Wednesday, June 29, 2005


so today we went to a pig farm. it was the saddest thing i ever saw in my entire life. but that's life. i don't wanna talk about it. it was truly a life influencing day.

it rained today but it stopped while we were at the farm

o ya i got to go to an almost organic farm. that was cool. they do awesome things for the environment. we played with the baby cows and i got to milk a cow.

all in all a pretty good day.

Current Music: talking to colin

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


my stomach doesn't hurt anymore!!!!!!!!! w00t. i'm so happy! i think it's because i didn't eat breakfast this morning

we had our first lecture and honestly it wasn't too bad considering it was 4 hours long. we still have 2 more hours to go and then 2 hours of spanish. we take the placement test today. i think i'll do ok.

well tis all. just happy that my stomach doesn't hurt.

Current Music: people finishing up lunch

Monday, June 27, 2005

So Much

plants stink. well they're hard to remember at least.

i have like 20 pages of ecology to read, but i feel like i'm gonna throw up so i don't feel like doing it. you think it's hard to study at USI... imagine hearing a howler monkey call in the distance and having a waterfall 100 m from your desk. try then! i think i'm going to have attention span issues here. i love regardless tho.


today we hiked from 8am to 3pm and i guess i'm used to it b/c i'm not even tired. it was all uphill too. well at least in the forest. we hiked up to the continental divide and they said that if you peed on the right it would flow down to the atlantic and on the left to the pacific. so we could see both ends of the country from up there and i think i might do my independent study project somewhere up there on those trails. we'll see what i decide to do. the hike was great though because it was really cool outside and we stopped a lot to take notes on the various species we saw along the way. for example we took notes on certain palms and this cool biting beetle.

tomorrow we have 6 hours of lecture then 2 hours of spanish. so pretty much it's gonna be a doozy academically. we have our first field practical on monday and i'm scared shitless. i think everyone is. i've been studying and i don't seem to be getting anywhere there's so much to learn... those damn heliconiaceae look like the costaceae. etc. it's going to have a slideshow portion and a fill in the blank portion. no short answer for us.

we might get pizza afterwards. PIZZA!!!!! i'm so sick of the rice and beans that i will eat it all! but here in monteverde the food is a lot better and the cook people are awesome. they even do our laundry for us (b/c they got sick of people breaking the washer machine) and from where i'm sitting i can see the most awesome view. and even hear howler monkeys at times.

PS sorry for posting that last one twice. nothing shows up here until the next day. it's really strange. well ttyl. i might be on AIM at times but who knows when b/c the internet works sporadically here. well that all.

Current Music: people rope balancing and laughing and falling

Current Mood: i climbed a mountain today!

Backtrack on Days

June 15

Today we left early in the morning for Sierpe which is right by Corcovado and mangrove trees.

We stopped by Cerro de la Muerte on the way which is a high peak/hill on the way. It was pretty awesome but b/c of the high elevation it made everyone out of breath as we climbed up the hill. We learned about various species there and a lot of the botany we learned last semester came in handy (darn). We looked for Quetzals which are this awesome kind of bird, but we couldn’t find any. We also looked for this one salamander that used to be uber-abundant in the area. They said that it used to be that you could turn over just about any rock and find like three, but we weren’t even able to find one which was really disappointing b/c we suck and secondly b/c they are so scarce in the area nowadays. We ate lunch facing windows that had hummingbird feeders a foot away from them so I got to see them up close. They’re so cool, but they’re pretty evil to eachother.

We drove a bit and got to Sierpe. We had a lecture at 7pm by Priscilla about the mangroves. We also got to pass around a Caecilian and for you guys that haven’t taken zoology and those of you who have forgotten, it’s an amphibian that looks like a big earthworm. It was really slimy but really awesome at the same time. During the lecture the program paid for our drinks so everyone ordered beer except for me and everyone was like, “we should have class like this all the time” b/c it was so nice outside and awesome. Mangroves are pretty neat by the way.

June 16
We went to the mangrove forest in a boat. We learned about them and about other animals we saw on the way (bats and snakes). My favorite thing was that we got to climb all over the prop roots of the red mangrove. It was AWESOME! I’ll post pictures later. Unfortunately, I was the only person to fall in and earned the rank as being the clumsiest person on the trip but I can deal with that considering the fact that it’s true.

Then we took a boat to Corcovado beach and pitched our tents right on the beach. It’s really nice there, but really in the middle of nowhere. It took 2 hours to get there by boat. We stayed at the biological station. We had a free afternoon so we just played on the beach and jumped the waves.

