I’m back on the ship after spending time in Panama. We did things a little differently this time- we’re tendering. Instead of docking, we dropped anchor in the middle of the bay. Apparently the port is too shallow for us to go to the dock. Instead, they’re using our lifeboats to bring us from the ship to shore and back. I’m not the biggest fan of tendering and I’m definitely looking forward to an actual dock in our next port: Costa Rica.
On day one, I went to an orphanage called Malambo located right outside of Panama City. One of the nuns greeted us and told us about the program. In the middle of talking to us, she got a phone call. We later found out that the call was about an abandoned 10 month old that would be coming to the orphanage. They have eight houses that can hold 20 kids each and they are broken up by age and ability. We went to the first house with handicapped children. I got caught up there for a while since they liked my camera. We also spent some time with the toddlers. Someone brought bubbles and it was a huge hit with the kids. I had a 2-year-old plop himself in my lap to help him with the bubbles. They were all really cute and they were upset when we had to leave.
There was a girl watching us play with them. I tried to talk to her, but I don’t really speak Spanish and she didn’t speak English. I was able to find out that she was 15 years old and lived there. I gave her the hair clips that I bought before I left the U.S. She seemed excited. I think she enjoyed the attention as much as the babies did.
On day two, I went to the Embera Indian Village. We took motorized canoes to get to the site. They told us about their culture, gave us traditional food of fried fish and plantains and did a dance for us. They wanted us to join in for the last dance so they came up to us to bring us to the dance floor. We had a chance to buy some of their crafts- mostly jewelry and some masks. They deorate their bodies with a henna-like ink. They said it was from a plant and is supposed to help repel bugs. The kids in the tribe drew some designs on my friends and I before we left.
I had a lot of fun in Panama, but we still have one important thing to do: go through the canal. We are scheduled to go through the first lock at about 8 a.m. (9 a.m. Saint Rose time) today. I have a feeling we will all be a little distracted during classes!
Pictures will be added when I return to the United States