Sunday, June 12, 2011

Un resúmen de mi viaje - Te quiero Panamá

It's been almost a week since I came home from my trip, and I finally have a minute to sit down and get you all up to date. I had an incredible time. In fact, I decided to extend my stay an extra week because I just wasn't ready to come home. To be honest, I wasn't really ready when I did finally come home on the sixth. Without further ado, I'll take you all on a quick (and very much abridged) tour of my month-long stint in Panama.
Some of the girls.

There were skinks crawling around the hotel. This one was in the room next door.

The view from my hotel room balcony.
The first full day we were in Panama they took us out that night on a Chiva Parrandera. The Chiva Parrandera is an interesting phenomenon to witness and even more interesting to participate it. It's a party bus, converted from an old city bus, with a DJ booth in the back. We drove around the city for hours having our own mobile dance party. We made a pit stop for a bit at an empty parking lot out on the causeway. We had a great time, but I have never been that sweaty in my entire life, nor do I think I ever will be again. 

The next day we went on a couple of hikes through the two big parks in the city. The first (and the one these pictures are from) was on Ancon Hill.

Poison dart frog. We saw several, and I actually almost stepped on one.

View of the city skyline from one of the trails. 
I got my picture taken with the recycling mimes at Albrook Mall...

We went to an incredibly beautiful zoo in El Valle de Antón. It was unlike any zoo I've ever been to before, set back in the mountains and not as purposefully organized as most zoos we're familiar with. It was really lovely and peaceful though.

Some of the group went zip-lining.

While we took a rainy hike through the rainforest.

La India Dormida
Our first official night out to the clubs...

Our next major outing took us to Portobelo and Isla Grande. We stopped at the ruins of an old fort on the way there.

Miniatures of the Cristo Negro statue at the church in Portobelo.

My first dip in the Caribbean.

We had a delicious lunch of mariscos at a restaurant called Bob Marley's, owned by a man named Pupy.
We saw baby crocodiles on our trip to Gamboa...

And went to the National Championship baseball game between Los Santos and Bocas del Toro (who hadn't won in 53 years or something crazy). I have never been to a baseball game like this in my life. There was a bad, dancers, fights and beer throwing.

We got to take a ride in the 360º simulator at the Panama Canal. It made me a little woozy, more so than any of the actual boats we road in.

We went to a second baseball game (the third of the Championship finals) and found an adorable baby. I really wanted to bring him home with me. He's a sweetheart.

This is not a great picture of me, but he's cute enough to make up for it.
One of the best trips we took was to the Aldeas Orphanage. We each "adopted" a child for the day and spent the whole day running around the grounds, jumping rope, playing with remote control cars and coloring. It was really wonderful spending time with such sweet, happy kids. It was a moving experience for a lot of us.

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