One week and counting…

Male tree frogs fertilize a foam nest that a female frog made overnight. Nature is amazing! The photo was taken in December 2013.

A week from today, we’ll be on the road to Guayaquil Airport, 3 hours and 22 minutes from our location. We’ll likely head out the door around 8:30 am for our 2:53 pm flight to Panama City, with a 1-hour 33-minute layover, and then on to Las Vegas. Our flight arrives at 10:40 pm, and after going through immigration, getting our bags, and picking up the rental car, we most likely won’t arrive at the condo until around 1:00 am or later.

Of course, we won’t unpack that night, only taking out toiletries and clothes for the following day. I hope we get at least six hours of sleep since we’ll wake up to a busy day. First on the agenda is the trip to Costco to purchase my much-needed computer and pick up a few groceries, enough to last a few days.

Once we’re settled, most likely, we will do an online grocery order from Smith’s, where we’ve shopped in the past and been pleased with their products and service. Initially, I’d planned to buy a lot of food at Costco, but I have found some of their prices on groceries are not necessarily better than prices at a grocery store. Plus, Smith’s will have a better selection of miscellaneous items we use. Large sizes of many products don’t work if they end up spoiling.

Then again, how much we buy at cost depends on how we feel if we don’t sleep enough. Costco is not fun when one is exhausted. It may be challenging to recall prices on items that may or may not be a good deal, especially since we haven’t grocery shopped in the US since we were in Florida last summer.

With inflation, prices have crept up over the past several months. We are in for a rude awakening of increased costs since we left Florida at the end of July. And most likely, prices will be as high in Las Vegas as at The Villages.

If my medication arrives, we’ll head to our mailing service the next day to pick it up. This morning, when I checked the tracking number, apparently, the package had arrived in the US from Singapore, where many prescription drugs are manufactured. Often, Americans assume their medications are manufactured in the US, and many are not.

Here is an interesting article about where prescription drugs are manufactured worldwide. It’s a fascinating article that may surprise you. As for the world’s manufacturing countries, here is the list and percentages:

The USP Medicine Supply Map analysis (Chart I) counts the number of active API DMFs by location.

  • India accounts for 48%
  • China accounts for 13%
  • U.S. accounts for 10%

We are deluding ourselves by assuming that most drugs are manufactured in the US. Surprisingly, buying them from a US pharmacy costs so much. The cost for the blood thinner I must take, Eliquis, buying from Singapore through ProgressiveRX is $95.49 for 56 pills (almost enough for one month), compared to buying it at a pharmacy (without a pharmacy plan) is $599.97. Who can afford this?

I realize I’d mentioned this in a past post, maybe more than once, but if one of our readers sees this after missing that post and is paying these high prices, it would have been worth posting it one more time.

We’re bracing ourselves for higher prices on most things in the US. But, while we’re in the US, we look forward to a broader selection than most other countries.

One reader wrote and asked how long we’ll be in the US. If all goes well, we’ll likely return to Marloth Park in June as planned. However, we won’t stay more than 90 days this time. According to many reliable sources, South Africa’s immigration department still cannot process extensions due to a lack of staff. We won’t be applying for an extension again.

We’ll be back with more tomorrow. Be well.

Photo from years ago today, December 7, 2013:

While walking in our neighborhood, Tom spotted this ostrich that had wandered into a homeowner’s driveway and appeared fascinated by looking at himself in the window. For more photos, please click here.