Claire Quan (’20) and Nafi Sall (’20) describe their last day of the trip and celebrate the sense of community that they have developed while traveling.
Today is our last full day in Panama City. We ended our trip on a positive note, visiting the Biomuseo of Panama in the morning and ending the day with a farewell dinner in the Old City. The Biomuseo proved to be an extremely interesting culmination of the knowledge we acquired throughout the trip. We were able to observe the evolution of biodiversity in Panama, and even the world, from the initial stages of its formation to its current environmental situation. Groups especially enjoyed information on the giant sloths and saber-toothed tigers that lived during the tremendous biological migration of North and South America. In addition, there were extremely interesting demonstrations of tectonic plate movements. A seismograph mimicked graphing the magnitude of an earthquake by measuring the force of a jump. From the Biomuseo, we walked to Punta Culebra, a research area for the Smithsonian. We were able to observe frogs, starfish, crabs, and even sloths at the Punta Culebra. Afterwards, we drove to the Old City to enjoy a farewell meal. The meal was absolutely delicious. We were able to reflect on our trip and share our favorite memories and experiences with each other. Then, to end our day, we – as we had done on our second day in Panama – walked back, along the coastline, to our hotel from the Old City. It has been an amazing trip and we are all extremely sad to part with the group and leave from this beautiful country. As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they would never recover.” Though we were only able to spend eight full days together, we have become a tremendously close and tight-knit group, almost as if we have been together in Panama for substantially longer. It will be a difficult goodbye tomorrow, but we will all take the memories of this trip with us for the years to come.