So that I don’t forget to chronicle my travels… here’s Panama Days 1-3This could get long so its under a cut…
5 October – Got up arse over teakettle early to head to O’Hare airport. The cab I’d scheduled was 20 min late so I was a bit freaked out about getting through security and Friday check in lines at O’Hare. Finally got there, only to have the cabbie claim that no one told him that it was a pre-scheduled pick up with credit card payment. color me annoyed… finally check in with American, kiss Eric goodbye and wait for 1.5 hours before boarding.
Miami Int’l Airport is the WORST Airport ever. Worse than Midway or O’Hare. Hartsfield Atlanta at least has a tram but Miami? I felt like I’d walked the ends of the earth before I found the connecting terminal. Finally arrived in Panama airport late on Friday night. We were picked up by a man who knew very little English and stopped twice to find the place the ship was docked. We had a moment where we thought he had taken our passports and run off when we sat in a van for about 15 minutes while he went off to what seemed like a bar with all of our passports in hand.
After getting settled in for the night, I crashed after an impromptu meet n greet in the faculty bar on board. Loads of nice people but I was knackered! I slept in my wee bed and room until we headed out for our respective AFP’s (Academic Field Programs) the next day. I went to the Graduate International Communication presentation to the Tourism board of Panama. The problem was that only two people from the Tourism board showed up and this was toward the end of their presentation.
After that was over, I went with one of the students to the local open air market (I didn’t think to take any pictures, since I wasn’t sure if it would be allowed) got quite a bit of stuff and then went back to the ship on the shuttle they had set up to pick folks up at a nearby mall. The next day was our day of adventure!
We started off on a tour bus ride that took about 2 hrs… and then we got in motorized canoes to head down the Chagres River to hike up to this waterfall and then take a short ride back to meet the Embera Drua.
The visit was ok but made me slightly uncomfortable when the gifts were presented to the children of the village and they started fighting over them. Due to a film I’d seen in Anthropology 102, I took the following picture with the film “Cannibal Tours” in mind
After a very exhausting day of adventuring and climbing over rocks and whatnot we made it back to the ship by 1600 and we pulled out at 1800 on the dot…luckily we didn’t have to leave anyone behind.
And that ends the tale of Fri-Sunday in Panama!