Panamá (Or, how the progressive got her groove back)

March 23, 2010

A Lost in Translation moment, in Panama City

The US government had a good week all around. The mid-grant conference was held in Panama, meaning I got to spend three days listening to some of the most capable, smart, committed people I’ve ever met talk about some of the most interesting stuff you can talk about. (And I usually don’t say “capable, smart, committed, accomplished” in the same sentence unless I’m being ironic.) Your elected leaders know how to pick the people who pick Fulbrighters. Seriously, did you know that the air fleet that transports deportees back to their countries of origin is larger than Delta?  I didn’t either, until one especially amazing lady from El Salvador presented her research on deportee reintegration programming.

But we’ll deal with immigration reform next week. This week was all about the beach, and progressive victories a century in the making, and Hope. I’ve been dancing to “Don’t Rain on My Parade” all night, so maybe I won’t read my Greg Grandin book on Central America and the Cold War before bedtime. I feel proud to be an American.

The Panama Canal

The Miraflores Locks

The Panamanian Golden Toad, which no longer exists in the wild. Did you know that up to half of the world's amphibian species are threatened or endangered? And that's sad, because I never realized just how exciting frogs are until I heard a Fulbrighter talking about them.


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