Calzada de Amador, Panama City, Panama

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Calzada means causeway, thus Calzada de Amador is the Amador Causeway or Amador Walkway. It begins at the Western entrance to the Panama canal, next to the Bridge of the Americas- the famous bridge that used to be the only passage from North America to South America. The walkway then stretches almost 3 km from island to island (3 in total).

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Today was also the day that I realized that I had actually moved to a country by myself where I didn’t speak the language. It was a hard day to say the least. I found myself existing entirely in my head instead of realizing the beauty all around me. I was walking the Panama City causeway with a girl from Belgium that I had met last night  at the Panama City Contemporary Art Museum. Our conversation floated from English to Spanish to French. It was nice to speak French again- that was a language I could communicate in. In fact, due to a small selection of translation travel books at the bookstore, I found myself holding a Spanish/French book instead of a Spanish/English one.

What was my identity in this foreign world? Unlike the Panamanians I had met, I had no significant other- a seemingly defining feature here. Although I could communicate in French, my French was not good enough to pass as a native. And did I really want to identify myself as American? After all, America had fucked over the Panamanians on endless occasions. I guess I was just me. And about to move into the jungle.

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Laura (the Belgian girl) and I wondered around until we had made it to the last (the 3rd) island called Flamenco. The road just ended at the base of the jungle mountain. We decided to take a random jungle path that looked like it might lead somewhere interesting. It lead us around the base of the mountain, over large boulders and stones right next to the water. Along the way we found a few old skulls and bones. This one below was my favorite- its some type of bird.

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The trail ended up not leading anywhere so we decided to head back towards the mainland and down the causeway. There was still a lot on my mind, but the view of Panama City was remarkable.

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At one point, the palm tree across the street from us seemed to be losing coconuts all the sudden. So, I looked up to see this guy way up high throwing coconuts down to the ground! I decided to watch him and take a few photos.

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He was extremely friendly and hacked two of the fresh coconuts open for us so we could drink the fresh coconut water. It was delicious! Especially, on the hot humid day.

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So although it has turned out to be extremely difficult to travel to a new country where you know almost nothing, it can also be rewarding. That coconut meant more to me than that man will ever know. ~B

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