June 17
We hiked for about 3 hours in two groups. We met at a cool spring and all went swimming in the freshwater b/c it was so hot out there. It was a great time. It felt so good that a whole bunch of people decided to go back, but Susan (my tent mate) and I decided that we didn’t really feel like it so we went to look at the tidepools and just chill. I sat there quietly with my feet in the water and saw lots of awesome fish. The coolest thing I saw was a black and white eel try to get this fish. (it didn’t) We also saw scarlet macaws roosting in a tree right on the edge of the beach.

We went to the tide pools as a big group and learned about the brittle stars, sea roaches, sea cucumbers etc. It was pretty cool (I guess)

That night at 7pm (it was dark there by then) we went to a swamp to look for frogs. It was sooo muddy. We didn’t really find much but I would say that part of it had to do with the fact that last time they said they saw 3 poisonous snakes. So everyone was more worried about that I would say. We did find this one frog as big as my foot and a snake fell on Peter’s head so we got that one too. (tired)

June 18
Today was the long Corcovado hike. It was 7 kilometers both ways. It wouldn’t have been so bad but the whole thing was really hilly. To make matters worse, my toe killed like crazy all the way back b/c I bent back my nail at the airport and it got infected in the swamp. So I walked for 4 hours on something that hurt worse than my kidney stones. Alan and Javier (my professors) walked the whole way with me as I limped slowly. Damn it sucked.

The hike was to La Llorona beach which was awesome. It was gorgeous there. There was also a stretch of beach in between of the bouts of forest. It was amazing. I took some great pictures of the rocks there.

June 19
We went out to an island. On the way, dolphins jumped in the wake of our boat. That was sweet. Another really amazing thing that I saw was a manta ray do a back flip out of the water. Scientists think they do it to get rid of parasites, but they’re not really sure why. Regardless though, it was so cool. We got to the island and learned about island demography and how and why there are less species there and how to tell the difference between the forests. I just relaxed and read Cat’s Cradle b/c my toe still hurt.

Afterwards we came back and I kept reading my book in a hammock looking out over the ocean. Well I got so absorbed that I didn’t notice that a whole bunch of people had left to go back to a different cool spring. We so I got up and went there and it turns out that it was a skinny-dipping and rum party organized by our professor! Well I didn’t partake in either activity but it still was fun sitting under the waterfall in my swimsuit. Stephanie didn’t go naked either :).

Current Music: people trying to balance on a rope tied between two trees

Sunday, June 26, 2005


i'm officially in monteverde and wearing the first pair of clothes that don't smell like ass. ASS. it was because of the humidity around here. i love it here. it's a 40 minute hike up to the station and its an incline but seriously it's gorgeous up here. we all decided that they have been taking us to the most beautiful parts of costa rica so that we all work in conservation efforts.

i'm going to write more and put it in a word document then paste it here in a little bit so that i'm not hogging the internet b/c it only works on two computers here. post later tonite or tomorrow.

i need to go to bed early though because breakfast is at 7 and we're hiking all day.

just to let you know. i miss you guys so much. so much.

Current Music: something that michael's playing.

Monday, June 20, 2005

San Dominical

hi. i'm at an internet cafe at a small surfer town called san dominical. i'm pretty exhausted, but i still have a week of traveling to go before we settle down in monteverde. bad news: i have an ingrown toenail. so i'll probably have to go to the doctor tomorrow. i had to hike for 8 hours on it. it hurt worse than a kidney stone. it was pretty bad overall.

the aminals are awesome here as was to be expected. you know that you're in another side of the world when you see a manta ray do a backflip out of the water 10 yards from your boat. also the monkeys are pretty cool. \

the learning here is tough. there's a lot of memorization so this could be hard. pretty much it's just memorizing the characteristics of different plant families and a lot of the them are very similar. i hope i do ok.

everyone gets a long well so i'm having a pretty good time.

O.O just don't blink.

write again when i can

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


didn't expect me to post, did you??? well actually i can, today. It turned out that our hotel has free internet access for guests and its really fast. Do any of you have MSN messenger? i don't know if i'll have AIM at the station, but i'm pretty sure that i might have the other stuff.

Costa Rica is really nice and actually the weather is a lot better than it was in Chicago except for the the spontaneous torrential downpours. Actually it's raining like crazy right now. Well, that is to be expected considering it is the rainy season here. Which is pretty much like our winter.

