Last Day in Central America

Well ladies and gentelmen, this is it. We have reached out last night in Costa Rica. We are back in San Jose at the same hotel as our first night, and we can hardly believe it has only been two weeks. But at the same time, it seems like forever since we saw all the folks back home. It will be nice to get away from the creepy crawlies (ie, mosquitoes, stink bugs, spiders, giant cockroaches, geckos, etc).

After a wonderful afternoon at the beach yesterday, we traveled today to a medicinal garden. It was definitely something different than the norm at home, but this has all been an experience!

We will be back home tomorrow night around 11:00. The itinerary posted at the very beginning has our flight number and precise arrival time.

See you all soon!!

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Itchy and Scratchy

We are all experts at Costa Rican mosquitoes now! Haha, yeah, we have bug bites, but we’re tough cookies and malaria was eradicated here in the 1980’s!

Good news…we survived the BriBri lifestyle! After living in bug nets while wearing Deet and using a flashlight to go to the bathroom at night, we now have a greater appreciation and understanding for other cultures. We also learned how out of shape we Americans are. One of our BriBri hosts took us on a “short” hike to Panama, but we returned six hours later to guzzle down all of Central America’s clean water after giving up and never making it to our original destination…although we did make it to Panama!

We also learned that our professors have quite the affinity for song and dance! Our first night with the BriBri, they played music while Dr. Lehman and Steve taught us some American folk dances that fit the Latin American music. It was a hilarious image, and we got Heather Manring to boogie!

We should have internet again on Sunday night before we leave. Love you, miss you, and we’ll see you all soon!

>Los Chicas Calientes y el hombre paciente…aka Gumby

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Easter in Costa Rica!

We had a great Easter Sunday here in Central America! Those of who wanted to were able to go to a Catholic mass early in the morning. (And I do mean early…we thought it started at 6:00 when it actually started at 7:00, so we showed up at 6:00 am!) It was a different experience, especially considering it was all in Spanish.

Later in the day, we went to a biological reseve in the Guanacaste region and I think it was unanimously approved as a superlatively great time! Almost right after we got there, we saw a troop of howler monkeys, including the most adorable baby howler! After lunch, we trekked up a path along the river and got to go swimming right in front of a picturesque waterfall )and don´t worry, there were pictures!) When we came back to our picnic lunch spot, there was another swimming hole, this time much deeper, and we all thoroughly wore ourselves out swimming, diving, and tossing around Joel/Gumby´s beachball.

For dinner, we checked out La Pacifica, a really nice ranch resort that was surrounded by deer, geckos, and tons of exotic birds…including killer attack ducks. There were also some mango trees filled with green (and therefore delicious!) mangoes 🙂

Well, time to be headed off for another day´s adventure!

-Las Chicas Calientes y Gumby

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Day Three…Duck and Cover!

(Pardon the punctuation mark typos throughout this post, many of the keys on the keyboard being used are not the same as at home in the US and we can{t find some the symbols we need.)

Five thirty am…

¨Is that a dying walrus¨ a sleepy voice asks in the darkness.
¨That or a bear¨ mumbles another voice.
Oh those Ohio kids…it was howler monkey! We were awakened this morning by howler monkeys seemingly right outside our Monte Verde bunkhouse. Monte Verde is a biological reserve operated by the Tropical Science Center. Their goal is to maintain the biodiversity of the cloud forests and ensure that posterity will never be without this amazing paradise we are now experiencing. Our bunkhouse is the headquarters of the TSC, and we are right in the middle of the hub of  the visitors center.

It took us an incredibley bumpy four hour bus ride up into the mountains to get here, but it was well worth it! Even on a long bus ride, we are getting the chance to see a very different culture. At one random stop we made on the trip, the owner of an interesting motel-and-soda-stand-combination let us eat green mangoes off his mango tree and gave us some salt to help the taste. Such hospitality when we just stopped for the bathroom!

But once we got to the reserve, the difference between home and here just leeps becoming more evident. We have been exposed to a crazy plethora of wildlife and plant life that we have never seen before! For example, after our early morning wake up call, we got a chance to see a hummingbird gallery where we were surrounded by so many hummingbirds, we literally had to duck and cover (hence out title for the day) every now and then so we would not get struck in the head by a nectar-happy tiny bird! It was such a different and exciting experience, I hope we eventually have a chance to load some pictures on this blog for all of you too see!

After breakfast, we went to the Selaventure Park where most of us got a chance to literally fly above the rainforest canopy on a zip-line! (For all of you anxious moms and dads out there, never fear! We were completely safe and the park operating the zip-lines was very credible.) Zooming above the treetops was an amazing rush, and it gave us an appreciation for what it must be like to be a bird! Following lunch, we split up into two groups and took a guided tour of Monte Verde. The guides were very knowledgeful and were able to point out birds and animals we could barely even see!

Tomorrow we will go to the lowlands region and check out a recycling co-op and a pineapple plantation. Hmmm, pineapple. I¨m hungry.

We will update you all again as soon as we have interent access! Love you all!

–Las Chicas Calientes y Gumby

P.S. Jeff loves Tracy

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The Wings On The Plane Go Up and Down…

Hello Family and Friends,

In spite of the stresses of finals, Ohio weather, senior research, and the little harries of life…we finally made it to beautiful Costa Rica! In just the few short hours we´ve been here, we´ve already seen several new plant families and native birds! Tonight we´re staying in the capital city of San Jose, so we haven´t been completely immersed in nature yet. But tomorrow we go on to Monte Verde and Poas valcano where we´ll get to fully experience Costa Rica´s natural beauty!

One really cool place we got a chance to check out was an artisans´market. The entire open air plaza was filled with locally made crafts and souvenirs, all of which were totally unique from what we have seen in Ohio! The vendors were a caricature of bargaining and luring buyers, and their ploys were successful in capturing our attention to their wares.

We also have gotten quite attached to our guide Humberto and our own personal bus, the Mystery Machine (dubbed in honor of Scooby Doo.) Humberto can tell you anything about San Jose or any of the plants we come across, and the Mystery Machine is just plain cool 😉

Pictures coming soon, and in the future, our entries will be more detailed. Today has been quite an adventure traveling from one continent to another, and we are all worn out!

We miss all of you!–Costa Rica class of 2008

P.S. This entry´s title is in honor of Maria and Natalie early morning singing. As opposed to singing ¨The wheels of the bus…¨ they reverted to ¨The wings on the plane go up and down, up and down, up and down…¨ Just ask Heather M. She´ll tell you all about it 😉

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T-Minus 36 Hours!

costa-rica-march-19-30.doc

Well ladies and gentlemen, we are so close to leaving, we can practically hear the quetzals! The suitcases may be packed…or the stuff to be packed may still be scattered around the bedroom floor while a large empty duffel sits in a corner; but any way you roll the dice, in less than 48 hours, we will be in Central America!

For all of you at home keeping track of where we are going and what we will be up to, our itinerary is posted at the top of the page to keep you informed. It has the phone to where we will be staying (if applicable) and it has the cell phone number of our guide Umberto while we are down there.

Godspeed to us all! (Can I wish myself Godspeed? Not sure the exact proper use of that phrase…)

NOTE:  for those of you who have no idea what a quetzal is (I’ve already been asked), it’s a beautiful bird in Costa Rica…maybe we’ll see one and be able to post a pic for all of you at home.

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Yeah LSC 391!

Hey there friends and family!

We’re the Costa Rican Ecology class, and this blog is to keep you updated on all our happenings while we’re in Central America. While we’re there, we’ll post pictures of what we’re up to and write little summaries whenever we’re near a computer.

Enjoy!

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