Thanks to the fact that my wife is fluent in Spanish (fluent, as in, she can dicker with the dude selling fish on the beach) and that my brother-in-law Marcelino is from Chitre, Panama, I have just returned from my second visit to the country in six years. We rented an apartment near the sea, I worked on books and magazine articles, my wife taught some yoga classes at the local international school, and our daughters did their homeschool/homework and also attended classes at the international school. There was also much water and sun.

A gigantic thank you to our friend Mills, who kept our farm and chickens (and one cat) safe and in good company during our absence, along with some additional help from our neighbors. We are blessed with terrific neighbors.

And a big thank you to mi cunado: He and his family make us feel so welcome in their country.

Over the next week I’m going to post a few photos from the trip. This is one of my favorites: Even though were far, far, from Wisconsin and wearing flip-flops in January, it felt like home because there were chickens running around everywhere. Here’s a photo of my foot and a chicken track taken on the road past the place we stayed:

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