The Panama Canal is fascinating. Absolutely fascinating. We arrived in the morning, when the ships line up on the Pacific side to transverse eastward through the canal. We watched two huge boats move through the Miraflores locks, three sets of contained waterways that gradually increased the level of the boats.

As we were watching a boat enter the canal, I said to Cris, “Why didn’t they just make this a river? They could have just dug out the land, made a river, and called it a day.” An English couple standing next to us scoffed. The lady turned to me, and looking down her nose said, “That would have flooded the entire Central American land mass. It would have been complete and utter destruction. The Atlantic and Pacific are at different levels, you know.” Without thinking, I exclaimed, “How did they know that?” She and her husband exchanged looks. Oh, you simple American. “The engineers did studies before they began the work.”

I turned to Cris. “It’s a good thing I wasn’t in charge of the Canal project. I would have just started digging.” He laughed. “But honey, you would have made sure the workers had a damn good 401(k) plan….”

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