What I did on my summer vacation… by Miriam

August 5 to 11, 2013, Kuna Yala, Panama

Miriam (14-years old) and her mom, Gayle, visited us on On Delay. When Miriam got back to school she wrote the regulation “What I did on my summer vacation” story but with a couple of twists: (i) it was posted as a blog on the school intranet and (ii) written in French.

Here, we share the original French version and a somewhat different English version.


C’est été je suis allés au Panama avec ma maman. Pour une semaine nous sommes restées dans un bateau avec des copins de ma mère. Nous avons navigués dans “San Blas Islands”. Ces îles ressemblaient aux cartes postales Hawaïennes.

Dans ces îles nous avons nagés tous les jours dans de l’eau claire et chaude. L’immensité de l’océan était vraiment impressionnent. Je ne pouvais pas voir l’autre rivage. Aussi j’ai vu des animaux et des plantes exotiques. Aussi nous avons mangés des crabes et des langoustes énormes.

En Panama ma maman et moi ont achetées des textiles que les hommes dans les îles ont fabriquées.

Quel voyage superbe!


Thanks to Jane, Tony, Gayle and Pete, we had an opportunity to sail through the San Blas Islands (aka Kuna Yala). There we met the Kuna, indigenous people within Panama. We bought traditional textiles known as Molas. [See Mola Mania. Ed.]

In the San Blas Islands, we snorkeled everyday and I always saw the most exotic marine life in the clearest of water.

One of the coolest experiences of this trip was when the sailboat got stuck in large pieces of soft coral and the Kuna people came by canoe and helped literally push the boat out – screaming “KUNA YALA” over and over when they successfully moved the boat. It was a great experience and one that I will never forget.


Photos of the trip by Mom (Gayle) and Jane. Captioning by Jane

View from the Cesna, chartered from Tocumen international airport to the Playon Chico landing strip.

View from the Cesna, chartered from Tocumen international airport to the Playon Chico landing strip.

A typical island in Kuna Yala. There must be a hundred islands that look much like this.

A typical island in Kuna Yala. There must be a hundred islands that look much like this.

Miriam and two Kuna women in Niadup. The front (and back) panels of the women’s blouses are molas.

Miriam and two Kuna women in Niadup. The front (and back) panels of the women’s blouses are molas.

Gayle, Miriam and Pete holding sticker to give to Kuna kids. Taking shelter from the rain under the water tower.

Gayle, Miriam and Pete holding sticker to give to Kuna kids. ‘Taking shelter from the rain under the water tower.

Pete caught this coral batwing crab. It was delicious and sweet.

Pete caught this coral batwing crab. It was delicious and sweet.

Here Miriam and Jane wait for their ride back to the boat after shopping in Nargana. Good shopping: we found eggs, flour, UHT milk, tomatoes, and Kuna bread called madu; plus cold coke for a treat.

Here Miriam and Jane wait for their ride back to the boat after shopping in Nargana. Good shopping: we found eggs, flour, UHT milk, tomatoes, and Kuna bread called madu; plus cold coke for a treat.

Miriam, Tony and a Kuna man after getting out of the soft coral reef.

Miriam, Tony and a Kuna man after getting out of the soft coral reef.

Friends posing on deck at the end of an On Delay vacation.

Friends posing on deck at the end of an On Delay vacation.

Sunset at Chichime before our wild night sail to Porobelo.

Sunset at Chichime before our wild night sail to Porobelo.

Heading for home 1: from the boat to Portobelo in the dinghy.

Heading for home 1: from the boat to Portobelo in the dinghy.

Heading for home 2: driving to the airport. This is iconic Revolution Tower in Panama City.

Heading for home 2: driving to the airport. This is the iconic Revolution Tower in Panama City.

2 thoughts on “What I did on my summer vacation… by Miriam

  1. Wow, when I was a kid, an exotic vacation was across the border to Canada!!! The Revolution Tower looks like a Frostee Freeze chocolate and vanilla swirl cone.

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