Monday, February 21, 2011

First days in panama

We left New Jersey Saturday night and flew 2200 miles to Panama City where we spent our first night at a hotel on the outskirts of the city. The next morning, I had a wonderful panamanian breakfast of steak and onions covered by fried eggs. Our driver to the Gamboa boat dock was a man named Jose and he gave us an excellent explanation on how the panama canal locks work and we watched a container ship and oil tanker begin to move into the canal. We then boarded a high speed water taxi and took the 30 minute trip to Barro Colorado Island. When we arrived at the dock, we were greeted by many people including Greg Willis, who is Jackie willis' husband. The two of them have been conducting a mammal survey on this island for 19 years. Also at the dock were three NJ school teachers, Harry, Anna and Nancy. Greg and Harry took our luggage up to the dorm where we are staying and Nancy and Anna took us on a tour of some of the buildings like the Smithsonian Labs and the Dining hall. Back down at the docks we saw a hole dug by a crocodile to have a place to lay her eggs. But there was also an ignuana's tail in the hole. The crocodile is nesting in the same area that iguana's nest and they seem to be battling over the nesting hole. We could see the crocodile in the water. Very big. Very dangerous. Around 5pm, we went and saw capuchin monkeys and then an anteater on a tree. We watched the anteater for a long time and i got really close. Later that night Greg and I went out looking for turantulas and found a few burrowed into the side of the hill.


  1. Hey Zach! So glad you made it there safe! This sounds like such a great experience. If you don't mind, I would like to share your blog with my 4th grade students. I think they would totally get a kick out of what you are doing. Have fun, and I hope you learn lots and lots!
    Take care!

  2. What an incredible opportunity, Zach! An experience you'll never forget and from which you will learn SO much! Enjoy! Learn! Have fun! Post pics! Have a great time!! All the best to you ... 'Aunt' Jan