So we had a bit of a rainy day to work with last Friday. We were going to surf in the afternoon, but the morning was open so we went fishing to catch a fish we could print. Each of the boys was trying for the fish, but in the end Plato caught it. After we cleaned the fish in salt, each of the children took turns painting it with acrylic paints and printing onto a shirt. We were able to finish nine shirts before lunch. The afternoon was sunny and we spent it in the waves.
Among all of the activities the seven children running around here last week partook, the one they enjoyed the most was hanging out at the dock. Each day of the week the children spent at least a part of the day at the dock. After each excursion they went swimming at the dock before calling it a day. These photos are from one day in particular, but they could have been any day.
Jean and Bob were with us on this trip. We passed by Bird Island on our return to Tranquilo Bay to check out what we might see there as well. It was a fabulous day. Come try it with us some time!
This week we are focusing on a specific excursion we have been doing recently – a slow trip down the Changuinola Canal. According to Clyde Stephen’s Outline of History of the Province of Bocas del Toro, Panama, this canal was dug from Almirante Bay to the Changuinola River sometime between 1899 and 1903 as part of an agreement between the Snyder Banana Company and Colombia.
This canal has served many different purposes over the years. It was originally created in order to move bananas grown in different locations throughout Bocas del Toro. In the recent past, it served as a water route for many tourists coming into Panama from Costa Rica. The tourists would catch a water taxi outside of Changuinola which delivered them to Isla Colon. About four years ago during one of the big November rains, many trees from up river and large amounts of sand ended up in the canal, making it impassable for the water taxis. It is navigable again by small boats, but the water taxi service has not returned.
It is a gorgeous trip. Taking it slowly down the canal allows one to take in all of the wildlife and nature alongside both edges of the canal. At one point along the canal, we stop and walk along the beach to check out other areas. This week’s photos give you a glimpse into taking this excursion. We have developed the excursion for birders, but it is an excursion that any naturalist would enjoy.
We went with a family over to Oreba Chocolate’s tour in March. The family was so taken with the experience they wanted to send something back for the community. We asked the Peace Corp representative what would be a good gift for the community. He told us that the kids were really into playing baseball. The family sent a set of gloves for this community and for another community where they kayaked here in Bocas del Toro. This video is from Adam, the peace corp representative, showing a few of the kids playing catch with the gloves. It was perfect timing – we brought the gloves back in our container in early July just in time for the children to begin their baseball season. The village in conjunction with several other indigenous villages has a league for the children.
For more information about Oreba Chocolate and its tours, check them out on Facebook.
Meet Gabe. Gabe’s parents came down with him at the beginning of July. This photo is from their last night here.
Gabe is spending about 6 weeks with us as an intern this summer. He is interested in learning a bit about what it takes to physically run an eco lodge. So far he has helped us finish organizing the contents of the container, he has gone on excursions with guests, hauled supplies up the hill, and entertained the children in one form or another. His big assignment is related to the big pile of steel you saw last week.
Gabe likes to take photographs. This week we are sharing a few of his photos with you.
Over the holidays in 2007 we had several families come visit us for the first time. Ironically, of the guests that visited during that time frame, we have had more repeat guests than those that have visited at other times. Last week one of these families came for a second visit. We all had a wonderful time. You can read what they had to say about their stay here.
Here are a few of the photos taken by Robyn. Their son Gabe liked our place so much he has decided to stick around as an intern for a few months. Alexandra, in the top photo, is our new teacher for the children. She and her husband arrived at the same time as this family.