Sick a at the Smithsonian 

When people ask me what I want to do with my degree I always tell them, “The Smithsonian is the goal.” To most this makes no sense wince I am and Art Education student and should therefore be working towards becoming an art teachers or something in that spectrum. But, I’m going off topic, that post is for another time. What I’m trying to say is that we went to the Smithsonian Research Institute in Panama and, despite being sick the entire way, it was so amazing.

Our guide’s name was Wendy and she was one of the happiest a people’s that I have ever met, it was really obvious that she loved her job and was more than willing to tell us all that she knew. The Institute is based on an island a little ways down the Panama Canal, and in order to get there we took a small ferry boat. I didn’t start to feel sickly till after we arrived on the island.

Barro Colorado Nature Monument (Est. 1923)

Barro Colorado is literally a scientist’s paradise. There are, in some cases, hundreds of different types of species of the animal inhabitants. The labs and facilities for scientists to stay in on near the dock at the edge of the island’s jungle. Wendy took us on a tour of part of the jungle. Along the way we met some of the inhabitants.

Can you find the Howler Monkey?

Some were louder than others.

Penelope Bird

Some we didn’t think that we’d get to see.

Some, according to my boyfriend, were the spawn of Satan.

 The plant life on the island was just as beautiful.

I’m just glad that I was able to still enjoy the sites, even if I did feel like barfing the entire time I was there. But the best part of the day happened after we left the island.


This is Tomas, or as our group calls him Sweet Sweet. Tomas. He was our van driver in Panama and he is magical. Not only is he the best driver ever he also found us a wild sloth after we complained about not seeing one on Barro Colorado. I’m not kidding. Tomas literally backed up the car after we asked if he had seen any sloths and points out one hanging out in a tree. The man is magic and you should follow him on Instagram (@tommytravelservices) because Sweet Sweet Tomas is the best and he knows where all the sloths hang.

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