Tuesday, June 8, 2010

There is, and it seems there always will be, something
about the way life happens in places like these that will
forever appeal to the more illogical divisions of my heart.
Yet, more and more every day that I have been here, that
sense of the illogical is becoming a larger part of my
serious contemplations.
Every iota of smell, color, sound and thought--if they
could speak, they would rapidly learn to how to scream and
tell me "you belong here!" And at some moments, it's
almost like they already can. They whisper subliminal
messages to my senses to get me to stay.
I can still remember my first taste of the platanos here!
It was like a rookie angel tripped in heaven and
consequently fell into my mouth, and his surprise only
exponentially increased the bubbles of heaven-dust that fell
from his robes onto my waiting tongue. Yes. Yes, they were
that good.
In fact, every day I have been here I have fallen in love
with something new. And now, on our last day, all I can
think about are the little things that I took for granted
here and won't see again back in NY. I love watching the
businessmen in crisp white shirts paired with neatly pressed
slacks as they rode to work straddling speeding motos. I
love seeing the uniformed schoolchildren walking towards the
brightly-colored homes that shade them from the sun but give
lizards the opportunity to bask in it. I love the
devil-may-care attitude of the sprawling fauna that
furiously and deliberately encompass these homes in spindly
arms of neon-tinted comfort. I love the borrachos (so
infamously known for their jauntily perched fedoras and
wrinkled button-downs) that take frequent breaks from
warming their seats at the bar to spy on a bunch of
unsuspecting gringos. I love the colors that remember to
vehemently shove the city-induced grays from the events of
my mind. I love how the thunderstorms here force the world
to wake up from what is, more often than not, a food coma.
Most of all, I love how you never had to walk far to find
a spot where something beautiful could begin—whether it
was at a bug-filled hostel that revealed surprises when the
clouds cleared, in the middle of a pitch-black jungle
where, despite the fact that you couldn't see your hand in
front of your face, you could still see the bravery in
someone's heart, or on a slippery log in the middle of the
beach where you get bitten alive, but also where ghost crabs
danced underfoot and waves kissed your toes and you realize
you've stumbled into a waking dream.
We lived, we learned, and now we leave. But we'll be
I remember now the first thought that graced my mind upon
its initial intake of the world here. It was, "I'm

--Amanda Ramcharran

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tuesday 6/1


Today we spent another 5 hours on the bus, but this time we
were on the smaller bus and it was no where as near as
comfortable as that humongous bus. But as soon as everyone
saw the water, our eyes lite up and our spirits lifted
making everything seem okay again. The water was so blue it
was the same color as the sky so all the boats looked like
the were floating in mid-air. Then once we checked in, we
went to the beach and just sat around for a long time. And
the water felt like bath water it was so warm. Then we went
around shopping at all the local shops and got a bunch of
presents! After we all went out to eat as a group and I
think that was the best quesadilla I ever had. Then we
walked along the beach and all just chilled. It is so
beautiful and warm here I wish I could stay longer.

Mallory D.

You know you've been to Costa Rica on a Tropical Ecology
course when...
Your toasts at dinner always consist of something along the
Your beloved Professor opts for going a tad fruity in order
to protect the virtue of his female students by proceeding
to blow kisses at the offending tikos.
Your flash light and headlamp have simultaneously attached
themselves to your body like bog flies.
You refer to the cheese that locals make as "squeaky
You have lengthy arguments over made-up words while playing
You take communal showers with several different species of
moth every night, so much so that you start talking to them
while you're washing your hair.
Every time you see a brown and yellow bird you scream
"BANANNAQUIT!" Even when it isn't one.
You utilize Howler monkeys as an alarm in thew morning.
Eau de Bug Spray becomes your newest and most cherished
You exponentially acquire a new set of bruises and scratches
every day, and you've quickly stop questioning where they've
came from.
You're willing to walk for half a mile in the middle of the
night just to get to the nearest bar, sprinting all the
while and contemplating who will get eaten first. You make
sure to tell everyone not to look back. They do. You all
trip over each other trying to walk even faster.

You've met at least one Fernando, Felix, or Oscar.
You've thought about keeping the Imperial label that so
neatly came off in your hand for a scrap book.
You've overused the phrase "so good" at mealtimes.
You've completed at least one hike that, in the middle of,
you seriously wondered if you were going to die.
You rocked a pair of giant, clunky, black rubber boots and
kind of fell in love with them.
Some bird or insect has violated you by stealing a kiss in
the middle of the jungle.
You've learned skills comparable to that of a ballerina
while trying to be quiet and spot animals on a hike while
wearing hiking boots.
You've pontificated upon whether or not leaf cutter ants
could steal keys.
You kind of want to be bitten by a Bala. Just to see if you
can handle it.
You've peed in the jungle and felt a sense of accomplishment
as you buried your tissue and marked your small piece of
You love Susan and Dennis like family. And then you make up
alter egos for them at night.
You sit in the grass taking in breathtaking views while
talking about life and going off on random tangents that
range from demon children to Disney movies.

--Amanda Ramcharran

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Day one
Waking up at 6:30AM was not really my cup of tea but it's
weird how my body adapted to it so quickly. Maybe because
everyone is up and starting their days. The first morning we
were here we had rice and beans for breakfast with squeaky
cheese and fried yuca with cheese inside, which was
definitely different compare to pancakes or bagels i'm use
to having for breakfast. We stayed in San Jose the first
night but then took about a 5 hour drive to Guanacaste ! As
I was on the bus, I realized how much CR is becoming
Americanized. There were billboards written in English, pay
tolls on the highway, many cars that are in the US and so
many other things. The food here is delicious especially in
restaurants. It is so humid outside but when it started to
pour, it's just so refreshing! The air to me is just so
clean and pure, except when trucks ride by and the dirt gets
in your eyes and mouth. I definitely miss the internet and
my phone because there is no type of communication to the
outer world here. But i realize I can live without it.