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It has been three weeks since I have been in Costa Rica with the SFS program and have enjoyed every minute of it. The Costa Ricans have been very friendly and tranquil and the program intense and educational. I have been learning the Pura Vida lifestyle although our schedule has been busy with a full days worth of classes. Here is a sample schedule
7am-8am breakfast
8am-830am rap(preview and reflections of the day)
830am-930am econ
930am-1130 work on econ field lab excercise
12-1 lunch
130-230 tropical ecology
3-500 spanish class
530-600 briefing on field trip for next day
600-700 dinner
730-830 salsa class
curfew 1030 and fri and sat 1200am
Its very weird to have a curfew since im 25 and a really structured schedule where you are not allowed to miss class, not really even if you are sick. I have been trying to adapt the relaxed, open attitude of the people here. Its funny though cause being the oldest one here people tease me and call me grandma, which is kindof the first time to hit me about my age and growing old. This group of students is a very active, enthusiastic group. I have been very impressed and excited that we all have the same agenda and interests. The second day some of us woke up at 6 am before breakfast to go running and do yoga. The field trips have been great and have exposed me to a lot of Costa Rica that I have yet to explore(being that it’s my 7th time here) and make me appreciate the country that much more. We have done so much that is feels like much more than three weeks. Every week we there is a field trip or two. So far our field trip and what we have seen/done include:
1. Tirimbina-did a lab excersize on carbon storage in a pasture and went to a dole plantationbananas.jpg
2. Manuel Antonio National Park- the smalles park in Costa Rica but the second most visited with 150000 visitors annually 5manuel_antonio.jpg...took surveys on what visitors thought of the park, in order to find ways to better manage and control the capacity of the park
3. Carrara-another park very close to the highway. a transitional forest between wet and dry tropical forest.
4. Poas Volcano- the most visited park with 300,000 visitors annually earning about 1 million annully of that the government only gives them about 7% back for upkeep and wages.

On Sept. 14 and 15th on Monday and Tuesday I was able to participate in the celebrations of Costa Rica’s Independence Day; which was in 1821, and was Central America’s separation from Spain. They soon adopted their first constitution. independence_day2.jpgMonday night there were a group of kids in Atenas that were dressed up in traditional clothing and gave speeches and then danced and sang the national anthem. After that they parade with lanterns which signify back in 1821 when people were walking with lanterns to from the capital of Central America in Guatemala to Costa Rica and beyond to spread the news of their independence. independence_day.jpgThey next day is a national holiday and everyone gathers around to watch a parade of kids and some elders that go around in a square and do traditional dances and play drums. My friend Allie and I got to partake in trampoline festivities, trampoline.jpgIt was nice partaking in the country’s independence day especially knowing how peacefully they separated and gained their independence from Spain.

Posted by touché 10:00 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged educational

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Elena, that looks wonderful.
mom

by espir

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