Ideally, all four of us would have the same interest level in bird watching. But, three of us are kinda amateurs and one of us is extremely passionate about it. In case you're wondering where you fall on the birdwatching index, we compiled this top five list which should weed out the amateurs:
1) you describe a bird as cute, small, or gray
2) you mindlessly chatter off-topic while there is a great bird in the area
3) you wear a bright red jacket while birding
4) you let an unsupervised six-year-old child run wild in front of you while birding a great area.
5) you feign excitement every time you see a cardinal
Today we divided and conquered the family. Dave and Henry met up with Terry, a superb birdwatching guide who led them to her favorite spots around Boquete in search of great birds but especially the Resplendent Quetzal. Terry is originally from Holland and moved to Panama 17 years ago and, along with her husband, operates a coffee plantation, farm, lodge, and guiding service. No luck seeing the Quetzal today due primarily to the time of year, despite it being an absolutely beautiful, sunny day. Along the trail, we happened to pass by a farmhand carrying a huge crate of just-harvested celery. The luscious aroma was enough to make you want to chomp on a complete stalk or three of the beautiful produce. That moment was almost trumped by Terry serving a thermos of arabica coffee from her "finca" (farm) halfway through the expedition when Dave's interest started to wane.
Pearl and Sue spent the morning in sleepy downtown Boquete. Our friends who have also adopted interracially will understand that at home on a daily basis it is common to notice subtle gestures or comments from the general public noting our family. Being in Panama has put an entirely new spin on "conspicuous." Needless to say, Pearl has attracted much attention here. The Panamanian people are very generous with "muy bonita" for Pearl. They are also very curious about Pearl's relationship to our family. No one in our family is very quick on the draw when it comes to Spanish. We'd do much better with French or Mandarin. Luckily, saying "Mama" and pointing to Sue has bridged the language gap.
Pearl in front of our vacation rental