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Journals from Costa Rica 2009

2009-10-12 Time is flying!

Im pretty sure that time travels faster here in Costa Rica, than in other parts of the world. I cant believe how fast time is going. There is always so much to do and so much to see. I feel like December 14th is going to come way to quickly. Now that it is already mid-October, I think the whole group realizes how fast our semester is going to go. We are all trying to make the most out of everyday, and not waste a second. Last week, we had a field trip to visit a group of indigenous people, see Volcano Arenal, and go to Monteverde. The first half of the trip was dedicated to our history class. We got to visit the Malekus (a Costa Rican indigenous tribe). We got to see a play put on by some of the children that told the story of their past. We also got to learn about all the plants and trees that they use in their everyday life for building and medicine. The last thing we got to do was make jicaras, which is a form of artistry that is important to the Malekus. The Malekus were very welcoming and were very willing to share their culture with us. We learned about their past, ways of life, traditions, beliefs, and customs. It was a great experience. We also got to see Volcano Arenal (well at least part of it because it was cloudy). We got to observe how the volcano has impacted the city of La Fortuna. Before the eruption in 1968, La Fortuna was a very small town, and now it has grown tremendously due to tourism that the volcano attracts. For the Ecology part of the trip, we got to hike through the cloud forest of Monteverde for 4 hours. The highlight was seeing a quetzal! It is not common to see this type of bird during this time of year, so we were extremely fortunate. Our guide was very knowledgeable and knew lots of bird calls. It was fun to listen to him communicate with the different types of birds. My favorite was the squeaky gate bird because it sounded just like a squeaky gate. Who would have guessed? We learned a lot about the cloud forest, and it was great to see the concepts that we have been learning in class. On the last day, we did the Canopy tour, which was awesome! It was 100 times better than any roller coaster that I have ever been on. We did zip lines, repelling, Tarzan which is a big free fall swing, and my favorite the Superman. We were flying through the treetops of the rain forest. The Canopy is definitely one of my highlights so far. Hasta luego, Emily

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