Nancy's return back to Panama

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I am back in Panama after spending 3 weeks playing nurse for my dad. I want to first thank all of you who wished my father a quick return to good health. I am positive all the warm wishes aided in his return to health and also return back to his own home in Boston.

It is amazing to see how sick he was and how his body was able to heal and how far he has come. My family gave me the nickname Nurse Ratchett, who was the nurse in the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest". When I arrived to California, my brother Mark and I drove to the rehab center to bring my dad home to my brothers home. I had a 2 hour crash course on how to do more medical stuff than I ever thought possible.

Two days later my brother left for the week on a business trip. I was left to take care of my very sick dad. When he was released from the rehab center, he was on oxygen, insulin dependent, in a wheel chair, 15 different medicines, had bedsores and was still very sick. Every day he made incredible strides toward health. When I left him on April 6th, he was using a cane (when he remembered), no insulin, oxygen, and took 12 medicines a day and was in awesome health. My goal was to get him health so he could return back home in Boston. He is going home on the 10th with my brother Dan. I hope my dad continues to thrive when he returns back to his own home and does not have Nurse Ratchett telling him what to do.

It is very hot here in Panama and I can not wait to get to the highlands again where it is 30 degrees cooler. I have been having such intense hot flashes, I just about drowned myself. Randy has been staying in a hotel in downtown Panama City and he is ready to get going. He keeps saying he feels like a trapped animal. We are waiting for our boat for Columbia which leaves tomorrow.

Yesterday I had a day to draw along the docks of Panama City. I was surrounded by what felt like hundreds of eyes starring over my shoulder waiting with baited breath for each color and texture I laid down on my small 4"x6" pad of paper. I was rather interesting to be on the rough fishing docks, the only female and have all those young fishermen watching me draw for hours. Needless to say the drawing was not one of my best by the drawing experience was tops.

Today we went to a Panama Viejo Museum to see the history of the settlement of Panama by the Spanish or rather the conquest of the area by the Spanish and the attacks on them by pirates like Henry Morgan. They moved the settlement about 5 miles away to Casco Antiguo because they could better defend against all the pirates that knew the Spanish where looting the surrounding countries of all their precious gold, silver and spices. What comes around, goes around.

Today we bought a lottery ticket and went down to see the drawing, being televised live from the Lottery Plaza. It was so exciting to see the whole city alive with excitement of this drawing worth about 10,000 dollars. The whole country actually get excited by the bi-weekly drawings, which are televised throughout the country. They were giving away free hats and shirts so I joined in to see what I could catch. One shirt came my way and we had a three way brawl. When I was shoved against the stage by this big stupid brute, I gave up. I did not want to hurt him. This woman half my size continued the struggle to have that shirt and took him on. He gave up after a while and yelled at her. He got a shirt later on. I finally got a very ugly yellow hat with some green words about celebrating the 3 year anniversary of a TV station, a station I never heard of. I gave my hat to the little girl that drew the numbers from the squirrel cage, figuring she should have something to remember her debut on national TV.

We are heading to Columbia next. We will take a 80 sailboat to Cartegena, Columbia and ride south from there. I keep trying to imagine the terrain, the food, the danger/safety, the culture, the people. When we are riding in the rural areas... will we see guerrilla that look like Pancho Villa soldiers? or just more honest hard working folks trying to make a living and feed their families. Stay tuned for the outcome of Nancy's and Randy's adventures "Lost somewhere in Colombia"

Take care and write soon