Posted by: thebradfordfamily | November 27, 2009

Turkey Bocas Del Toro Style

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.

Posted by: thebradfordfamily | November 17, 2009

Another Exciting Week in Bocas

Yesterday was Bocas Del Toro Day. I kid-you-not more than 75 marching bands from all over the province of Bocas and even from Costa Rica arrived yesterday to parade through the streets of town. The parade started at 9:00a.m. and went continuously until 6:00p.m. Because the kids had school, but nothing else was really open I managed to see almost the entire thing (once I got an hour into it I could have stopped there, but what else are you going to do). Although each band wore different uniforms they were all pretty much the same – girls with batons and sassy little marches followed by boys with all kinds of drums and lots of machismo. Not a wind instrument to be seen. It is raining here today which seems appropriate to wash the pounding and the garbage away.

Picture does not fit this post but I like it because over the weekend a local kid revealed to us that 5 out of the 6 jellyfish we see are moon fish, the kind that don’t sting. Isla really got a kick out of feeling these rubbery, slimy guys – Zach would have nothing to do with it.

Posted by: thebradfordfamily | November 14, 2009

Rainy Day at the House

It is raining today so we have blown up the inflatable trampoline and are bouncing in the front yard. Zi6_0384

Posted by: thebradfordfamily | November 8, 2009

A Holiday Week

This week was Panama’s Independence Day as well as Flag Day so the kids had no school.  We started the week out by taking a boat to Almirante (mainland) then a bus to Changuinola, finally picking up a rental car and driving to Boquete.  The road to Boquete got the best of us.  About 10 minutes into the trip Isla hurled half a sub sandwich, Halloween cookies and apple juice in my lap.  We had to sit in a puke filled car for another 3.5 hours.  The road was incredible, two lane through the mountains with huge areas where landslides had washed through.  Well worth it though, Boquete is a beautiful place.  A French Alps feeling town in the mountains in “coffee country”  a very wealthy state in Panama.   The first day we went to the Paradise Gardens where there is a refuge for birds and monkeys.  The kids got to pet and feed Squirrel Monkeys and Parrots.  They loved it.  The next day we went on a hike to the Caldera Hot Springs before we got back in the car and drove home.  No hurlers on that trip.  The rest of the week we spent going to play dates at our Red Frog friends houses and then on Friday all three Red Frog families went to Star Fish Beach.  Star Fish Beach has a huge stretch of very shallow water where there is an unusual gathering of starfish.  We were the only people there and at one point I think the kids had 91 starfish grouped together.  Parental supervision was very easy to do floating in two feet of water.

Posted by: thebradfordfamily | October 30, 2009


I am exhausted from working the Halloween Extravaganza at the kids’ school. All of the non-working moms had to first bake homemade treats to bring to school and then assist the teachers from 9:00a.m. to 2:00p.m. with games, crafts, lunch, etc. The kids had a lot of fun.

Incase you cannot tell what they are, Isla is a jellyfish and Zach is an octopus. Zi6_0276

Posted by: thebradfordfamily | October 26, 2009

Me and My Honey!

Zi6_0242We got way too much sun today!  We went swimming at our favorite rock formation with the most colorful fish.  Zach’s been having so much fun chasing the fish, and swimming.  He’s gotten much better at swimming, although we forget sometimes that without his life-vest, he still needs to be in water where he can stand up.  I can’t believe how tan Hallie is getting too! i’ve never seen her so bronze.  Meanwhile, Isla slept on the bow of the boat.  After Swimming, my favorite, The PIckled Parrot for a Blended Drink!

Posted by: thebradfordfamily | October 25, 2009

Zach’s Catch

Zachary caught his first fish today!!!!   Isla chummed the water with bread and what we think is tuna in a can.  Five minutes later Zach had a beauty on the hook!  He was 12ish inches long, white with pink and brown scales.  After this photo he was returned to his familia.


Posted by: thebradfordfamily | October 22, 2009

Island Fever


I have a little island fever and I took it

out on Isla’s hair.

One to six months…..

Posted by: thebradfordfamily | October 13, 2009

Joe on a Test Drive

Zi6_0213Joe spent the weekend test driving boats.  We are trying to upgrade from our current bathtub with the 25 horse power engine.  Although it is fun to yell “Suck My Wake” when we pass a kayaker, we have quickly grown tired of it breaking down and rowing home.  We also long to  go places a little more rapido.   This is a nice little four-seater with a top to keep you dry and 40 horse power engine.

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