this is just a short post to let you know the whole clan is safely in Panama, gearing up for our big border crossing to Costa Rica tonight. right now i am a scant 10 feet from the ocean, listening to the surf and shamelessly using brother James's computer and the cafe near our rental's free wifi. Panama has been great except that i was deveastated to discover that what most people consider to be one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th centuary, the Panama canal, was in fact done with lackluster enthusiasm as evidenced by the fact that they did not level the thousands of tons of rock laying between the majority of the canal and sea level, opting instead to install a series of locks that work through a super awesome water system (that is sadly a huge waste of water, accounting for 58% of Panama City's fresh water used each year, did YOU know the Panama canal is freshwater) with varying levels and awesome little robot machines that tug the boats through. What I am trying to say is go big or go home, Panama.
Other then this we are having a great time. we have not seen any sloths yet (a major trip goal) but we have been caught in some rainstorms, gone snorkeling (we saw squids!), done plenty of bird-watching. played a lot of bananagrams, eaten well, and met some of James's good friends. oh, and at the end of the trip we are gonna hike an active volcano. Panama is a very friendly country, well-equipped for tourism and a lovely place to relax. I recommend it.