I have finally returned from my amazing 2.5 week field trip along the Pacific slope.I am now just outside Santa Elena, near Monteverde.The station isbeautiful and secluded, abutting the cloud forest of the Monteverde Reserve (part of the Cordillera de Tilaran mountain range).We will be here for a little under three weeks before leaving on a second field trip along the Atlantic slope.
Before I speak of Monteverde (as there will be plenty of time for that later) let me fill youin on my field trip along the Pacific slope.For now, let me give a a top 21 and for those of you who want to read more, I will recap each place I went in other blogs (if this computer will even let me).
- San Jose made me sick.Really I got a cold there as we left on our field trip.
- Traffic jams, bumpy and 1-laned roads are the norm.
- We got from place to place in a large charter bus with comfy seats and AC.It was a luxury after camping.
- CIEE takes millions of boxes on all these camping trips.It is amazing.
- They feed us all the time and it is typically buffet style.Rice&Beans, plantanes, cheese, watermelon (yes, in the winter), pineapple, and spaghetti occur often.
- I am so excited snacks via grazing are always available.I feared this wouldn't be possible.
- School on field trips consists of these things called species reports where each student and TA are responsible for plants and animals that they then will learn/talk about when we are out in the field.So far, 175 species reports (plants/animals).We also have diversity days where we learn all about mangroves, mammals, etc.We've also had a few field experiment days where we collect data, compile, and present it.Discussions on articles occur too.
- Lectures can be anywhere: on a beach, in a rainforest, by a creek, in a boat, etc.
- Beer is commonly given to us during lecture, uh.Beer is not good here, Imperial is okay.
- People are wonderful, unique, and interesting here.Only one girl chooses to disobey the golden rule and I just avoid her.
- People get excited about raccoons, rat-like, and pig-like things.I'm one of them.
- I have never in my life received so many bug bites: flies that leave bloody marks, mosquitoes, and sand fleas.I itch incredibly and am imagining the day when it will stop.
- I sweat gallons, lived with a coat of grime on me, and am thankful for a COLD shower, as hot ones do not exist.Oh yeah, I wore my stinky clothes over and over again.Tremendous.
- From Palo Verde we rode in a cattle truck to a watering hole.We mooed, got attacked by swarms of mosquitoes, and had an ipod with speakers, so the bumpy ride turned into a dance party on the way back with a sunset.
- I saw Roseate Spoonbills in Palo Verde.One of the most exciting moments in my life.Oh yeah, this whole field trip was one exciting set of moments with snorkeling, hiking, camping, swimming, monkey's, colorful birds, sloths, beautiful green foliage, etc.
- We can always find a place to swim whether it is in a waterfall, the ocean, or a watering hole.It always feels good with all the sweating and heat of the day.
- Disney songs are constantly sang.Funny how everyone knows them.
- Snakes, including the fer de lance were a fear in Corcovado, but we never saw one.We did see a Boa Constrictor in Santa Rosa.
- The evenings are wonderful when we sing songs to the sounds of guitar.Alan (our director/prof) has a collection of song books with chords and lyrics making it easy for anyone to sing or play.
- I washed my clothes by hand and they didn't dry as it was too humid.Yeah. Stank.
- If you think you want pizza, it will come.Pizza Hut is everywhere and we had it twice on the field trip.
Stay tuned for more blogs and HOPEFULLY pictures (this internet won't let me upload them).
Love you all!