Today was amazing. It was paradise on Earth. I wish I could begin to put into words how much fun I had with everyone.
We started the day at 8:30 by boarding a bus to go on a tour of the canal. Everyone seemed to be in a great mood, as we got ready for our day off from working. People were joking with each other, telling funny stories from the week to the other group, and just enjoying the fact that we had a chance to be together without having to work.
We got to the marina and waited for what seemed like forever to load the boat. Eventually, Captain Carl came and told us that we were waiting for a group of tourists from Kazakhstan. Yes, that’s right, the place where the character Borat was from. We were not disappointed with the people that arrived. It was a group of about 10 men who spoke Russian and were slightly obsessed with the American girls. They all wore pirate hats and within 5 minutes of arriving made us pose for pictures with them. We knew we were off to a great start.
We eventually loaded the boat and went around the Panama Canal for about an hour and a half. The highlight was when we stopped by the forest and a gang of monkeys boarded our boat and took peanuts right out of our hands! I have never been so close to a wild animal before and I was so excited to touch and see the monkeys up close!
I wished we could have spent more time playing with the little monkeys but we had to leave to go to our final destination: Carl’s houseboat. This place was AWESOME! It was two floors with a dock that we could jump off of into the canal. It had tons of canoes and kayaks and hammocks that were perfect for napping.
We all took turns jumping from the second story into the canal and showing off by doing tricks. Despite the murky water, I was willing to brave the canal because you only live once, right? We had lunch and beer on the boat and afterward was my very favorite part of the day. We all loaded into the kayaks and canoes and navigated through the jungle on the canal to a waterfall. The jungle was beautiful. It looked like something out of a movie. The shore was overgrown with vegetation and branches and plants grazed the edge of the canal where we were rowing. The waterfall wasn’t very tall, but it was perfect for jumping off into the cool, deep water below. Our group took turns jumping off for at least an hour before we canoed back to the houseboat.
When we got back we all lounged around, soaking in some sun, and enjoying drinks. Things got interesting at this point, as we all got braver and tried to attempt some nifty tricks from the second story of the boat. I decided to be clever and do a cheerleading jump off of the dock, which resulted in my slipping, and falling face first into the water. My dignity was hurt far more than my face, and when I emerged from the canal, I was met with screaming, hysterical laughter from the members of my group. The best part is that I am able to relive the glory of my fall through photos and videos that my friends so kindly took for me.
I am so glad that we had a chance to unwind and relax together. I have seen sides of my classmates on this trip that I haven’t seen before, and I’ve gotten to know people in a way that makes me appreciate them even more. I have always been grateful of the constructive criticism and assistance that my classmates provide for me, but after today, I am most grateful for the friendships that they provide. This trip has been a wonderful experience and I am glad I have been able to share it with my iMedia family.