– Wandering the rainswept streets of old town, Casco Viejo, and just sitting at a little cafe, sipping strong black coffee and watching people pass.
– Exploring the centuries old cannons and ruins of Colon on our way to the idyllic little Isla Grande.
– Spending a week on Ustupu, San Blas. Ustupu is NOT the tourist section of San Blas. It is the capitol island, and tourists rarely go there. I had the unusual honor of attending a young woman’s “chichi” celebration. When a Kuna young woman comes of age (begins menses), a celebration is held in which she is painted in berry juice and a lot of drinking goes on. It was a spectacular experience and I thank them for it greatly. A close friend of mine is Kuna and so our visit to the islands was not of the typical tourist variety.
– The colorful chaos of Carnival in Las Tablas.
– Hiking in El Valle de Anton, the beautiful El Nispero zoo, swimming under the waterfall, the petroglyphs, the orchid sellers, the Sunday Market.
– Feeding crocodiles off of the deck at Gamboa Rainforest Resort.
– Performing in “I Hate Hamlet” and “Black Comedy” at Ancon Theater where I met lifelong friends who changed my life and made me a better person.
– Snorkeling for the first time near the dock at Crawl Cay in Bocas del Toro, then having drinks at the tiny dock bar with new friends from all over the world.
Morning walks in Parque Metripolitano near Panama City, where Blue Morpho butterflies are abundant and it feels like Jurassic Park.
Walking on the beach on Isla Contadora at night and the bioluminescent plankton makes the footsteps behind me glow bright blue in the dark.
Riding a bike along the safe side lanes along Amador Causeway while watching giant PanaMax ships come into the canal.
Over the last few years of living “state side” again, I have managed to collect quite a bit of stuff. I still have notably less stuff than almost everyone I know, but I still have more stuff than I am used to having. The elliptical machine, the furniture, the electronics, the abundance of clothing I don’t really wear. It is awfully wasteful and a tickle of annoyance is always there that after years of living very minimalist when it comes to clutter, I suddenly have so much. I miss the days when I could live out of two suitcases quite easily and my brain was not fogged up with concern about what to do with all my crap, because stuff really is crap and crap is just stuff.
Now, planning to go expat again by August, I am trying to get rid of my excess stuff. It is nice stuff. Really nice stuff actually, but it is too hard to take it with me. My home in Panama has stuff in it already so adding this stuff would be overkill, not to mention very, very expensive to ship. So, I am sending my stuff to good homes. Some of it is going to family and friends, some will be sold via CraigsList and eBay and some will be donated to charity. I will miss a lot of it, but in a way I will be happy to see it go. I hope someone enjoys the stuff, someone who can make good use of it.
The only new “stuff” I am acquiring is a new (used actually, most of it is from eBay) wardrobe of natural fiber, lightweight clothing suitable for the boiling steam bath that is Panama. I love Panama but the heat and humidity really gets to me. So, all linen, 100% cotton. Simple, well made stuff. No nylon/poly that will melt on me. The loose fit, laganlook stuff is too boho and a bit matronly for me, but I am sacrificing style for not having a heat stroke. Fun times 🙂