Well I have a lot to write about in this post. BUT let me just start off by saying that there’s only 3 more days until I come home! I AM SO EXCITED! But over the past few days I have had some really amazing experiences here so let me write about them before I forget too much.
On the morning of August 8th (Friday) Jenna and I took a taxi with Cody to the San Jose airport at 7 AM. Cody was returning home to Georgia that way, so we were able to take a private taxi ride with him instead of taking the public bus! We got to San Jose at about 10 AM and then took a taxi to our hotel, Hotel Cacts. Then Jenna and I went to KFC for lunch because at the time we thought it was a good idea. We both got the “Big Box” combos which came with a TON OF FOOD. It tasted good but I regretted it after.
We went back to our hotel and at about 1 PM, Susan and Erin (Nitro) showed up. They are also Iaccoca Interns from Lehigh who spent the last 6 weeks at Los Cusingos, a bird sanctuary in Costa Rica. We went out to lunch again with them, and then headed down the main street of San Jose to the Costa Rica Gold and Currency Museum. In the museum we learned the history of Costa Rica’s currency, saw a modern art exhibit, and looked at many ancient gold artifacts from pre-Spanish times in Costa Rica. After finishing at the museum, we walked around San Jose some more and then got dinner at a diner-type restaurant. I don’t remember if I said this in my last post about San Jose, but in my opinion it is not a very nice city. It’s very dull and dirty looking and it’s too busy for my taste. Also, there are no plants or trees in site in San Jose, which is extremely different from every other place I have been in Costa Rica.
After dinner we returned to our hotel and waited for Professor Morris to arrive in San Jose from the US. He showed up around 9 PM and checked in with us. Then around 10 or 11 PM the four of us headed out to go to Club Vertigo (or so we thought). We had read about this club online when trying to find things to do in San Jose and according to the internet, it is the “best club in Central America”. We were pretty pumped to check it out, but since none of us have phones with roaming data here in Costa Rica, we had trouble locating it. We were lost, but we knew we were pretty sure we were close to it. So when I saw a group of people around our age walking past us dressed in clubbing clothes, I suggested we casually follow them. We walked behind them and ended up in a long line to get into a building with music coming from it, which we assumed was Club Vertigo. After waiting in line for about 45 mins, we finally got past the bouncers and into the club, but it was called Club El Techa, not Vertigo. We were a bit confused about how we ended up in El Techa, and later we found out that the two clubs are in the same building so we somehow got into the line for the wrong club. I was a bit bummed we missed out on the “best club in Central America”, but El Techa was fun too. They were playing some Latin pop music that I didn’t like too much, but people were dancing like we do in America rather than doing the Latin partner dances. And every once and a while they played some Kesha or Macklemore which was nice. We got a lot of attention in the club because we were gringas. It was a really fun night!
We purposely stayed out pretty late that night because the next morning we had to catch an 8-hour pus to Puerto Jimenez and we all wanted to be tired so we could sleep on the bus. We thought our Professor would be accompanying us, but that morning at breakfast he broke the news to us that he would be taking a 1-hour plane ride rather than the 8-hour bus so that he could spend more time in San Jose. I was pretty mad! We wasted an entire sitting on a cramped, hot bus while he got to take a plane ride there. He better have paid for that out of his own pocket. So on Saturday, August 9th, we spent the majority of the day suffering on the bus, then took a 45-minute taxi ride from Puerto Jimenez to Osa, and then chilled for the rest of the night.
At Osa we lived in a cabin with three bedrooms. Each bedroom had two sets of bunk beds with mosquito nets . There were also two bathrooms and a common area. The showers were cold but it was so hot in Osa that the water felt good. The only problem was that a few minutes after you dried off from the shower, you would be covered in sweat again. The dining area was inside of a large pavillion, and this was also the only place that had wifi. The grounds at Osa was a lot like UGA except it was much hotter and I saw a lot more wildlife there (toucans, howlers monkeys, squirrel monkeys, macaws, spider monkeys).
The beach was a 15 min walk from where we were staying. The path that lead to the beach went through a river, which meant that I had to be carrier over the water several times by different people because I didn’t have rain boots and I didn’t want to get my hiking boots wet. The beach at Osa was a sea turtle protection zone, so the only people who were allowed on it were people staying at the Osa wildlife station. We spent our first morning at Osa (August 10) doing beach cleanup. We walked along the two-kilometer stretch of beach that Osa owns and picked up any trash that we saw. It didn’t take as long as I think our professor anticipated it would, because we were done in about 2 hours. He told us we were free for the rest of the day, but Osa is in an even more remote location than UGA, so the only thing we could really do was go for a hike. We hiked about 45 mins to a lagoon, and then came back and went swimming in the river that lies between the Osa station and the beach.
The next morning our assignment at Osa was “trail maintenance”. This meant taking a bunch of round-end shovels into the forest and hacking away at the trees and plants to try to make a new trail. It was terrible, I felt like I was going to sweat to death. I was pretty annoyed that we were using the wrong tools for the job, and I was upset that this was our “community service project”. I didn’t feel like I was serving the community, I felt like I was free labor for Osa. But anyway… We were pretty tired for the rest of the day, but before dinner we decided to go down to the beach and see if we could go swimming. There are signs posted that say you shouldn’t swim because of the rough waves, but there were a few tide pools that were big enough for us to swim in. Jenna and Erin tried to go swimming in the waves, but after getting knocked over by a huge wave, they decided against it.