Costa Rica, Part 1

In 2006, I had the great fortune to travel to Costa Rica with my daughter’s fourth grade class. Our group spent 15 days in this friendly, stunningly beautiful country, including a three-night stay with a multigenerational family on their small farm. The primary focus of the trip was to teach the children about the importance of conservation of all aspects of the natural world. On a personal note, the highlight of the trip was our stay on the small island of Parismina where leatherback turtles come onshore to lay their eggs. In small groups of 5 people, and beginning at midnight, we were allowed to enter the beach area where the turtles were laying their eggs over many days and hours. We were not allowed to photograph the turtles (light is disruptive to them during the egg-laying process). As these animals are so large, their trails from the ocean to their nesting sites remain for days after they have returned to the ocean. A picture of one of the trails follows. Of all the sights and sounds I encountered while in Costa Rica, the experience of watching a leatherback turtle come up from the water, slowly pull herself on land to her nesting site, lay her eggs, and return to the water exhausted and spent, has remained the most moving for me.

The following are a few pictures I took while there. I apologize for the quality of the pictures – often I was busy watching my group of kids while trying to take a few shots – but these will give you an idea of the magnificent variety of life in this beautiful, peaceful country. Enjoy!

Grounds of our hotel in Parismina
The cabin my daughter and I shared with another family.
Remains of the trail made by a huge leatherback turtle from the ocean to her nesting site and back home to the ocean.
I can’t claim credit for this gorgeous photo. One of the other parents took this shot from our boat from Parismina back to the mainland.
Another of my blurry photos. This little howler monkey had as much fun watching our kids as they did watching him. Incredibly loud call!
A stick bug. Our guide enjoyed watching our children’s amazement at the huge variety of bugs of his country.
The could forest of Monteverde. I instinctively ducked my head as we entered the forest even though the canopy was many, many feet above. The transition of light to darkness upon entering the forest is similar to entering a dark road tunnel on a sunny day.

I hope you have the opportunity to visit this truly impressive, warm-hearted country. It is beautiful.

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