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Journals from Costa Rica Adventures Abroad 2012

2012-11-25 Double the Thanksgiving

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Beautiful City of Panama. I fell in love.

Happy late Thanksgiving Linfield friends! 

I just arrived back from my trip to Panama.  This was my first time traveling by myself with one other person.  Thank goodness we already had experience going through border patrol when we went to Nicaragua.  It’s the traveling-to-one’s-destination that is the stressful, long and boring part.  Once Hillary and I got through the above and arrived at our first destination in Panama City, we had a great time!

                Our hostel was called Hostel Mama Llena, which in English means Hostel full mama.  The name made me smile, but it owned up to the fullness of the hostel, because there were so many people from all around the world staying there.  Hillary and I met people from Columbia, Australia, Israel, Canada, Germany and many people from different states.   All so, our days were filled with adventures!  We took a tour which took us to see the Panama Canal, we visited Casco Viejo (a small Spanish colonial town), Old Panama (ruins of the very first settlement of the Spanish), we went to the malls (which were very cheap), we walked the city and the water front and hung out with friends we made from our hostel. 

                Hillary and I had made a family at Hostel Mama Llena, and when we had to leave we felt a little down.  But we had to continue our trip to the Caribbean island of Bocas Del Toro, where we stayed for three days.  Our first night was on the island of Bastamientos, where the Linfield students from the year before stayed as well.  Our first mistake of going to this island was that it was the rainy season.  (It rained on us in Panama City several times, but it was expected because it was a city).   We did nothing our first night in Bocas Del Toro, because our hostel was isolated by lots of forest and there was all rain and no sun.    The following two nights we went to the main Island Colon, where we had things to do and met some nice friends. 

The highlight of my trip to Bocas del Toro was our Thanksgiving dinner!  We went to a hostel that had a cook from Seattle cooking a big turkey and all! It only cost eight dollars, and the food was exceptional.  Hillary and I enjoyed our food along with some good company and fun conversation.  It was the perfect way to spend our first Thanksgiving away from home. 

Hillary and I left Panama this last Saturday on the 24thof November.  We left with good memories, new friends and 60 plus bug bites (our hostel in Bocas Del Toro was a nesting ground of the mosquitoes).    I am glad to be back in Costa Rica with my host family. 

As for the other girls in our group: some went to Monte Zuma on the Pacific coast to lay on the beach and relax, some had family come, some stayed home and two others went to Panama and Bocas as well for a shorter time then I did.  There are just some ideas for the next upcoming Costa Rica group for Thanksgiving break!  But if you ask me, I am biased and would say go to Panama!  Travel while you’re here and have the opportunity to do so!

Today we are having a Thanksgiving celebration with our group and all our host families! We are all going to cook food for our host families and reunite in the local museum where we have classes!  The group and I only have about two weeks left here, and none of us are ready to leave this second home we have created in Costa Rica. 

Pura Vida

Mariah

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