Saturday, December 31, 2011

Friday December 30, 2011

Going home!

Our Costa Rica family--from left: Fabio, Rosi, me, Oscar, Jorge,  and Laura.

Yaya next to me in the middle.

Alvaro found this little guy in the road while we were driving to the project for the last time.

Me and Julio...

Teniente, our "supervisor" on the project.

At the airport in San Jose...

...then, above San Jose.

Sunset over Miami.

And home to my own creatures!

Tuesday December 27, 2011

Today, we began building a new habitat from the ground up…literally!  We gathered the ingredients for cement, mixed them together, then added water.  It’s just like baking your favorite cake from scratch, except you’re pushing the ingredients around in a wheelbarrow, hefting a shovel not a hand mixer, and you can’t lick the bowl!

It was really hot this afternoon, so instead of subjecting Safiya to all that shoveling and mixing, I put her in charge of getting some really good pics of the humming birds that hover around the pond.  She did a great job.

After dinner, we made empanadas de pina!  They smelled sooooo good as they were baking.  They tasted even better!

Monday December 26, 2011

Today, we took apart Benjamin’s old habitat.  We also put the finishing touches on the crate that we started building on Friday.  Safiya REALLY enjoyed using the saw!  When we finally got the crate inside the habitat, Benjamin wasn’t so impressed.  He was far more interested in climbing all over the cage than he was in his new bedroom…at first.

The couple from New York came back today with their daughter.  They are making a video highlighting the Project’s efforts to conserve and rehabilitate some of the local wildlife.  We saw them doing some filming, and they told us that once they were done they hoped to find a distributor for the film.  Wish them luck!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Sunday December 25, 2011

Feliz navidad!  Our top story, nerdy gringa catches Christmas fish…

Safiya and I spent our holiday hanging out at the lagoon with our extended host family, which included Rosi, her husband Fabio, their children, one of Rosi’s sisters, and her papi.  After fishing, we went back to Rosi’s parents for a snack and a rest.  I bought some edible souvenirs at la tienda de Rosi’s mami.  Nathan, if you’re reading, I got your Lizano! 

Saturday December 24, 2011

Ah, our first day of rest!  Safiya and I slept until a decadent 10 a.m.  Actually, everyone slept in; Rosi stayed up late last night making tamales, a traditional food served in abundance during Christmas celebrations.   She was tired, too! 

There was a lot of cooking today, actually, and Safiya and I helped where we could.  Rosi es una buena cocinera, a very good cook!  I am definitely picking up some tips from her.  There may be hope for me yet J

Those are oranges I'm cutting up.  The peel is supposed to be more green, not florescent orange like the peels on the oranges I'm used to!

In the evening, we went to visit with Rosi’s sister Cindi.  We met more relatives, including this lovely bunch…

…and we ate more good food!  I REALLY like it here!

The one bit of discomfort—these! 

If it weren't for Safiya's constant encouragement (read embarrassment) I would have spent a lot of time standing in a corner scratching myself!  LOL!

Yes, something has been munching on me.  And here is why.  Yesterday, in a wild fit of gringa bravado, I was purposefully lax in my application of bug repellent.  I figured hey, the Ticos don’t seem to need it, I’m gonna be like them.  I’ve been here all of five days.  I’m probably immune to being bitten.  So, I spent a large part of the day roaming around the project “unprotected”.  Travel tip number whatever…don’t do that! 

Friday December 23, 2011

If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morning…

And we did!  Today, we helped build a new crate to put in Benjamin’s habitat.  He likes to have a nice enclosed space to go to when he’s tired or afraid.  We worked with Teniente and a really nice couple from New York who were there to volunteer for just a few days.

We also got our first real taste of wet weather today.  They don’t call it the rainforest for nothing.  The weather went from zero to downpour in seconds, and the rain would stop just as suddenly.  Couldn’t get much work done in the rain, but we got some really nice pictures while we were waiting for it to stop.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Thursday December 22, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Today, we got to play!  We took the day off from the project and spent some time being touristas in La Fortuna.

So, I happen to have a mild fear of heights.  It is a fear that becomes LESS mild the higher up I go.  So, in typical Janvier fashion, I do this!  Take that, acrophobia!

Then, there was horseback riding.  I rode Herman.  Herman was a beautiful horse with a bit of a competitive streak; he did not like to be anywhere near the back of the herd (we went with the students from Texas A&M, so we were a herd)!  Herman did a lot of galloping today, and I did quite a bit of bouncing up and down, and a bit of hanging on for dear life!  It was so much fun!

Then, hiking the volcano—Arenal!  There are no words…

Also got in a bit of that all time tourist favorite, shopping for souvenirs!  Yay!

Back to work tomorrow, off to bed now.  Hasta manana!