The Light Between the StormsOnly one highway runs through Panama. This fact throws quite a wrench in your plans when a peaceful protest blocks the road for a day. Seeing our pathway obstructed, we turned around and decided to have some fun before finding another volunteer group to join.
Eventually, the bus turned into a dirt parking lot in front of a Caribbean orange building. While exiting the bus, we were greeted by thick humid air with the scent of sugar wafting towards us. We quickly invaded the tiny bakery, Daype, when a few of us suddenly noticed the landscape to our left. Emerald green mountains rose up to meet the saturated rainclouds above them. The view was so majestic that I just stood there gawking in amazement as the other college students stole their spots in line for some of the best baked goods any of us had ever tried. After a few minutes, the smell of sugary sweetness lured me away from the view, and I stepped into temptation joining the queue of happiness. When I emerged out of the bakery, it was to hear the news that another protest was blocking the other end of the road. We were stuck in Torti- but we were stuck at a bakery.
While sipping on some chicheme, a corn drink that absolutely must be sampled, and munching on our delicious snacks, we kicked around a soccer ball enjoying the relaxed Panamanian atmosphere underneath the shadow of the stormy mountains. A peaceful unforgettable afternoon initiated by peaceful protests- what more could a Panamanian traveler ask for?