Showing posts from June, 2013


Have you ever gone to a place completely open to new experiences and people? If not, you definitely should. Simply letting go and fully allowing yourself to enjoy your vacation makes it that much more worth it.

This past weekend we traveled to Playa Jaco on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Again, since we are all looking to spend the least amount possible on weekend trips, we took a fairly inexpensive route. So, no judgments please.. and I will definitely say that it wasn't bad at all. There will be many more such trips.

The cheapest mode of transportation (aside from walking or riding a bike of course) is taking the bus. We were able to take a direct bus from Turrialba to San Jose for about $2.50. Then in San Jose we got on a collective bus to Jaco which was $3-4ish. Total it took us about 4 hours on the bus to get there.. and for less than $10, I think that is a success. Yea, you may not be riding the bus with the, uhhh let's say.. "cleanest" of people, but honestl…

Santa Cruz

We've been in Costa Rica for two weeks now. Dr. Vargas still says we are in the honeymoon stage. I suppose it could be true. We are finally settling in to our official class schedule and have all of the orientation stuff done. So we are getting down to the real business now.

I'm getting used to the customs and lifestyle down here. A kiss on the cheek to greet someone. Close-toed shoes when eating out. Walking or riding a bike pretty much everywhere. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables (seriously, if I'm not skinnier by the time this is over, something is wrong). Washing clothes and waiting 2 days for them to dry. And slowing down my pace of life in general to live more on "Tico time." Even my Spanish is slowly improving! It is an incredible experience just to be able to morph my lifestyle into this new culture and pick up their traditions and everyday habits.

On Friday we took our first field trip to Santa Cruz to see the Turrialba Volcano and visit a sustainable …

Jurassic Park

Saturday was definitely one for the books. We've only been here a few days, but are already making connections and seeing things that mostly only locals know about.

We were in town one afternoon getting necessities and we met a store owner who has a son working at CATIE as an intern in the Director's office. Ironically, he speaks English perfectly and has lived in the States for most of his life. So we made an effort to stop by the office and introduce ourselves (something I would normally never do if you know me well haha). We got his Facebook information and got in touch over the weekend. He took us out in Turrialba for our first night on the town and helped us find our way, and Saturday we went with him to the gorgeous Aquiares waterfall in the mountains just outside of Turrialba.

It would have been really hard to do without Sergio. The trails weren't the most visible and certainly not paved. So, somehow we were lucky enough to meet him and experience Costa Rica with so…

Settling in

It's incredible, really, to think about the small things that we take for granted every day. We've been at CATIE for about 2 whole days now. We are all moved in to our apartments and have come across some things that we don't really have here or don't have the funds to purchase. Now let me tell you, we are living on a budget. And a serious one at that. Instead of spending our money on luxury items such as  coffee machines, we are saving it up for more traveling.

Since here a coffee machine would cost us around $40 we took a more simple route and went for a percolator of sorts.. it's basically a wooden stand with metal to hold up a filter/sock-type thing (see the picture below). We boil water on the stove and pour it over the coffee grounds in the sock and into a coffee mug. Now I don't know about you, but I never would have thought to try something like that.

We are so used to our convenience items and technology that takes care of everything, but we don't …