Today we had to go to the local market and get a fruit that we were assigned. I had never even heard of mine before. i got palmita (which is pretty much the central vein of a palm tree and people here eat it) and something called a pejibaye. To find the pejibaye i had to walk like 5 blocks but luckily Elizabeth came alone with me. part of our assignment was to ask the vendors about the fruit and apparently the pejibaye is used by many men to increase sexual potency o.o

We went to a butterfly sanctuary thing at the national museum and you know those huge bright blue butterflies? well one of them landed on my face and flew around me and meghan for like a full minute. i have a picture of him. he's really pretty.

We've just been having fun wandering around san jose. the people here are cool it's just kinda weird being the only person that doesn't drink. o well. that will probably happen to me quite often in my life and i'm just going to have to learn to get used to it. yesterday three people got absolutely drunk. o there's a guy from newburgh here. (nisha he went to memorial) and there's a couple of people that i really like, but everyone is cool. there are only 13 of us so i don't think that any real clicks will form (maybe the people that talk about drinking all the time and those that don't) but pretty much everything's going pretty well.

It turns out that the first field trip is until june 26 (so 11 days) i thought it was only going to be like 7 so i won't be able to have contact with any of you until then.

PS. paul is butterfly sex ok? i definitely got a video of that for you :P

Monday, June 13, 2005


well i'm leaving for the airport at 3am on my way to costa rica. i have a layover in miami which should be pretty lonely alone. who knows? somebody from my trip might be on the same flight. that would be pretty nifty. i'd probably be too shy to approach anybody tho X 0. but regardless i have two books (Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher and Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut) and damn i have so much shit packed but i followed the provided list perfectly SO IT"S NOT MY FAULT THIS TIME!

so here are my promises for the trip so far:
paul--monkey sex pictures (don't they have to be in estrus for that??? who knows you might get lucky:P)
adriane--name a monkey after her. (now for some reason this might be related to her random likeness to monkeys but we love her WAY too much to let her know that shush!)
april--i'll take a picture of a pretty flower for you
sonu--jump off a waterfall cliff
nisha--have fun but not too much (who me? nooo!)
shaili and parin--um monkeys again (WHAT's THE DEAL WITH THE MONKEYS@!)
parents--good grades (that's going to be hard in costa rica)

any requests????? i'm all for them

i'm sooo giddy. i wanna leave NOW. hehe read the email from our TA's

dudes and dudettes,

This is Nathaniel and Maria, your two turbo-awesome TAs for the summer. So, with less than 48 hours left in the US, you're probably scrambling to gather all the last-minute items, those more subtle ingredients for that perfect summer concoction. Well, for the moment forget all logistical things like sunscreen, bugspray, and your 100% UV protected,ventilated,sweat-wicking, poly-tech REI t-shirt , etc, and try to think in terms of fun. When we're all maxin' out of the beach of corcovado or just kicking back in the station here in monteverde, you're gonna want your toys. Seriously, bring frisbees, cards, guitars, CDs, books, action figures, and the like. I'm not saying that there will tons of time for recreation, but these items will come in handy. oh, and you'll want cozy dresswear for the station during lecture time and those late hours of paper writing. k, that's it. get ready to have fun and work your little tushies off. see you monday.

i think i'm going to have fun. don't you? still nervous though. giddily nervous...does that make sense?

well anyways back to me. i'm going to be staying in San Jose (the capital) for two days. There I'll have my orientation and my spanish placment test (ick). Then I'll be going on a camping trip where I'll be living out a tent for about a week and get the dirtiest I've been in my entire life. (now that's kind of intimidating but don't worry i can do it!) After all of this, I'll be at the station where i'll be having my more conventional classes and there I'll have a computer so all y'all (damn why'd i go to school in southern indiana???) can email me or send me messages through livejournal. I'm almost positive that I'll be able to use livejournal there. If i don't have a message up after two weeks feel free to email me at I love getting mail be it snail mail or email/fast mail.

hey if you want a postcard send me ur addresses. real addresses. i'll see what i can do. email them to me tho. i don't want the creepies being able to find out where you live.

here's my address.
c/o CIEE
APDO 43-5655
Monteverde, Costa Rica

write me if you wish. i also have a calling card. i may call a couple of people. We'll see how much time i have.

I'll take 34 billion pictures and fill up both of my memory sticks. I'll put them online as soon as possible. even if that means i have to do it at school.

well i don't know what to expect so i'm just going to jump in and hope for the best. see you all soon! bye and i <3>