Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Saturday, March 7, 2020: Day 1 in Panama!

After leaving the frozen tundra known as Minneapolis, we touched down in Panama around 6 p.m. Friday. We felt the humidity immediately and exchanged smiles over the 90 degree weather that we are not used to. The next day the same sun shined down on us. We woke up, ate a quick breakfast, and hopped in the bus which drove us to the Panama Canal.

Our first experience with the canal was breathtaking with the surrounding environment of trees as well as the canal itself. We got on a boat and rode to Barro Colorado island (where we saw an alligator), where the most studied rainforest in the world is located. Most of the research done there has to do with the biodiversity in the forest.

We got to walk through the forest where we saw a plethora of ants, but unfortunately only heard birds and monkeys but didn’t get to see them. The path was about two kilometers long—or just over a mile—and boy, it was hot. I️ tried to mentally prepare myself for the change in temperature between Minnesota and Panama but it was hard to get used to.

After our educational tour of the island and learning it’s importance, we rode back on the boat, and later took a tour of Old Town, which is an older part of Panama. After both the tours, we had definitely gotten our ten thousand steps in and were ready to eat. We walked to a restaurant called “Diablocos” and indulged ourselves in rice and potatoes and for desert, flan, which was delicious.

When we got back to the hotel we were absolutely exhausted but Panama decided to throw a curve ball at us. Shelby, Brooke, and Grace had walked into their rooms and were greeted by a lizard! After a lot of screaming and multiple capture attempts, Andy was able to capture the lizard in a trash can and brought it outside. After that ordeal everyone was ready to pass out and prepare for the next day.

Alysha H.