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"It is the journey which makes up your life."

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Tarzan Diaries

I had a free day yesterday, so i decided to hike to this waterfall... and on the way there was a huuuge vine hanging in the middle of the trail just waiting to be swung from. It was on a slope, so you could grab on, get a running start and swing thirty feet up into the air, just missing the trees. That's right ladies and gentlemen, I got my tarzan on. Wheeeeeeee!!!

The field section of my course has started. From now on I´m living in various field stations and doing biology for the rest of the semester. Just got out of Monteverde. I was a little disappointed to find out that my field station wasn´t technically in the cloud forests or in Monteverde preserve itself, it was just connected. But it was beautiful nonetheless. We had really good weather, so every day from the deck at the field station we had a view of Arenal volcano and the lake below it. It was the back side of the volcano, unfortunately, so we didn´t get to see any lava, but it did smoke and rumble a little for us. The forest is amazing in these mountains. Intimidating and dense, draping itself over huge steep hills.

I have had a shitload of stuff crammed into my brain. Frogs are amazingly cool! Apparently the extinction of the golden toad from Monteverde in 87 was part of an amphibian crash world wide, for many many species. I was also happy to meet our frog expert. He never studied biology... came to CR with a degree in spanish and literature and has just done all kinds of research assistanceships and studied on his own.. he´s the one who wrote and illustrated a bunch of field guides. Mark Wainwright. He took us out on night hikes to catch frogs. We found these phosphorescent mushrooms that night. It was so amazing! If you turned off all the flashlights long enough, you would slowly notice hundreds of these tiny glowing blobs, everywhere! I´m learning how to identify plants to family. Lena taught me how to weave baskets from vines. She's into wilderness survival, after dinners we had little weaving circles and sat around talking.

So, here I am on my way to Nicaragua. We are staying the night in Liberia before crossing the border tomorrow. The boat ride should be long, but I´m excited about this island.

I wish Cooper was with me. I'm normally so engrossed in the moment that emotions like that don't even surface. But I love that boy so deeply. I miss him. Especially in the quiet times, when I should have my head on his shoulder. Like last night when the sun set and the generator broke down. Red and black clouds behind the distant volcano, and the fire flies came
out on the uphill slope. Hundreds of them just flickering in the trees. Kelly and I nearly missed dinner just watching them. For all the work, there is very little stress, and I find myself immersed in wonder sometimes. I have been happy here on a very basic kind of level. Like the bedrock shifting beneath my daily life.


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