The Wet Season
We are currently in the Wet Season of the year. Everyone calls this the "winter" of Panama even though we are in the Summer months. With the rains it is cooler this time of the year than the Winter months that make up the dry season. The actual change in temperature is minimal at best (low 80's as opposed to high 80's). The Wet Season starts around May 1st and goes until the middle of December. For most of the country the chance of rain is above 50% every day.
Volcan's Wet Season
Now with Volcan being at 5000 feet above sea level and right in the path of the clouds carrying the rain it rains here every day. No, not a few times a week. No, not a couple of weeks in a row. It rains every single day! Day after day, week after week, month after month for EIGHT months! So you just pray for a day without rain, then the dry season comes and you pray for rain, but for now it can go away for a few days.
There has not been one single day since we arrived in Volcan that it has not rained. And this is not a 20 minute shower (that does happen at times, but more is coming later that day) we get full blown rain and thunder storms every day. On top of that it is a lot cooler up here, about 63 degrees at night and 75 degrees during the day. So with the constant damp cool air here guess what happens. Yep, constant mold and mildew growing everywhere. Moss on the trees grows on all 4 sides here, so you can't use that to guide you North.
It is so damp here that when you put on a clean piece of clothing it actually feels damp, like it didn't get totally dry after being washed. The thing is, when we take them out of the dryer they are dry. It is just so damp that it makes all cloth be damp, another reason carpet and throw rugs don't exist here.
The Mold Wars
So far the mold seems to have the upper hand in the battle. I have found it on and in the following locations: ceiling of the kitchen, the closets of both bedrooms, my service bag, Michelle's tote purse, all 5 of the luggage we brought with us, one of my suits, 2 pairs of Michelle's shoes, and 2 pairs of my shoes.
So far our casualties amount to 1 pair of my shoes (the dress shoes I brought with me), and 1 pair of Michelle's shoes (her black meeting shoes). We have since learned some different things to do and we have been able to recover (we think) everything else from the mold.
Going on the offensive I was able to get rid of the mold in the kitchen and all of our possessions. I started working on the closets but I was not able to finish due to time and other obligations. So now mold patrol and killing is becoming a part of our weekly cleaning schedule. We are also trying to use the short time in the morning before the sun gets covered to pull out things we think have mold and use the sun to kill the mold and spores the follow up with bleach water to clean the item.
I think we are making progress, for the longest time the spare bedroom smelled like mold but that is a lot less. We also think that the mold was making us sick and we seem to be getting better. However, with this weather in Volcan we will no doubt see a continuation of the Mold Wars (The Bleach Water Strikes Back) until we move to our new place lower on the mountain in Algarrobos later this month. - But that is another Post