Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Photos from Copan Ruinas, Honduras

In the main market area

Skull stones at the Mayan ruins

A rabbit glyph (I think) on a statue of a ruler of Copan called "King 18 Rabbit".

Wall glyphs in a ruined Mayan temple

Altar decoration of a new ruler taking the ceremonial baton from a previous ruler

Sunday, September 26, 2010

¡Bienvenidos a Nicaragua!

Colorful storefront in Granada

Storefront in the central market of Granada

View of the cathedral near the Parque Central from Iglesia de la Merced, Granada

Iglesia Xalteva, Granada

Building along one end of the Parque Central, Granada

Bus station shot from the bus, Rivas

Quiet streets of Granada from a church bell tower

View from church bell tower (Iglesia de la Merced)

View from church bell tower

Iglesia de Guadelupe, Granada

View from halfway up Volcan Maderas, Isla de Ometepe
Owl butterfly feeding on ripe soursop (or is it sweetsop?), Ometepe

Politics are a big deal in Nicaragua

Kids stare at me here, too!

Volcan Concepcion, Isla de Ometepe

This graffiti is for Daniel Ortega, the current president and FSLN party member (you rmay remember them from 80s news reports as the Sandinistas. Well, they won.)

Moyogalpa, Isla de Ometepe - the island's biggest town.

Volcano evacuation route on Ometepe, which is made of two volcanoes (Maderas and Concepcion).

Sunset on Lago de Nicaragua from Charco Verde, Ometepe

Isla de Ometepe from a distance on the ferry across Lago de Nicaragua from San Jorge...the two volcanoes are usually topped with clouds.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wildlife of Costa Rica

Adorable spider monkeys!

A three-toed sloth!

Howler monkeys!

Look closely - a baby crocodile.

...and a toucan!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010


Nursery on a Panamanian coffee farm. More photos below!

On our honeymoon now - soon I´ll put up more photos from the wedding (I still have a few friends´photos to add and the pro ones will be here soonish) but for now...woo honeymoon. ¡Viva America Central!

We started out in Panama and spent two lovely days in Panama City and another two in Boquete. In Panama City we wandered the colonial area (Casco Viejo), recently gentrified and prettied up, not to mention made safe, after years of being a slum with especially pretty buildings and old churches. We took a day trip to the Canal and bought delightfully cheesy souvenirs. In Boquete we did a coffee tasting and coffee farm tour, did a very long, super-fun zipline tour and took a crash course in traveler´s Spanish.

I was surprised and touched by the friendliness of the Panamanians. Far from Latin America´s reputation for roughness and lack of safety, at no point did we ever feel unsafe in Panama City, on the bus or in Boquete. It´s a country that´s coming along well and offers a lot of amenities found in a developed nation. I only wish we´d spent more time there!

Learning about coffee was fascinating; I knew about the fruit cartel in Central America but had no idea that most countries had actual laws prohibiting the domestic sale of high-grade coffee...all the good stuff is exported. Panama is the one country without such a law, and yes, it is possible to get good coffee in the other countries; just more expensive and requiring more effort. Boquete grows a lot of boutique and specialized coffees, of which we tried and enjoyed many.

And zip lining? I am happy we did it in less touristy Panama, and as Panama gets fewer visitors and we´re here in the low season, only two others came with us to finish out the tour; two lovely Englishwomen. HOW FUN. I have something of a fear of heights (not too serious, but a tad) and I´m not the most physically fit person, but I had a blast. It was like fear-of-heights therapy. You don´t see much in terms of ecology or even view (you´re too busy looking, panicked, at the fast approaching platform and deciding when or even if to brake as you zip along) but it´s quite the ride.

Everyone says that Central American food is bad: I disagree. At least so far I do - in Panama we enjoyed tons of delicious food. Carne asada, pollo asado, bistek picado, bistek y tortilla, platanos fritos, a delicious beet salad that I can´t name, fresh fruits, cucumber tomato was all really quite good, actually.

We then crossed the border to Costa Rica - more on that in my next post!

For now, enjoy some photos:

Learning about hand drying coffee beans. In busier seasons they use machines to do it.

Brendan coming in on a zip line.

Panama Canal

Bad picture of a Chinese ship going through the Panama Canal´s Miraflores Locks

Panama - Japan cultural exchange! Just wait ´till I post my photo of "China Sauce"!

Panama Cathedral at dusk.

Refurbishing Casco Viejo

Residents of Casco Viejo

Monday, September 13, 2010

even more photos!

photos in this section by Stirling Davenport

Sunday, September 12, 2010

more wedding photos from my Aunt Donna

My sash didn't flip perfectly as the ceremony started


my cousin Blake

cousins Chris and Alessa

the wedding party (missing Beth and Tim)

I love this one

The Peace Sign Surprise

Grandmas Lois and Grace, family friend Ev, Aunt Phyllis, family friend Kenny

Brendan's brother escorting my mother

Brendan's parents

Our ring bearer, being offered candy in exchange for the ring box.

Ring exchange

Ring exchange


Shalini and Deepa

my mom wearing the scarf I bought her in India

Grandpa Armen

my hair

Uncle Randy, Aunt Megi and our ring bearer, Nikola

me and my mom

our "cake" (tiramisu) topper

Photos by Donna Renjilian - she's not a "pro" pro but you'd never tell - she's really talented.

Next up - Stirling's photos!