April and Kevin in Kuna Yala, the northeast coast of Panamá

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Panama Visit

[Ed. Note: Mom & Dad Cropper started this post earlier this week on the date indicated, but didn't get to finish it before they left this morning. We are finally online again and are uploading images to go with it. Some other updates: the train trip didn't happen (full), and we saw lots more of Panama City's history.]

Our Panama visit is more than half over and we are having a wonderful time, thanks to two terrific tour guides. We have travelled by jet, taxi, bus (many and adventursome), boat (fast and slow), propeller plane, and often on foot (both in the extreme heat and in the rain) -- a train is scheduled soon.
(April and Mom C and a bunch of sleeping Panamanians on the bus from David to Cerro Punta)

(Dad & Mom C on the fast boat from Almirante to Isla Colon in Bocas del Toro.)

We spent several days at Kevin and April's site, meeting the people they work with and exploring much of the island. We learned the ropes of no electricity, a cold shower and the rules of the compost toilet. We are VERY impressed with Kevin and April's creativity in the way they use the resources they have in the community where they live. Seeing children walk to school every morning in a fresh uniform was quite a sight.

(Sixth graders Amarylis and Kenya on the shore path home from school)
We were able to help with English lessons, story time, and even planting. IF the seedlings live, we will be able to say we helped to reforest a part of Panama.

(Dad and Mom C looking at pictures of community members with Carlos, Christian, and Kenia, after English class)

(April and Mom C reading Donde Viven Los Monstruos - Where the Wild Things Are - in storytime)
Then it was off on more buses to explore more of the country. We have been to the cloud forest and we have snorkeled in the Caribbean. Today we visited the Miraflores Locks on the Canal.

(Starfish in shallow water off Isla Carenero, Bocas del Toro)

(Mom & Dad C at Miraflores Locks Visitor Center, Panama Canal)

Along the way we have had an opportunity to see beautiful hummingbirds, a few monkeys and red dart frogs and other wildlife. Not sorry that we missed the snakes!

When the time comes, we will be sorry to say goodbye to our hosts and to their beautiful country. But we will be happy to share some of the hundreds of photos when we return.

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