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COS TA R

SAN LUIS DE MONTEVERDE SUMMER 2014

ICA


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Life then versus life now Then:

Disheveled, I roll out of bed and trudge downstairs to make myself breakfast. Still half asleep, I reach into the refrigerator for a carton of orange juice and a couple of eggs to scramble. The chill refrigerator air reeks of last night’s Chinese food and I slam the door shut thinking to myself that I’ll deal with the smell later. After breakfast, I decide to take a hot, twenty-minute shower and continue my morning routine by blow-drying my hair while listening to the muffled radio drone on in the background.

Now:

My mornings in Costa Rica are different. They do not consist of long showers, processed food from around the globe, wasted water and electricity and most definitely not leftover Chinese food. Mornings instead consist of a quick, five minute shower (the water is very cold), organic and local food, and a focus on sustainability.

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HELLO HELLO FROM

CAMPUS

UGA

COSTA

RICA


T h e u G A C O S TA R I C A C A M puS IS COMpRISed Of 12 p R I V AT e R O O M S n e S T l e d InTO The fOReST edGe. we SpenT MOST Of OuR TIMe OuTSIde On The pORCh, hIKInG The CAMpuS TRAIlS A n d T h e p l Ay I n G G A M e S I n The ReC ROOM.

El Dormitorio [dORM]


monteverde, costa rica

El Insecto [ I n s e ct ]

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May 14

Huffing and puffing, we venture down some of the campus nature trails. The tree canopy is magnificent

and houses various birds, insects and other wildlife. All my senses come alive as I hear birds calling and the wind whispering. I see the various colors in the canopy and feel the damp air on my bare arms. It was like nothing else I have ever experienced before.

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El Volcรกn La Vaca [Cow]

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[ V o l ca n o ]


may 16

waking up aT The crack of dawn, we venTured down To The organic dairy farm for a lesson in The arT of cow milking. Let me just tell

you, it is harder than it appears. The farm is absolutely gorgeous. After each of us had a turn attempting to milk the cows, we headed back up to campus for healthy breakfast and some hot chocolate.

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May 17

Another day of classes took hold of a majority of my time today. However, Julie and I found a way to break free of all the madness for a couple of hours. We hiked up

We eat local food, have solar panels on the roofs, participate in carbon-offset programs, use less electricity,

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to the organic farm where we were amazed by rows of lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, oranges, and cuadrados. These vibrant rows of natural food overlooked into the lush cloud forest composed of various shades of tranquil greens, blues and purples. Here, we met Fabricio. His speech was open and charismatic as he expressed his love for Costa Rica, the Earth and the overall need for land preservation and sustainability. Here, in Costa Rica, living sustainably is easy. We eat local food, have solar panels on the roofs, participate in carbon-offset programs, use less electricity, and have ultimately developed a balance between the environment and ourselves. Back in Georgia, the story is reversed. We eat food from all over the country and even the world. We rarely engage in tasks such as recycling, unplugging unused electronics, turning off the lights, carpooling, and eating locally. The question is: how can we completely change our deadaset ways of how we live back at home? We left with our minds wondering and our stomachs full with the cuadrados Fabricio offered us.


El Suelo [ S oi l ]

La Escalera [ La d d e r ]

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HELLO HELLO FROM

MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST RESERVE

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Las Hojas [leAfS]

S T R A d d l I n G T h e C O n T I n e n TA l d I V I d e AT 4 , 6 6 2 f e e T A B O V e SeA leVel And SeT wIThIn A C l O u d f O R e S T, M O n T e V e R d e IS A ReMARKABle plACe TO eXplORe And eXpeRIenCe.

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LaOruga [ C at e r p i l l A r ]

a Mariposa

u tt e r f ly ] COSTA RICA

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May 19

It has officially gotten to the point where I constantly smell like lemon and eucalyptus, basically the scent of my eco-friendly bug repellent. Let me just tell you, this is not a pleas-

I lathered on my potent bug sprag and traveled to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

ant smell. No matter how many showers, the lemon and eucalyptus scent prevails. I lathered on another layer of my potent bug sprag and traveled to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Our guide, Oscar, was eager to have us experience wildlife. He took us away from other groups and common tourist attractions and instead took us on our own little bird and monkey watching tour. By the end of the tour we had seen three howler monkeys, lots of hummingbirds, a tarantula, the colorful Quetzal birds, a porcupine and various insect and plant species. His fun and engaged personality kept us on our toes and excited for the wildlife encounters.

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Los Flores [flOweRS] STRunG BeTween TwO well pReSeRVed ClOud fOReSTS IS A SlIM CORRIdOR Of CIVIlIZ AT I O n . T h I S I S T h e h O M e O f T h e T I C O V I l l A G e O f S A n TA elenA.

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HELLO HELLO FROM

SANTA ELENA COSTA

RICA

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s a n t a e l e n a, c o s t a r i c a

Los Mangos [MANGOS]

La Ventana [window]

May 20

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All 26 of us crammed into a tour bus to ride further up the mountain to the town of Santa Elena. We wondered around the town trying our best speaking what little Spanish we knew

and figuring out how many colones are equivalent to one U.S. dollar. We enjoyed coffee flavored ice cream as we sat in the sun and took in the colors of the city.


El Cristal [GLASS]

Las Bananas [BANANAS]

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Las Verduras [ V e g e tab l e s ]

May 20

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santa elena, costa rica La Placa [ l ic e n s e p l at e ]

La Pared [ w A LL ]

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HELLO HELLO FROM

LA TROCHA HIKING

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TRAIL


El Cielo [SKy]

ThIS GRuelInG hIKe TOOK uS AROund An hOuR TO ClIMB leSS ThAn 1 MIle. The w I n d y, u p h I l l R O A d S A n d C h A n G I n G A lT I T u d e w e R e BOTh MAJOR ChAllenGeS fOR All Of uS.

