Experiences of a lifetime :)

So it´s a lot more challenging to blog than we all expected! When we actually get to an internet cafe the first reaction is to check email and talk to whomever is online and answer emails! Not blog! So I find myself running out of time! Since the last time I posted a blog I have done so much!

Last week we went to Kuna Yala for 4 days and 3 nights! We stayed on an island in the Caribbean and boated to other San Blas island sto see the culture and independence day celebrations whjile we were there! I did much ocean swimming and found my first sting ray! ( I got a really awesome photo of him too with the underwater camera that Ben sent me with! It was the first time I had the guts to stick it underwater and its still working!) The children in Kuna Yalka were so friendly! I really enjoyed goofing off with them and playing into their childish interests in tourists! The language barrier between us made things even more fun because we knew we didn´t understand each other so we had to rely on body language and behavour! So cool 🙂

Before and after Kuna Yala we stayed near Panama City at a place called Gamboa. Gamboa was really awesome to see abecause it was a part of the Canal zone and it was built as barracks for the Canal employees. On Friday we went to the Canal and I actually got to see ships pass through the locks on their way across! It was really amazing! I hope someday I can ride a ship through thee canal 🙂

On Saturday we were still at Gamboa but had a free day, so a group of us had our first experience travelling alone on the publc transit system! We hopped on a bus in Gamboa travelling to Panama City where Audrey and I found an internet cafe for about an hour and then successfully ordered a sandwich at Subway in Spanish! Then we were all able to meet up at the bus station and we all caught the bus back to Gamboa together.  I´m not used to being so stressed out, but I have come to realize that I really enjoy the excitement of successfully travelling here without professors! I get so nervous that were not going to make it or s omething is going to go wrong, but so far we´ve done really well! I have been stressed here often, which is not normal for me but I´m learning to deal with it better than at first. I guess I just hate not being able to know for sure that I´m safe and going where I need to be. I´m definitely becoming more flexible!

This week Tuesday through Friday morning we had free days. On our free days we are allowed to travel in groups and go anywhere-do anything that we want to do.  Audrey, Dan, Leslie, and I travelled together to the province of Chiriqui to the town of Boquete. We searched Hostels in the area but most were full, so we finally found a hotel that hooked us up with this amazing room for 12.50 a night! Not too bad 🙂 We have really enjoyed being able to break apartfrom the big group and to travel in a group of a smaller size.

Yesterday we took a few buses to Cerra Punta because we wanted to hike the Quetzal trail! They dropped us at a corner of rural and nowhere and we figured out that we were 6 km from the start of the trail. So we started hiking up the mountain just to start the trail! We reached the trail about 12:30 and started hiking until 5 when we finished the trail. We saw 4 Quetzals- which truly are amazing birds. They sang the most beautiful song a bird could possibly sing! I wish I could have captured their song for everyone back home to hear!  Once we finished the trail we realized we had no transportationback to Boquete! Cell phones didn´t have service and they told us we would have taxi´s at the end that would take us back. But the trail ended in the middle of nowhere so we continued hiking  in the direction we thought would take us to Boquete. Lucky for us after another 2 hours we reached a bus station in the middle of nowhere! We got lucky and caught a bus to Boquete and made it back by 7!

When we got back we went to dinner at a Lebanese restaurant where I ordered Babaganoush! I didn´t really like it for a meal but it would have been nice for an appetizer or something in a smaller quantity!

I slept like a baby last night after that long day of hiking! Dan, Audrey, Leslie and I are heading back today- the rest of the group will head back tomorrow but have to catch buses at 5 am! We want to have some time back at la Mica to catch up on homwork before we leave for Santa Marta on Sunday. The trip should be fun! Aher several hours of trying to catch the right buses!

Going to shop around and grab some chocolate covered strawberries from across the street for a midmorning snack! Hopefully I´ll have internet again in a week or so!

P.S. It´s really easy to get a tan when you´re only 8 degrees from the equator 🙂

  1. #1 by Sherry Dinges on March 6, 2010 - 8:11 am

    You are having such an adventure and I really wish I could be there with you. The sights and sounds you are experiencing there are so awesome and am looking forward to seeing your pictures, especially the underwater ones! Know you’re going to have so much to tell and show everyone when you get home. Please be careful on these individual outings, especially the hikes. Without cell service, you are really stranded in the middle of East Roosterpoopsville and it would be a challenge if any of you got hurt. Knew you’d like the canal and the history surrounding it. So happy that you’re able to interact with the native peoples, especially the children. That’s a memory they will be able to keep too and know that not everyone from America is an “ugly American”. Good for you, keep up the good work. Mom has kept us up to date with your e-mails to her too so we don’t worry when you don’t blog every week. Love you and wishing your happy time there to continue.

  2. #2 by Kevyn on March 11, 2010 - 11:02 am

    B! This is so aswsome! I’m happy to hear you guys are having fun, staying safe, seeing/hearing/tasting such amazing things! Can’t wait for the next update!! Miss you!

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