Monday, January 25, 2016

Post Script - Margaritaville in Winter

I am back home now. The foregoing account has been as accurate a recollecting of the EWB-RPI project on Isla Popa II in the Bocas del Toro province of Panama as my memory allows. The details are already getting a bit burnished by the passage of time. This coming Wednesday we have our first group meeting and those of us who traveled will share our experiences with the students who remained stateside and helped to make it all happen. It is, and has always been, a team effort. We will also plan for a Spring Fundraiser here in Kingston; otherwise I will have little to write about for the foreseeable future.

The purpose of this blog has always been to inform and educate anyone who wants to learn about our organization and mission. It is not meant to be a travelogue. I have tried to be both objective and entertaining at the same time. I am neither a leader nor a spokesperson for the group, just someone with the time and willingness to participate in a wonderful project.

After returning to Panama City I reunited with Gail who had had a very pleasant stay in Rio Hato and got on quite well without me to mangle the translations from English into Spanish for her. We had enough time between flights for all of us to get together and see the locks at Miraflores. Panama has built an absolutely wonderful four story visitors center there with generous observation platforms on the second and fourth floors, a four story interactive museum, a movie theater and a lovely restaurant on the second floor. Following a terrific visit, the team and I parted company, they to head home, Gail and I to head on upcountry for a few more days at the rain forest in Gamboa. I am going to leave you with a simple index of what we did afterward and a bunch of photographs, mostly in chronological order.

 Itinerary, sort of (Photos follow this order):

Mike, Elizabeth, Tim, Marianna, Frank, Chip, Me & Gail
            Tour of Panama Canal at Miraflores Locks

Me & Gail
           Aerial tram and observation tower at Gamboa
           Return to locks at Miraflores for second time
           Kayaked on Chagres River
           Returned to locks at Miraflores for third time (lost glasses), dinner overlooking the canal at
              Atlantic & Pacific Restaurant, watched ships transit the locks at night
          Illicitly fed "Clipper" and "Chagres" the hotel cats
          Toured the "Casco Antiguo", the old section of Panama City and the seawall;
              dinner at Madrigal
          Power boat tour of islands in the canal to see the monkeys

The narrative goes cold here folks. Hell, eventually even Jimmy Buffett has to go home.