Entry 2: May 29, 2011
Reflections on Day 3 – San Luis
Today Emma, Melissa, and I began to work on our independent research project! We have decided that we want to do our research on medicinal plants and how they are being used by the local Ticos. We have designed a five question survey and went around the community today trying to find people to take our survey.
Although we had a few obstacles along the way, we definitely had fun and met a lot of really nice people. For example, as we were walking back to campus we saw a woman sweeping her porch so we decided to stop and ask her to take our survey. Not only was she happy to take our survey, but also invited us to come sit down and then gave us a tour of her little garden where she is growing her own medicinal plants such as mint and aloe.
Next we stopped at a small mart and asked the clerk, Jorge, to take our survey. He was also very happy to help us out and also took us outside to show us the medicinal plants he uses that are growing outside of the store.
After lunch, we decided to hike down to Baja San Luis to survey people at a soccer game that we were told was going on. Once we walked for about an hour, we realized that there wasn’t a soccer game going on. We needed to call a taxi so we stopped at a house where young woman was sitting on her front porch. Not only was she happy to let us use her phone but told us that we could wait for our cab at her house. She even took our survey and let us practice our Spanish with her!Though we had some bumps in the road today, we had many wonderful cultural experiences. Today I was able to see first-hand how genuinely kind the Ticos are. Unlike most people in the U.S., everyone we met today was happy to help us out and went above and beyond in welcoming us in and talking with us. Today will definitely be a day I will remember, and I will never forget how genuine the people of Costa Rica truly are.
Entry 1: May 16, 2011
Reflections on Day 1 in La Selva
During our first full day in La Selva, we started our day with a hiking tour. I am so amazed by how many different organisms we observed today. Looking back in my field notebook, I counted 38 different organisms (that I wrote down) we stopped and observed on our hike.
We saw several different beautiful birds, amazing plant forms, and some exciting mammals. Of all the organisms we saw today, the ones I found most interesting were the Peccaries! While we were walking to a trail, we were passing some cabins when about four Peccaries trotted out in front of us. They didn’t even seem to realize we were there. They acted like a pack of wild dogs. Unlike dogs though, these hog-like creatures eat grass, roots, insects, but are also carnivorous and predacious. Peccaries also travel in packs and have a foul odor. People can often small Peccaries before they see them. Though they are a bit smelly, I find them pretty cute, especially the baby peccary we got to see during a classroom session!