I just returned from an amazing trip to Panama. Dan and I visited Panama City for three days. We took the midnight bus from David and arrived in Panama City early in the morning, just in time to see a "Panamax" cargo ship cruz through the locks at Mira Flores. This is the name given to ships that are built to the maximum width and length of the canal. There is little clearance on either side of the boat. The canal opperates 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year non-stop. The experience enabled me to better imaginge the amount of consumption that exists in the global North, especially the United States of America. On top of this, the Panamanian government has a "Master Plan" to increase the size of the canal, to detour competition from springing up, among other things.
While the canal was grand, it was less helpful than the Biblioteca (library) at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Here I found three floors of books, many of which contained insightful information. I could have spent all day in the building; but they closed at noon, and we still had much of the city to see. We also visited the Jardín Botánico de Gamboa (Botanical Garden) where we met the Chief of Environmental Education, who later invited us to stay at his apartment for the rest of our time in Panama City.
We left the city and headed toward the highlands. From David we went north toward Boquete, a romantic mountain town with coffee-coverd slopes, lies at the base of Volcan Baru. Here we visited a well-maintained garden, where I collected seed of species that would attract butterflies and bees. This town is known for thier abundence of flowers amongst the coffee trees. Boquete was a nice break from the heat of the lowlands.
Returning back to Agua Buena, Dan is preparing for his deparute back to the states and I am waiting on Eliot's arrival.
From the farm,