Is there a hole in the boat?

Is There a Hole in the Boat?
Tales of travel in Panama without a car

Darrin DuFord

Published by, Inc

Is There a Hole in the Boat? is a book of travel stories about the author’s visits to Panama. This is not a standard “go here and see this” style of travel book. DuFord takes you on his journeys through the country of Panama. On the way he reveals a great deal about the geography of this county that surrounds the Panama Canal. You are introduced to Panama’s history, ecology and the indigenous people of the country, but DuFord uses stories that are both amusing and revealing.

Each chapter in the book takes you to a different area of the country. With titles like “186,000 Chickens” and “Hiking to the Bush Rat Buffet,” DuFord captures your interest. He writes in a clear, transparent style that allows the peoples and cultures of Panama to speak for themselves. He isn’t above laughing at himself, but he doesn’t let his ego get in the way of telling the story. The people he meets and writes about are as diverse as the country of Panama itself. Through the author we are introduced to people ranging from the last King in the Americas to the chef of the Bush Rat Buffet.

Though the stories are entertaining, DuFord also provides an education into what it like to live in a country where the average wage is $7 a day. He chooses to use public transportation and see the country from the same vantage point as the Panamanians. The diablos rojos, the wildly painted school buses that are the backbone of the public transport, weave in and out of most of his tales. The Panamanians, like their buses, are shown to be determined and colorful. DuFord never patronizes the people that he meets, but neither does he romanticize them.

Whether or not you are planning a trip to Panama. Is there a hole in the boat?  is a worthwhile read. Darrin DuFord brings a country and its people to life, and in the process tells some very good stories.

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