So I just got back from going through the panama canal . Remember the 3 Norwegians I told you about who came into Santa Marta a few days after me ? Seven months out of Norway on a 33 foot boat who crossed the Atlantic with a hen they had gotten in Gambia ? Those Norwegians . They were here in portobello when I got here and Alain the owner and captain of rokafant asked me if I would be one of his line handlers going through the canal , so of course I said yes . As I remember Rakafant has something to do with a poor bank account and a happy state of mind . Rockin on ? Alain just turned 25 in February in kuna yala . He bought rokafant with no previous experience , learned to sail as he set out across the Baltic , the north Atlantic and the Irish sea last summer , headed for the Caribbean and the pacific with his friends Magnus and Juergen . And later the hen . He decided to do this trip when he was a senior in high school at an alternative public school based on outdoor education . Joined the Norwegian army for two years ,; spent time as a medic in Afghanistan . Then worked in therapeutic outdoor Ed , all the while saving for a boat to make his voyage . But that’s not what I want to tell you about . I just want to muse on the direction our world is headed . The Panamanian advisor who accompanied us all day through the canal and then down through the locks into the pacific said he had a son 15 and a daughter 9 both in schools where they were learning mandarin and English in addition to Spanish . For $400 a month ,each i think .He said no more kids , they’re too expensive . Did you know the Chinese are committed to building a canal through Nicaragua ? With no locks ? They certainly have the money , the technology and the manpower to do it . I’m sure it will all be built by Chinese companies with Chinese workers . Unlike American foreign aid money that is given to foreign countries to be used for this or that , the Chinese just come and do it and keep the money in Chinese hands . When they built a beautiful new soccer stadium in costa rica for nothing no one complained . I’ll bet Nicaragua doesn’t mind the Chinese building them a canal . Most of the goods being shipped these days are coming from china (inc . ) . It’s a win win deal . That’s a little glimpse into the 21’st century . You can follow rokafant on their Facebook page ; rakafant Thanks Alain , Juergen and Magnus and I will have to tell you guys what happened to me on the way back to portobello from panama city some time soon . Buena suerte en Pacifica . Btw, our advisor , Moses , said he was the advisor for that 16 year old kiwi girl who went around the world solo and that she knew what she was frickin doin . You can watch boats going through the canal on the pan-cam , I believe it’s called .