Sunday, December 29, 2013

Day One: UGA Monteverde

Hello all!
We had a wonderful first day in Costa Rica. We are staying here at the University of Georgia's satellite campus in Monte Verde. We started the day off with some bird watching, followed by a delicious Costa Rican breakfast which consisted of gallo pinto, which is a traditional dish of rice and beans. The food is all local and the dairy is from cows that we walked past today, which is really awesome.
After lunch, we went to a presentation by Faricio, who talked to us about ecotourism and its importance in Costa Rica. Fabricio was very passionate about ecotourism and about the human connection with mother earth, which was very inspiring to us students.
After our presentation, we went on a nature hike where we took a crash course in tropical ecology and saw countless amazing species.
We mingled during dinner and got to talk to the super cool interns that work here. Each intern is stationed here for 6 months and they serve as the campus naturalists that lead our tours and hikes. There are also people here for several on-going research projects.
We just got back from our night hike, which was full of many creepy crawlies and some super cute sleeping birds.
See picture captions below:
Arum leaves. The holes are naturally there.

6 am birdwatching

Cecropia tree

Tiger rat snake about 5 feet long!

Tiger rat snake

Listening to Emily, the naturalist on the nature hike.

White-faced capuchin monkeys

Planting trees to off-set our carbon emissions to get to Costa Rica.

Service Learning. Planting trees to offset carbon emissions. 

Bird watching.

A beautiful overlook.

Football during free-time!

This is the strangling fig plant. It acts as a parasite and completely grows around an existing tree, sucking all of its nutrients out. Once the inner tree dies, the strangling fig remains.

A picture from the inside of the strangling fig where a tree used to be.

Welcome to U.G.A. Monte Verd

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