Wednesday, November 28, 2012


On November 7 I finally got on a flight to Los Angeles.  I had to leave school a few weeks early in order to get my visas for my next journey, which are impossible to get in Panama. 

Brad Pitt ad infinitum at the Panama City airport

I spent several days in Santa Monica, seeing a dermatologist and a travel doctor.

I then flew to San Jose and was met at the airport by my longtime friend, Cathy Bonner.  We worked together for years, but had not seen each other in a couple of years since she had moved to Santa Cruz.  We had a great week, just catching up and doing a few touristy things like wine tasting, walking near the beach, having lunch on the Santa Cruz pier, and visiting the quilt museum in San Jose.  We also rode through the redwood forests on the Roaring Camp Railroad.
Surfing museum

Seals like to sleep on the pier

Cathy and I

Getting ready to go on the train
The conductor

Looking up through the redwood trees

Cathy's six nephews are very musical

including bagpipes


San Jose Quilt Museum

After a fun time in Santa Cruz, I flew to Phoenix to celebrate Thanksgiving with my in-laws.  It is the one time of year I know I can see everyone.  We had our holiday dinner at Philip's house, so the next generation is taking over!  I also had a nice lunch with Marilyn Colvert.

Kaleb and Thomas take charge

While Patty is the mastermind

Dan and Barbara referee

Really, Tim, who had the better birthday cake?

Monday, November 5, 2012


Demonstrations have quieted down so it looks like I will get home.  My Level 7 adult students gave me a going away party during our last class with traditional food--spanish rice, tamales, potato salad.  I also got several going away presents of typical Panamanian handicrafts from them and my Level 5 class.

Getting ready to eat

My youngest adult student, Laura, age 14, and her aunt Karina

Jelani and I got some nice presents

My Level 7 class in our computer room

Osiris is one of my best students

The University staff gave me a nice lunch at Ivos restaurant-, which has a nice buffet for $4.50.  They paid for everyone.  Atttending were my boss, Elizabeth Juarez, and the office staff Janet and Lisset.   They also included the other WorldTeach volunteer, Jelani, and our host moms.  Teachers  Henry and Nellie came by to say goodbye.

Elizabeth and Teacher Henry

Our office staff

Me and Teacher Nellie

The buffet at Ivos's was excellent

Friday was Independence Day, and there is no drinking of alcohol allowed until midnight, when everyone apparently meets for a big party.  I did not go out, but heard  fireworks about 12:30 a.m., and a parade at 2 a.m.

They finally have some decent movies playing in Daviid.  This week I have more free time and saw Argo and Skyfall.  I don't think they are even out in the US yet, but I know the $1.85 price beats what I would pay if I waited to see them there.

I took a bus to Panama on Sunday instead of Monday, since I was afraid of crowds due to the end of a four day weekend.  It was a very nice air conditioned bus and took  8 hours to get to Panama City.  The taxi ride from the bus station was complicated due to continuing holiday parades, but we finally found a way in to the hotel by having someone remove a barricade. 

The Lemon Inn is in a nice area.  I walked to Multiplaza mall and ate at my favorite restaurant, Crepes and Waffles, a Bolivian chain that has yet to make it to the US.  This  time I had chicken curry in a French bread bowl.  After lunch I went to the mall theater to see Loopers, a science fiction movie.  It is a fabulous theater with stadium seats.  I got to pick my seat on the computer when I purchased the ticket.  There were only about ten people in the theater, but I had my seat!  Of course I had to pay for such a nice theater, about $2.50 instead of the usual $1.85.  Later I went shopping.  This is the expensive mall with all the Rodeo Drive type stores.  I didn't buy anything.  I went to Albrook Mall the next day for more reasonable stores.

Lemon Inn

Dinosaur wing, Albrook Mall