On Monday the lockdown ended, so we are now able to go out in the daytime between 5am and 7pm every day. Beaches are still off limits for swimming, but it's amazing to have more freedom at last. I've been making the most of it, taking some forest walks and going into town to get art materials. Many shops are now open, in Bocas including department stores.
Being able to get out of the house during the day has been amazing in the hot weather, thankfully some thunderstorms have topped up the water tanks too. There was a fantastic lightning show across the bay a few nights ago. A party vibe has been in the air all day, since it's the first Sunday people have all been allowed to be out at once.
I've been working on a wooden sign made of nispero, or 'iron wood' as it is often referred to here. It's a challenge to work with as it is extremely hard, but this is also one of it's good points. Although it takes a lot of time to sand, the beautiful grain is a orangey-red in colour. After planing and sanding, I have used a soldering iron to burn the design into the wood, a technique called pyrography. After the varnish dries I will add some colourful tints, then add a final coat of laquer. The piece is for some friends at Old Bank Tea Garden and Coffeehouse, which will also be a live music/spoken word performance venue.
Just as we came out of lockdown a few cases of coronavirus were found in Bocas Town. One of the barillos has been quarantined for 2 weeks and those who are ill are to be housed in rooms at the old hospital. Numbers are quite low at the moment, and none have yet been found in Isla Bastimentos. It's been an uncertain time, as we are not sure if lockdown will return or if it will continue to be lifted under these circumstances.