Dispatch from Costa Rica - 8th Grade International Trip
Pura Vida from Costa Rica,
You'll all be glad to hear that the trip so far has been awesome! Today, we returned from the remote rain forest eco-lodge/biological station called Pocosol. For the past three days, students have been working hard. Our activities included a brief science lesson on biodiversity, a hike to a waterfall and volcanic fumaroles, trail clean-up service work, and a night hike with a local guide/biologist assistant. On Monday, on the way to Pocosol, we stopped in a couple small towns, toured a traditional wagon-wheel factory operated by water wheel instead of electric power, and celebrated Pi day with pies in a beautiful park in the town of Zarcero.
One of the highlights of the Pocosol station is the fig (ficus) tree near the mess hall. This is no ordinary fig tree -- it is the home to a dozen or so birds -- to be specific, Montezuma's Oropendulas. And these are no ordinary birds, either -- the Oropendulas build swinging, pendulum-like nests that dangle from the tips of the ficus branches. All day long, the oropendulas come and go, bringing food, repairing their nests... We like to think that sometimes they soar over the green hills just to enjoy the breeze and scenery.
On our way back to the Central Valley from the rain forest, we stopped in a traditional Costa Rican restaurant where students tried foods like plantains and corn cakes with tropical fruit smoothies. After lunch, we toured the restaurant's display of 100-year-old photographs and traditional coffee tools. (there was an old-fashioned coffee grinder that looked like a mortar an pestle, four feet tall). The past three days have been tiring, and this afternoon everyone is enjoying some much-needed rest (and wifi) in Vista de los Volcanes B&B.
With love from Costa Rica,
Nate, Lani, Eddy, Magdalena, and the 8th grade travelers