Mar 27, 2013

Orchid Expo Off to a Slow Start

What used to be known as the Feria de las Orchideas, in Boquete,  has been renamed the Orchid Expo.  This year it's running from March 22nd to March 31st.  Regardless of what it's being called, we're five days into it and the fairgrounds almost resemble a ghost town.  This has been the most meager exhibition I've observed in seven years.  Today as I strolled through the grounds,  I did see a few vendors unpacking large boxes, and some carpenters installing temporary kiosks, but there were practically no plants or flowers to be had.   We still have one weekend to go, and it's still possible the expo will evolve and  close out with a larger impact.  There was almost no publicity regarding the event this year, and I can't help but wonder if better PR could help.

I spent about 30 minutes in the Orchid Salon and snapped these photos of winning plant entries.  



Mar 17, 2013

Beware of Boquete House Sitters

After a very enjoyable visit to California, Arizona and New Mexico,  I'm back on home turf. My garden greeted me with the above orchid blooms from plants I've been babying for about a year.   Such a warm and pleasant welcome!

On a less positive note, the house/pet sitters I left in charge while gone were a major disappointment. The neighbors on three sides bent my ears about what went on in my home while I was out.   Pets were left unattended for days,  people came and went constantly when the sitters were here, my washer and dryer were made accessible to strangers as a laundromat, and they sunbathed nude in the back yard for the gardener and all others to see.  A very sensitive issue for this small, very religious neighborhood.  My furniture was shredded by my frustrated felines, left indoors alone for days, and my washing machine is no longer functioning.  It was used so heavily it overheated and burned out the switch and connections.  Minor articles of kitchen cookware and alcohol from the bar seemed to have marched off.  My choice of sitters was a regrettably poor one.  I thought the couple I enlisted were good friends, but they were just good at pretending to care.  It all came down to their having fun and letting the chips fall where they may.   These same people have successfully marketed their services upon returning to Boquete after a brief attempt to establish themselves in another country.  Word is they've logged several other assignments with expats in the area.  My only hope is that they respect these new opportunities more than they did mine.  I could have hired a vet to come and live with my cats for less than what these people have cost me. 

Mar 6, 2013

California Coastline near Half Moon Bay

Beautiful to behold, but the frigid waters and cold, damp northern California clime make for a brief sojourn.  Longing once again for the Panama version...Happy to be heading back in 32 hours.

Mar 2, 2013

Back to Bay Area en route to Boquete

Returning to Boquete in another five days and very anxious to be home.  I've heard the Boquete Blues and Jazz Festival is going well.

The photos below, taken in Castro Valley, certainly shed light on my preference for Boquete and Chiriqui province!