Posted by: thebradfordfamily | November 18, 2009

Little Citizens of the World

Month three of this adventure is almost up and my favorite children’s clothing line, Tea (For Little Citizens of the World) is running a contest to hear what Little Citizens of the World means to our family. It is our goal to raise “little citizens of the world” and it is absolutely one of the reasons we are on this adventure. When Zach and Isla are adults we want them to be comfortable belly-up at a biker bar in the middle of Nevada, sitting in an elegant restaurant that has salad forks and soup spoons in the table setting. We want them to have tools and confidence to navigate the jungles of Central America as well as the New York subway system. So here are the changes I have seen in Zach and Isla in a few short months – some of them good and some of them bad.

Zachary’s swimming has improved dramatically. He even fell off the dock a few weeks ago with no life jacket on and his automatic reaction to tread water was the perfect reaction (don’t worry grandparents, I was only about 10 feet away when he fell in). Even after that dock incident he still loves the water and has no fear of it.

Isla has an increadible ability to find treasure. She has found the best seashells so far, she loves to collect feathers that she finds on the ground (Vulture feathers – gross) she picks every berry she sees (scares the crap out of me) and loves to kiss flea covered dogs and spindly, featherless chickens. Whether looking at the snake in the tree, moving around starfish at the beach or touching the moon jelly-fish she is always the first one in….no hesitation.

At first, neither kid realized all the kids around them did not understand a word of English. Then they went through a stage of screaming at the local kids thinking if they yelled the kids would understand.  Now they are finding common goals with the other kids and playing with no words. Both kids have had their hair touched by a rediculous number of kids and even had their hair called “feo” (ugly) and they take it in stride.

Fastino, the nice man who runs a store on our walk to school has said good morning to Zach and Isla every day since we got here. Zachary has gone from putting his head down and flat out ignoring Fastino to saying “Hola, Buenos Dias!” Isla still ignores Fastino (we are working on that).

Both kids recognize the Panama flag but not the US flag and Zachary even knows when it is accidentally hung upside down (I don’t know that).

Zachary has traded allergies, asthma and eczema for chronic mosquito bites that cover his entire body and make him look like he has chickenpox. It doesn’t seem to bother him…..

Both kids have developed huge fears of bats and crabs and we see both so frequently I am almost worried they are going to become shut-ins.

Oddly we are having more difficulty keeping Isla from being hit by a car than when we were in San Fran. Since there are no sidewalks here she doesn’t have any boundaries.

Zachary has learned that trash is harmful to fish and is very conscious of the large amounts we see on the beaches and in the water.

Since they have been forced to be with each other 24/7 they have fought with each other (A LOT), used each other as security blankets and learned to play together.

So what does all this mean? Are the kids becoming more adventurous, more comfortable in uncomfortable surroundings? When they are adults will they adventure more than their Dad and I or will our adventuring make them want to have grown up lives of “normalcy”?  I cannot wait to find out.



  1. Thanks for the update…miss you !

  2. I think it’s great….. like a crazy science experiment! Keep it up and keep the updates coming.


  3. Feliz Navidad Bradford family! We are thinking of you this holiday season. I hope your Panamanian Christmas will be lovely and memorable for all the right reasons. With love from Australia, Stewart, Ashley and family

  4. “Hi” I am enjoying the pictures. Love You all. I”m at Sharon’s house.
    Mom and Grandma

  5. Amazing moments to capture and so interesting too, love the sidewalk piece and amazed that asthma has subsided, any thoughts on why?

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