Boquete, a small mountain town that was hosting a flower and coffee festival. Besides we could surprise a friend living there in the middle of a construction project.
We found Boquete alive with visitors enjoying the cooler temperatures and dryer cliimate of the higher altitude. Actually had dinner in a restaurant burning two fireplaces-an outside ambiance that was comfortable.
Back now from our trip inland and the engine working again, we are planning to head to the San Blas Islands again this year. They are east of where we are by about 100 miles. In the mean time we are enjoying Bocas Del Toro, hiking and zip lining and finding some decent restaurants. Enjoy the pictures.
11/20/2010, Kodiak Alaska
It was my first flight in a Coast Guard C130. Walt didn't prepare me for what was ahead. He had been on plenty before. "Oh it has seats," he said as we boarded, pleasantly surprised. My first hint that this wasn't an ordinary flight was the passing out of ear plugs and the lack of a safety briefing which we had about memorized anyway from our last three flights getting to Anchorage. After waiting hours in the passenger terminal, we were instructed we would take off soon if the heavy winds abated and then try to land in Kodiak. If we were unable to land, we would return to Anchorage and try again the next day. We successfully made the flight without incident. The crates/pallets were unloaded full of packages from shopping and our luggage.
Certainly a great way to start our Alaskan adventure.
11/04/2010, Traveling in the USA
There's a new sport in America. Well, it's been there all along, but the rules have changed; there are no rules!! It's the new sport of eating. You can eat with abandon when, where and whatever you please.
Having been away from the US of A for two years, we were surprised there was a recession for there were long lines at our favorite restaurants. You would never guess that Americans should be tightening their belts literally and figuratively by the crowds that were still eating out. Remember when eating out was a treat and having a soda with dinner an extra special delight. Now it is the opposite; eating a home cooked meal is the novelty.
But how can one resist the temptation? There are buffets to beat the band!! All you can eat lobster and endless New England Ipswich clams. Gosh how can one refuse? There is French cuisine, Italian pastas, Mexican burritoes, Chinese lo mein, giant beef burgers on almost every corner, and those Bang Bang shrimp for $5 on Wednesday night at the Bone Fish Grill are to die for. So ten pounds later our sporting event has come to a screeching halt. We won!!! It is time to quit before we explode or die of a coronary attack. So back to the standards we had set before; eating small portions, fresh fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, no sugar, less breads, and closing our eyes and holding our noses when going through the Fresh Market grocery store. It will take longer to take off the added pounds than it was to put them on of course, but we played to win, to score, and to indulge. We won't play again, our bodies can't take this sport.
On a positive note, we are headed to Kodiak Island, Alaska, to see the grandkids and with our added winter blubber coats, we'll be warmer and feeling like bears ready to hibernate. We'll survive the cold northwest I'm sure. Send us warm messages. Love Walt and Honoree
09/14/2010, Exeter High School 40th reunion
What fun we had!!! Thanks everyone for making the effort to come, especially those travelling so far. You all made it so special. It was terrific sharing in your sucesses, talents, travels, adventures, and pictures of grandkids. It saddened me to hear of the sorrows, tragedies and the classmates we have lost. I hope that sharing the burden lightened the load and lifted a heart. I'm proud of the camaraderie we share, the great "class" we have and the accomplishments we've all made. How amazing some of us have been friends since first grade. Go Newfields!!!
We missed those of you unable to attend. Know that your names were mentioned and hoping you'll make the next gathering.
Thanks again June for getting us all together. Thanks Jim for the music; you had real records, not cds!!! Wow!! Thanks John for the grace before dinner, your kind words and all that you do for our veterans. Sorry the hike didn't happen Stan, so we'll see you in Homer for a hike. Sue MacDonald I swear you haven't changed a bit, how do you do it??? Some of you, it was your first reunion since high school, what a thrill to see you!!!
Well, until next time, enjoy the pictures.
Honoree and Walt
Arrived in sunny Florida, Fort Lauderdale to be exact. Spent the day with Richard, my brother going to the Packard Museum, the zoo and eating.
Leaving Bocas was exciting for we had to fly off the island because of striking banana workers. They blocked the road on the mainland by felling trees, throwing rocks, and burning buildings. They only earn 1.50 an hour.
Visiting more family in Sarasota, then off to North Carolina. Enjoy the photos of leaving Panama and the memorabila at the Packard Museum.
07/01/2010, Bocas Del Toro
The Ngöbe Buglé Indians are a large cultural entity here in the Bocas Del Toro (Panama) archipelago, reaching their villages only by boat. So you can well imagine the logistics of medical help, supplies, building, power sources, and education. Talking with a Peace Corp volunteer from a nearby village she told of the children going to high school paddling a half hour and then walk another half hour through the rain forest to another village's school. Classes are cancelled when it rains; and they are living in a rain forest! Education is a gift.
Be thankful for the opportunities in your world as you view these photos.