Jan 10: Came Through Drippin’ (Drip, Drip)

Highlights of Day 13

            The bird group woke up early for the final time at La Selva and had their most successful day to date. They spotted a wide variety of beautiful birds including toucans, snowy egret, green ibis, and iguanas (not a bird, but still super awesome). The group grew in popularity this morning as our fearless leader Lindsay has acquired quite the reputation for being a fantastic birder. The whole class met up and enjoyed a delicious meal that included the staples of our diet for the past 2 weeks, but a little variety was added today as we had enjoyed some French fries with our rice, beans, and eggs. The group lingered at the breakfast table, basking in the warm morning sun, discussing project ideas and the plans for the day. It was quite a beautiful morning at La Selva, surrounded by good people and a great place.

            With high spirits, people split up to work on group projects and individual projects. Davi, Jared, and Danny went to the successional plots to work on setting up their insect traps. Abby, Sierra, and Elena went to scout out heliconia plants for their study. Jacob and Aiden measured different epiphytic ferns and relationship with mosses. Cassie, Lydia, Megan, Julieanne went to survey leaf cutter ant activity to plan out their study on the ant behavior and activity. These individual project preparations were sprinkled in with data analysis for group projects and finalizing papers and presentations for tonight. The students scurried over to have a light lunch in order to be well prepared for rafting in the afternoon. The unyielding rain over the past 2 days has resulted in exciting (but still safe) conditions for rafting. Our certified lifeguard Lydia would certainly save us if anything went awry.

            The afternoon was filled with action packed adventure and fun! The group had a fantastic time rafting down the Río Puerto Viejo in the Braulio Carrillo National Park. We splashed and paddled through class 2 and 3 rapids guided by energetic and fun-loving guides who pointed out plants, animals, ecosystem functions, and even a little Spanish lessons along the way. What a better way to raft than to pair it with a botany lesson. Each and every one of us was knocked out of the raft at one point on the course. We even got out of the raft and jumped off a cliff. One of the highlights was the fresh pineapple, watermelon, and butter cookies at the half way point. Another highlight was when one of the guides threw our beloved leader Lindsay off the raft, and Cassie proceeded to launch the guide into the water, claiming that “no one messes with Lindsay”. We paddled the afternoon away getting thrown into the white foam of the river and chanting Pura Vida. We finally disembarked from our floats and huddled our chilly selves in a van to go back to our current home, La Selva! The group was ecstatic and buzzing with energy as we sang some tunes acapella including Dancing Queen and talked about the amazing experience we just had rafting down a river together in Costa Rica. Pura Vida!

            On a high from the rafting, the group scarfed down a quick dinner of lasagna, bread, rice, and carrots, and scurried off to the lab to finish up work and present our group projects. The rest of the night passed quickly and slowly at the same time as we worked diligently to finish analyzing data to present. After the presentations (which are only getting more impressive by the day), the group tucked into bed to rest up for tomorrows early morning individual project set up and tour of the cacao plantation! Hasta Luego!

Vibe of the day: Splishing and Splashing

Quote of the day: “I feel like George Washington” Cassie (in the front of the raft)

“Why isn’t that bird called a giraffe heron”- Lydia to the rest of the raft

“They have a long neck like that” – Davi in response to Lydia

Rose & Thorn:

Rose- Definitely splashing through rapids with awesome friends!

Thorn- Missing the soccer game because of rafting… 🙁

Scientist Spotlight: Cassandra Ferrante – Meme master, rafting guide, and our very own Freshwater Marine Scientist

Favorite childhood memory in nature?

Growing up, my house is in the forest. We had a big tree going through the porch that has a glass solarium, and I used to watch all the deer and trees moving in sync. I love watching, and after watching I’d hike down there and play around in the forest.

What have you most enjoyed about this trip so far?

Being surprised everywhere we go. I have learned a lot and I am still learning, but I also know that there’s so much more to know about these sites. I am continuously surprised at each site.

Dream job?

Underwater archeologist. I like studying how things connect. Specifically I enjoy thinking about how humanities and science comes together. This job is about combining oceanography and anthropology, and I think it would be very cool.

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