exploring Panama City

It’s our last day in Panama…oh time really flies, can’t believe our one-week adventure is coming to an end.

Despite that the ion chromatography machine broke down that we have to do our lab back in Princeton(**extra lab time?), everything went pretty smoothly…


I left a “bad” reputation of being “oblivious” -on the day  we left for Panama, i left a bag in my room and got locked out and had to wait for public safety to open the door, which held the whole group and then left my blackberry on the bus, and the bus driver had to turn around to send me the cellphone. That’s not the end yet. in the Panama customs, I got carried away by officials asking questions while my ears were stuffed by air pressure and my Spanish couldn’t come out. then my professor almost freaked out and thought that i was left in Newark airport.  What a day!!!

But the first night was super fun. five of us went to explore the city and checked out some casino places and concerts. (we didn’t play, but it gave us a glimpse of Panama night life. It’s so active and crowded especially it was Halloween party)

So today, we went to Canopy Crane-honestly, one of the coolest thing I have ever down. The crane takes us up about 30 m above ground(on top of canopy) and we got to observe the forest and have a close interaction with rainforest. We saw iguana and sloth and the whole Panama city. It was super cool. Being in the jungle and looking into the modern skyscrapers behind the traditional yellow wall and red roofed houses was such an interesting experience. Then we went for a hike in the National Park.

We got back and had lunch. Then, it’s our REAL adventure to Panama City for the first time. We went to the art market and I got a shot class with a green turtle on it and some hand-made artcrafts. Very beautiful. The price here compared to Nicaragua is a bit higher, but i got to practice a bit of my bartering skills. =)

The market closed at around 430pm . We then headed over to Casco Viejo, a famous part of Panama City, where the old buildings and expats live. We had to pass by a very bad neighborhood first. It reminded me of Ghana and Brooklyn. I see kids walking around, very poor-looking and disorganized housing. Magically, in a few blocks, we arrived to a brand new neighborhood with brick pathways and colorful houses. We passed by a church still in brick-form. NIcaragua is coming back to me again. It reminded me of Granada and the fun exploration i had there. Of course, we had mad photo sessions for our memory. =)

Dinner was at Casablanca, a relatively pricy restaurant. We got 3 pitches of Sangria and were sitting outside in a square under an umbrella. it was quite an experience. I got seabass, very delicious. Everyone had “enough” drink tonight and then we had to Havana Club to explore local bars. My TAs taught us a bit salsa and Jacob is on ballroom dance team. He got to dance with some local Panamanian girl. It was quite a scene to watch and I guess it was our most intimate interaction with locals today.

On the way back to Gamboa, I feel happy and satisfied. Only wish we could have checked out the dance club in town to see what it is like. haha….in a few hours, will be  back to Princeton again.



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