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La Barandilla [ G u ar d rai l ]

Los Zapatos

We take another quick rest and witness another beautiful view of this lush landscape.

[shoes]

We chug water and them deem ourselves ready to climb again.

Tennis shoes were a necessity for the hike up La Trocha to see the sunset. Socks pulled high, laces tight, and bug spray every- This uphill hike took us where, we embarked up the around an hour and treacherous La Trocha. we constantly had to

stop for breaks before embarking on yet another hill. Each time we

stopped, our view of the land got better and better. COSTA RICA

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Las Nubes [ClOudS]

La Noche [nIGhT]

may 21

flowers bloom along The roadside in vibranT shades of oranges and reds. The sun slowly gets

lower and lower in the horizon and we pick up our pace. It becomes a race between us and the setting sun.

The nighT sky Takes over The scene. We pull out our The sun finally seTs on The horiZon and we wiTness a wondrous sunseT. We sit in awe and

flashlights and trek back to campus for dinner. The night air is cool and damp and filled by the harmonies of frogs, crickets, and other nightlife of the area.

admire the natural beauty of the Costa Rican of the landscape.

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HELLO HELLO FROM

SAN LUIS COSTA

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RICA


Puesta del Sol [Sunset]

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may 22 After breakfast, we hiked to two different organic coffee farms. We sampled various coffees and spent the majority of the morning walking around and witnessing each step involved in the process of making coffee for consumption. COSTA RICA

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El Café [Coffee]

La Bella Tica

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El Sendero [ T rai l ]

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HELLO HELLO FROM

ARENAL VOLCANO

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El Barco [ B O AT ]

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may 23

arriving aT arenal was an advenTure. our TransporTaTion consisTed of “jeep”, Then boaT, and finally anoTher “jeep”. This “jeep”

arenal was a magnificent place full of breathtaking landscapes in every direction we turned.

ended up just being a bus. We traveled on rocky terrain for around two hours, then hopped on our boat for forty minutes and then had another forty minutes traveling by jeep. It was a cloudy, misty day perfect for traveling. Arenal was a magnificent place full of breathtaking landscapes in every direction we turned. Upon arriving, we ordered a large lunch (not rice and beans for the first time in a while) and chowed down. After lunch, we checked out our rooms and marveled at the size of the rooms and the beds. Later, a small group of us ventured around the hiking trails in the rain and soaked in the beauty of this new landscape.

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VOlCテ] ARenAl IS The yOunGeST And One Of The MOST ACTIVe S T R AT O V O l C A n O S I n C O S TA R I C A .

El Volcテ。n [VOlCAnO]

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may 24

Today was our firsT full day in arenal. In the morning,

we embarked on a two and half hour guided hike. It rained the entire hike. Our guide got a little eager when he heard howler monkeys and he ran off to try and spot them in the distance. He was unsuccessful and we were all soaking wet. Once the monkey fiasco was sorting out, we visited the waterfall, the organic farm and various other trails. For a brief period, the rain and clouds cleared enough for me to snap a picture of the volcano.

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may 25

El Eucalipto [ e u C A ly p T u S ]

Las Ollas [pOTS]

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El Vista [ vi e w ]

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HELLO HELLO FROM

HOMESTAY DOÑA

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A L I C I A’ S


may 29 i packed up my backpack and saT anXiously while awaiTing for my ride To doÑa alicia’s house for The firsT nighT of my homesTay. We

all tried our best to communicate with one another, but it mainly resulted in a game of charades and pointing at different objects. We ate most of our dinner in silence. The main noise coming from the table was that of forks and knifes hitting the glass plates. I knew my Spanish was not up to par, but Doña Alicia welcomed my attempts at the language as she shoveled more and more rice and beans onto my plate. COSTA RICA

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La Planta [plAnT]

La LavanderĂ­a [lAundRy]

may 30

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miming ouT differenT scenes, i Christina and Zelmira joined us. We all was able To communicaTe more talked about our families, friends, school, effecTively Today. For dinner, we and various other topics. Later, we ven-

gathered around the table for a meal of tured over to Zelmira’s house for some rice and beans and a jumble of confused hot chocolate and sweet, homemade small talk. When cleaning up the dishes, bread. Today was a good day.


La Monta単a [ mo u n tai n ]

El Aguacate [ A voca d o ]

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HELLO HELLO FROM

SAMARA COSTA

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RICA


El Barco [ B O AT ]

l O C AT e d O n T h e w e S T e R n S h O R e O f T h e n I C O yA p e n I n SulA, SAMARA IS A pOpulAR G e T A w Ay. I T I S A l S O A p O p u lAR plACe fOR SnORKelInG, S u R f I n G A n d B O AT I n G .

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Las Conchas [ S HELL S ]

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june 2 samara’s laidback vibe is resTful, relaXing and eXacTly whaT i needed. Home to many coral reefs, Samara

is a favored destination for kayaking and snorkeling- both activities in which I was able to partake in. After seeing countless corals, fish and other aquatic life, we ventured back for lunch and found a spot on the beach to bask in the sun, collect shea shells and enjoy our last days in this beautiful country. Samara has treated me well.

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BYE BYE FROM

SOME PLACE BEAUTIFUL

COSTA

RICA


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Costa Rica Travels  

A journal documenting Ally's Costa Rican maymester travels.

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