Although I’ve had a few successful days at the keyboard, they are still too few and far between. I have managed to finally complete chapter 16 and get a decent start on the next chapter but things haven’t settled down enough for me to get back into my regular routine yet. When I am writing, I find that research can cause significant delays. Although I do have a VERY general outline for a chapter, but as I write, new and greatly improved deviations from my storyline occur to me. These usually involve much needed research on the time period to keep the work accurate. In that process, I am finding that none of the search engines are very helpful. Multiple iterations of the words I use to search by are usually needed to get anywhere near to the subject I am researching. I am grateful that everything I need is on the internet though. I can’t imagine what it would be like to hand search through card catalogs and books. It was hard enough searching through a decade of newspapers from the 1890s on microfiche. I left that task with a significant headache.
Living in my new neighborhood has inspired me to get out more often with the camera. I’ve take several photo walks in the past week, including one with my good friend and fellow photographer, Isabel. The roses are in full bloom here, even though it’s winter. The hibiscus and several other varieties of flowers are also in bloom. There are quite a few parks in my neighborhood and it seems all the people living in this area are fond of having plants in every available space. I’m looking forward to branching out with my photos and working on improving my street photography.
The expat life, challenges and surprises wait around every corner when you’re living in a foreign country. I’m pleased to let you know that I have received my first piece of mail at my new address. It was a card sent by my sister and only took eight days. This is great news for me since I never receive a single piece of postage at my address in Chorrillos, even one that I mailed to myself when I was visiting back in the US last year. On another front, I went to Immigration this past week to have what I thought would be my “entry stamp” moved from my old to my new passport. Turns out, it’s actually my “Rentista Visa” stamp that they moved. I was impressed with my visit to them. A lot has changed since my last one. The lines were short and rapid, plus, the staff was helpful and pleasant to deal with. We’re still dealing with a few minor issue with the apartment but I expect all of that to be completed by the end of this month. So far the workers have done an excellent job and actually showed up when they said they would. My Spanish must be improving; I was able to ask for help on a couple of complicated issues at Plaza Vea today. I’m very happy about that.
I had a nice time with a few friends this past week. Before going for the photo walk, Isabel and I met for coffee and chat. I got to hear all about her and her husband’s visit to their place in Tingo Maria. It sounds like a nice place and I hope I get to visit it someday. I’m not looking forward to the ten-hour bus ride though. After our trip to Immigration, we stopped by Bob and Silvia’s for coffee and chat. Steve and Bob spent a great deal of that time exploring a business plan Bob has for cleaning pools. It is always delightful to spend time in Bob and Silvia’s company. I didn’t make it to the Saturday coffee and chat with Larry and the group. Too many other things on the plate, but I do intent to make it to the one this coming Saturday. Friday evening cocktails with Mona and Kelly was delightful as usual. We caught up on the week’s happenings and talked retirement plus a few other topics.
Well, that brings this one to a close. Remember to stay active physically and mentally. You’ll never regret it. Get up, get out – do something new and challenging this week.