I went to Panama with sister Cyndy and her oldest son Bryan, she to visit Jim, an old high school friend, and me to visit my first Central American country. Jim settled in Panama with his Panamanian wife after retiring from the military. He has an interesting occupation in Panama – he travels with portable medical instruments, sonograms and the like, to small clinics and villages in the countryside, places that cannot afford to have their own.
Jim took time off from his 2nd career, to show us Panama – the canal, the city, an Eco-lodge, the mountains, and a sea resort.
We saw monkeys and huge crocodiles along the canal, as well as large ships passing. At the time the news was about a new lock system twice as wide as the current, to handle super tankers – I believe work is well underway.
Finally finished in 1913, the building of the canal was an incredible fiasco,
first by the French (20,000+ dead workers, most from disease), then by us (5,000+ dead workers). Once completed though, the canal has proved to be a benefit.
Around the canal and the city you can still see many of the old buildings that once supported tens of thousands of workers and US military, in use now for housing and storage.