Day Two is in the books and we are sleepy and all smiles! We started out the day with a tour of Casco Viejo led by our trustee Program Coordinators, Nathan and Arleen! We learned about Simon Bolivar, AKA El Libertado, and how he led many South and Central American countries to their freedom. Arleen shared personal stories about how her family and thousands of others were affected on December 20th, 1989 when US troops invaded the small barrio of El Chorrillo looking for Manuel Noriega. We received a history of international participation in the Panama Canal but will wait patiently until our last day here to actually see it! We visited Santa Maria de la Antigua Church which the Roman Catholic Church gave $50 million dollars for renovations. It was high tech, opulent, and had air conditioning!
We then boarded our lovely Korean charter bus (which has tons of flair, by the way!) and drove south for two hours. We stopped to eat at Nikko’s Cafe at the Do It Center in Penenome for lunch and a quick name game- we all did well! After lunch, we hopped back on our chariot and headed to Las Tablas, AKA our home for the next two weeks. We have air conditioning and bathrooms in each of our rooms. The hotel staff are extremely friendly, generous, and kind. We are going to try to converse with them in the days to follow. We also were able to interact with the TA2A delegation! Our first dinner and nightly meeting were huge successes. The food was delicious (rice, chicken, and green salad with fresh juice) and we all did a great job of setting up our dinner tables, passing out food, and cleaning up. The nightly meeting has prepped us for tomorrow’s Culture Day where we will learn more about Las Tablas’ Carnaval. Buenas noches y que descansen! (Good night, and get some rest.)