Thank God it’s Friday, Thank God it’s Friday!
*Chants and does a hop, skip, and jump*
I’m particularly excited because this marks my penultimate week of classes as a graduate student. I’m almost delirious with happiness; which will probably only last till its time to find a job. Haha!
In March of this year, I went on a health mission to Panama with a great crew of students in varying fields of healthcare. If you’re new to the blog, I wrote a bit about the work we did here.
When we weren’t working, we played games, danced salsa, played more games, caught up with school work and went on some excursions. Two of the excursions brought us to one of my favorite places – the beach.
Sometimes I’ll get asked “what happens at the beach?” and my response is usually “what needs to happen?”. I could spend an hour or more at the beach laying in a light blanket on the sand, swimming in the ocean and -much like this day at Isla Iguana- collecting sea shells and sea glass that have washed up on the shore. At a beach in Los Santos -whose name escapes me- we danced bachata barefoot on soft black sand, waded in the water until too many people (3 is plenty) got bitten by jellyfish, and wrote short-lived names in the sand with sticks we found on shore. At Playa Arenal, we filled two boats headed for the secluded wildlife reserve known as Isla Iguana (Iguana Island). This small, pristine island protects different species of birds, iguanas, fish and coral reef from harm often caused by human activity.
As we approached the island, I noticed the sky was filled with birds. These birds are apparently native to the area and often stay in the air for up to 4 days! Throughout our time there, I didn’t see one bird come down to the beach.On the sand, it’s not uncommon to see several tiny hermit crabs scurrying around; they’re harmeless and will retreat into their shell if you come too close.
I could have easily stayed an hour longer but there was a strict 1.5hour time limit which the boat’s captains/tour guides adhered to.
I love that efforts are made to preserve and care for places like this, and even better is the fact that locals act as gatekeepers – a person or thing that controls access to something.
Good to Know
- Each boat cost $70. If you have a small group, splitting the fare equally will help offset some of that cost.
- We were allowed approximately 1.5 hours on the island, and our captains/guides were quite strict about adhering to this limit.
Are any of my readers from Panama? + If you haven’t been to Isla Iguana, is it something you’d like to do? Leave me a comment to let me know.
thank you for reading
All photos shot & edited on iPhone 6s+
same footprints, different sands