The Odyssey



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Latin America Abeja's Dispatch

By Hook or By Crook, But NOT By Plane

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My school bus didn't look like this
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Frustration! After two days of trying to catch a ride to Columbia, we haven't found anything. We asked international travelers for a lift on their private yachts, but no one seems to be going to Columbia. We begged the freight captains for a ride on their cargo, but they claim it's illegal. So, when a man named Jerry claimed to be a travel agent and promised us a boat, we were overjoyed. Yipeeeee!

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I'm going to get there, even if I have to canoe the whole  way!
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Jerry's directions were a little off, but we found a kayuko, a large wooden canoe with a motor, to take us to Porvenir, the capital of the San Blas Island. What a rough, wet ride! Someone had to bail water out the entire time with a little plastic bucket. Except for some seasickness, we had a great time on the three hour ride. The silliness started when I joked about "the three hour tour. The three hour tour…" and suddenly, we were singing the theme from Gilligan's Island. Even Doris, a German, knew it. Then we moved on to sailor songs, Bob Marley, the Beatles, gospel songs, and even a few showtunes. You should have seen the Kuna men's faces as a boatload of soaking wet gringos kicked their feet to “New York, New York.”

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Kevin and Abeja think they've found the answer - a canoe
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When we arrived at the tiny island, we were so surprised we exclaimed, "This is Porvenir?!" Some capital! I could see the entire island from where we sat. My high school building was bigger than Porvenir, but nowhere near as beautiful. I stepped out of the boat onto white sand and warm, crystal clear water.

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Would you want to leave if you were here?
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Part of me feels like saying, "Sorry, kids, the Odyssey is over. We've found paradise, and we're not going to leave, ever." Seriously, though, we're waiting, here, again, for a boat to Columbia. I may not be as impatient here as I was in Panama City or Colon, though. I could wait here a long, long time. One of the men from the Coast Guard told me that Columbian merchant ships pass by once in a while, and that they are allowed to take passengers. He thinks one is due in the next three days. We'll get there eventually, I'm sure. Until then, though, look forward to writing articles about beaches, coconuts, and Kuna Indians.

Abeja

Monica - Twenty Dollars to Leave

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