As the clock ticks ever away, I have just over a week left in Panama until I hop on an airplane and fly hundreds of miles back to the United States to leave this tiny country far behind. While I write, I’m sitting out on a balcony overlooking the bright city lights illuminating the starless black night, and maybe it’s the sappy, heartbroken pop music I’m listening to talking, but I’m definitely getting that bittersweet series-finale vibe. You know, when all the characters part ways, sad to see each other go, but blessed to have had the opportunity to share their time and lives with strangers who became great friends. All that remains is to neatly tie up all the loose ends into satisfying conclusions, and to ice the cake with an obligatory tear-inducing yet hopeful and inspiring goodbye scene, and then roll the credits.
There are a few minor plot lines I want to take care of in my spare time, like taking a few photos, do a bit more writing, and finishing The Hobbit (the sixth book I’ve read since coming here), and one major one: finish the construction of my aquaponics system. It’s coming along, I’ve got all the parts and the pond is dug and lined, now I need to get cracking on the piping and beautification. I can’t wait to see this project finished, it’s more than a little exciting and I’m hoping and pushing for aquaponics to be expanded upon in Kalu Yala in the future. To aid in this vision I’ve been creating a guide booklet to aquaponics to keep online and in physical form around the three Kalu Yala residencies, which I hope will inspire interest and lend helpful information and resources to interns who arrive long after I have gone. After all, that’s what we’re all about, isn’t it? I don’t have time to do everything I would love to see done, so I pass the torch and do my best to give that person a head start so they can buildoff of my work and take it even further. We’re working together to change something for the good.
The only bad part about all of this is that it means that my time is almost over. It may be only a season closer for Kalu Yala, but my series is in for a much more final finale. I can already hear the sounds of the melancholy song fading in as the camera zooms out and pans away from the characters slowly. Goodbyes are hard to say, and sometime’s it’s hard to see the ‘good’ in them, but I’m thankful for everything I’ve been a part of and all the friends I’ve made that makes saying the word so sad. And who knows, if the ratings were good enough (and I’d venture to say they were), who’s to say that someday in the future there won’t be a sequel?