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Journals from Costa Rica

2011-10-18 Meeting the Indigenous

Week 5 Sept. 26- Oct. 1

            This week was our busiest so far. We had two tests and a field trip. The tests were really stressful. I am generally a bad test taker so I was worried about my first history and ecology tests in Spanish. It was especially worrisome because, as I said in my last entry, we were in San Jose and Cartago for the weekend so we didn’t have a lot of time to study. I studied most of the day Sunday and as much as I could before the test on Monday. And it paid off; I ended up doing pretty well on the history test. However, our test for ecology was the next day, which was hard because I had even less time to study and I was exhausted from the last two days of studying. I’m still waiting to find out how I did on that test. The Spanish class is definitely the most fun our professor is really nice and funny, but we have the class every day and homework every day. We have a really big work load here: during the week when we are not in class we are doing homework. Also when we go on the trips for classes we are on a pretty tight schedule; we always get some free time but it’s at the end of a long day. The only time we really get to be in charge of own schedules is on the weekends when nothing is planned; we have had two of these so far. The classes are all interesting and the school trips are too. But it’s hard to transition into not always being able to have freedom with your schedule.

This past weekend we went on a class trip for both history and ecology.  We went to two different volcanoes in the northern region of Costa Rica. The first day of the trip we got the chance to participate in a traditional ceremony of the Maluku’s, an indigenous tribe that has managed to keep their language and many of their customs alive.  We also learned a little about their culture and some of the struggles they are facing keeping their traditions alive in the modern world. The second day we observed different types of natural energy production that are utilized here. Later that day we got to swim in beautiful hot spring pools at our hotel. The third day we went on a hike where we got to cover ourselves in warm volcanic mud! It was a really fun experience and my favorite school sanctioned trip so far.

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