The eagle has landed.....
Trip Start Jan 07, 2008
36Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Palmira Springs Hotel
What a trip. I officially passed the one year mark of travel OUTSIDE the United States on January 7th. It is very difficult to wrap my brain around that on so many different levels. How fortunate I am to have had such an amazing experience.
I am a little over two months back in Boquete, after my first return visit to the US (Miami) in over a year. I spent three weeks, mostly in the Miami area because I needed to get a serious friend fix, and to goose up my supplies before venturing back to the wilds of Panama and Team Jodi did not disappoint. Danny and Michal (relocated from Atlanta to Miami about six months ago) have been incredibly welcoming and I feel fortunate to have their friendship. We have eaten and laughed quite a bit (exactly what I needed) and I am enjoying my time with their three fabulous dogs as well
I also got a quick three day visit in with Barbara Jean who came down from Boston to her family's condo on Jupiter Island. As many of you know, shopping is not one of my favorite activities, but Barbara a "professional shopper" was tremendous helping me locate all the things I needed to acquire while stateside. You saved my ass big time Babs....thanks.
And Bill Hartman in Vegas pulled through by sending my laptop along to me. It has been resting comfortably in a closet in his lovely home since I left the states. What an enormous relief THAT is. Plus, my iPod was in the computer bag with the laptop. Big mistake not taking that with me! What the hell was I thinking there? Reunion with that tiny little piece of machinery brought on a full out dance party with the youngest Miami dog, Teddy, in the living room on 95th Street
The Christmas and New Year holidays were spent with the Donoso family at Palmira Springs Hotel, my home away from home in Panama. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the family and their extended group of friends. The food was spectacular, the company terrific and the laughs plentiful. I at the best turkey of my life on Christmas day, prepared by our resident Peruvian, Tito. Four months later I am still talking about it. What more could a girl ask for....oh ya....the weather was fabulous too.
Summer has hit full stride in Boquete. The weather is perfect, a little windy which I am told is "normal," but quite lovely. Before leaving for the States I had been spending quite a bit of time with Katarina perfecting recipes for her little take out restaurant and we have had not only lots of fun, but great success as well. I am so grateful for her time and friendship now, and look forward to us collaborating on some things in the future.
Recovery of the shoulder is going well. It is, after all, the reason I came back here after my 10 day stint in Panama City...to rest and recover
So, I have been trying to figure out what next for me. Boquete has captured my attention in ways I never expected and it looks like this is where I will be staying indefinitely. One thing is for sure, it is time for me to stop moving around so much and for me to start thinking about getting settled in somewhere for a bit. While travel is fabulous, I need to have some stability for a while. Besides, as many of you know I am a bit of a worker bee. After almost two years without work, I am itching to get my hands busy.
I am currently back at The Hotel with Cesar's sister, Ellie: her husband, Tito, and Osbaldo. I must admit, it felt good to return to a place with welcoming friends. I am very comfortable here. Business is slow mostly because the place is new, and I am going to enjoy the quiet and familiarity of being around folks I like. None of the folks speak English so I am back in that mode again too. Got to handle up on that a bit more quickly. When the summer season winds down and the snow birds start heading North again, I am going to look for a house sitting situation to carry me through to the next season. As I try and make a decision about where in Boquete I want to live (believe it or not, depending on your altitude things change in this little town rapidly) living in houses in a few different spots will be a great way to figure it all out.
Since my return to the hotel (and a kitchen THANK YOU JESUS) I am amidst a cooking extravaganza
Okay, one more food thing....just one..... Zarzamora..... I had no idea what it was and while up in Volcan with Cesar and Olivia we stopped at a little local restaurant for breakfast. Cesar was excited that they had this "juice" and I jumped in too. Why not? Oh MY GAWD. Y'all.... fresh blackberry juice. No lie. Then they took me to this little roadside stand that they sold what they referred to as "strawberries and cream". (By the way, this altitude is conducive to year round berry production...strawberry, raspberry and blackberry)
I have a few ideas I am working on to generate some money and busy work for me. Having the laptop makes organizing these things so much easier. Thank you again Bill Hartman. On day 5 of being back I was out networking, shaking hands and trying to make some new connections outside of the ones I already have. It was nice to be happily welcomed back by the shop owners where I buy my stuff, and for the first time in along time I am somewhere I feel really good and comfortable and familiar The fit, as far off as it is from where I was expecting my life to be, just feels right. So I stay and see what I can make happen for myself here. It is nice to have the flexibility to be open to the suggestion of something other than what I was looking for. I feel incredibly fortunate.
It is not likely I will continue this blog in the format I have been pursuing. I will probably make quarterly updates with photos so everyone outside of my physical world can keep track of my activities. I have so enjoyed the notes and comments I have received during this past year. How fortunate I am to have so many great people not only rooting for me, but willing to be a compassionate ear when I hit a rough spot or two. I hereby extend an open invitation to anyone willing to make the trek to Panama. I promise I will make it worth your while....promise, promise, promise..... Thanks again for all your interest and support in my crazy little world. You have all contributed in many ways to the success I am now enjoying in my life. Mil gracias amigos.
I'm lovin' you from here!!!