Thursday, October 8, 2009


The "Evergreen" Crate arrived after a mostly safe voyage on the "Ever Divine." We were grateful to not have any extra taxes and we found favor with everyone involved. We got a good taste of how Panama operates as we went back and forth to the office handeling the process on the Panama side of things....a sweet taste with the exception of the location of the office. After wandering around the insides of a seeminly deserted building we happened upon an office under total renovation down a dark hall...the office was still in full effect though! We had a few damaged goods. Some things damp. It seemed as if the crate had been dipped into the ocean about 18 inches up. It was still like Christmas!
Sadly, as soon as we unloaded the crate we piled it into the middle of the rooms and covered it all with plastic as we had much to go in having a livable apartment. The school was so gracious to put new floors in and re-do the bathrooms. Another taste of Panama would be how long the processes are here. I just about drove the painters crazy. There were complete walls of paint peeling off. They arrived the first day and painted two rooms without so much as wiping off a few years of dirt and grim much less sanding. I spent days sanding with them. It was a full two weeks of spanish lessons. It ended up being a blessing because I was forced into remembering and learning the language. Nathan would probably tell you that NO ONE can paint a room to my satisfaction except myself. I think he may be correct. I can tell you this, it may not be perfect, but its a lot better than what was there!

These are the painters. In the two weeks we spent 'lejando y pintando" (sanding and painting) they called me a princess, detailed, boss, commander, perfectionist....and that is what I heard! I think they finally got the picture that I wanted it done well. I taped down the floor lines and they said, "We don't do that here in Panama!" I said I knew that and that is exactly why I was doing it! I treated them to many Snicker bars hoping they would see beyond my needs for perfection! We spent a few nights going behind them and sanding and cleaning. They had never seen or heard of a 5 and 1 tool used for all your painting/scraping needs! Nathan has been a huge trooper with all my perfection detailed princess bossy moments!
We are moved it, plastic is off, sanding and painting has commenced until a later date and I have the urge to be nerotic! We are having fun settleing in and enjoying our neighbors...fellow teachers with Nathan. We are so grateful to the people helped us with our furniture and so many other things to make this feel like home and to look beautiful! All three kids are sleeping WELL together and having lots of fun giggling and jumping on the beds. Hope they remember these days! I know I will never forget. I am doing my best to remember the Lord's promises of yesterday, of today and for our future and not dwell on what I do not have, but remember what I do. So many prayers have been answer and so many new ones have manifested.
More to come....just taking it one day at a time!
All our love! Clare and gang


  1. We check every day for a new blog so was thrilled to get this one. Thanks for including the pics...loved the smiles in the midst of the stress. Can't wait to see it all but more importantly you all... in person. Love to each, Mom and Dad R

  2. Dear Clare - I'm tired just READING about all the work...and all the effort to get the painting done right...but oh you will SO enjoy the results!! Relax in the beauty you've created. With love, Denise

  3. What a treat to open your blog and find updates!! I LOVE reading about everything and only wish I could be one of the people stopping by your home to hang out!!! Sweet little Ro and her prayer! We love you all and can't wait to hear more! I am so proud of you and love your stories about the workers and your perfectionism! We were just talking about the night we came to pack you up and what a detailed system you had down!!! Miss you like crazy and think about you all the time!

  4. So happy to hear news from you guys..... I check your blog often and was getting very antsy for an up-date. I'm praying for you
    Love, Jill

  5. Reading your blogs brightens my day :) I am so proud to call you guys my friends! I know God is using you all so much in both big and small ways. I miss you guys and your precious kiddos.

    Loving the Richardsons,