Here Joe is saying farewell to land. A very tiny Fort Lauderdale is on the horizon.
I really like violin music...this violin-guitar-piano trio kept us entertained for the whole 10 days.
Next stop: La Popa Monastery in Cartagena, Colombia. Way up high, overlooking this beautiful city. Colombia is experiencing a wonderful resurgence, thanks to the hard work of their people and the US helping to rid them of the FARQ drug cartel that was brazenly murdering innocent people in the streets.
St. Pedro de Claver Church in Colombia...my husband takes a cool catnap in the shade of the gallery breezeway.
The Spanish Jesuit priest, Pedro de Claver, is the patron saint of slaves and quite a hero by any standard. Cartagena was a hub of the slave trade, and he devoted his life to ministering to and protecting the slaves from the cruel conquistador slave traders.
The Panama Canal is truly the 8th wonder of the world. Next year it will be 100 years old. It is hard to imagine how they cut through all the earth to create it. It is spectacular.
It is gripping watching these gates open and close, the water raise and lower, and the enormous ships passing through while just barely clearing the sides. It was also very moving personally to be in the place where our son had been, five years before.
The US built the canal at a huge cost of money and lives, then returned it to the people of Panama in 1999. When the US owned it, there was no charge to go through it. Now Panama charges each ship $400,000 to pass through, but it is still apparently cost effective for the ships. Panama is currently building another set of larger locks for mega- ships to pass through.
After Panama, we moved on to Costa Rica, another place our son had visited. CR relies on eco-tourism and plant exports as the mainstay of their economy. It is beautiful. I brought home some Costa Rican coffee--of which they are appropriately proud.
Our son ziplined in CR, so we did too. My husband is swinging through the trees, and I went next. This was an absolute heart-pounding thrill.
Our last stop was in Jamaica, at one of the beautiful gardens and limestone waterfalls in this country.
Happy Birthday to me, in memory of my beautiful son. I felt his smiling presence with us on this trip.