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Costa Rica Catch Up

Costa Rica Catch Up

As the semester has continued I’ve found myself procrastinating a bit on my blog so I’ve decided to play catch-up and write about some of the highlights I’ve had during my time in Costa Rica in the past month.

*Naranjo, Zarcero, Sarchi field trip: On the day of my birthday my favorite Spanish professor, Sra. Marielos, took our Spanish class of about 13 students on a field trip to the interior of Costa Rica.  We went to 3 small towns each with cultural significance to the country.  Our first stop was a town called Zarcero which had beautiful botanical gardens filled with bushes shaped in intricate designs like dinosaurs, monsters and mazes.  Then after a muy rico lunch of fish, rice, beans, and veggies we got in the bus and went to a coffee plantation.  This is the second coffee plantation I’ve been to but this time was a bit more interesting because we walked all through the fields and saw the way the land was terraced and how the farmers hand picked the beans.  I also really enjoyed the tour because it was one of the plantations used for Starbucks coffee and it was great to know that this particular field was fair trade.  The workers, mostly Nicaraguan, are granted living accommodations, education for their children, a fair wage, and sufficient food.  The third location was called Sarchi, a small town that is known for having beautiful artisans, especially ones who paint ox carts.  We went to a market and saw some beautifully decorated carts and other goods for sale.

*Santa Teresa and Mal Pais: I visited these two towns two weekends in a row and found myself almost addicted to how tranquil and beautiful they are.  The towns reside on the West coast of the Nicoya Peninsula and their stunning beaches run right into each other.  The first weekend I was there was a weekend with a full moon and I went to an amazing Full Moon Party on the beach with my friend and some people we met at a hostel.  There was the biggest bonfire I’ve ever seen, great music and an hour long fire dancing show.  Dancers twirled, hoola-hooped, baton twirled, spun and caught fire continuously while standing in a circle on the beach.  It was one of the coolest dance performances I have ever seen, I was so blown away.  Also the full moon that night was the biggest Costa Rica had seen in 20 years and the entire beach and ocean glowed white.  The next weekend I came back and stayed with some Canadians I met on the ferry the first weekend.  I spent an afternoon practicing my surfing skills and laying on the beach.  That night we cooked at their place and I ate shark for the first time in my life followed by a fire on the beach!

*Ziplining in Monteverde:  This past weekend I traveled with USAC and the rest of the students to the Monteverde Cloud Forest.  Monteverde is a town high in the mountains of Costa Rica and its name truly defines the beauty as everything is green for miles.  It was very nice to have a weekend with everything paid for complete with great meals and a nice hotel!  We spent the first day hiking and on the look out for exotic animals, while the hike proved rewarding, no crazy creatures were found.  However, we did find a waterfall and got a great workout!  The next day we zip lined in the jungle.  It was really cool because this particular zip line is the longest in the world and has spectacular views! It was pretty cool to be able to zip line and fly at the same level or on top of the tallest trees!  After canopying on 13 lines we lined up to do the “tarzan swing” which works somewhat like a bungee jump.  It’s a jump off an elevated platform that lets you fly through the jungle and swing back and forth until losing momentum! Despite me general dislike to travel in large groups this weekend was a definite success!

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