I landed in Costa Rica about 4 days ago. Upon gathering my luggage and venturing out of the airport I first noticed the humidity and the birds chirping a song of welcome. Five minutes and a bus ride later we made it to the airport hotel. Our time here consisted of meeting up with friends, wandering along the hotel corridors, and sleeping before our journey began the next day.
18 hours after arrival we poured cups of coffee, ate fresh fruit, and loaded our suitcases on a bigger bus that would take us to our new home for the next 7 weeks. About 45 minutes into the drive we found ourselves at a standstill for a good 20-30 minutes, waiting in the traffic. Luckily we had plenty to talk about as we had just reassembled from winter break.
A few hours later the road became steeper and rockier as we entered the mountains and approached the cloud forest. Some of the cliffs were at a worryingly high elevation, but the skilled bus driver weaved carefully through the mountain roads. This part of the journey called for naps – mountain roads are a one way path to motion sickness.
6 hours after leaving the hotel, we arrived on our campus. We live in little wooden bungalows in close proximity to our classrooms. There are trails a plenty to explore in the area and wherever the path takes you, be sure to bring a raincoat! The Costa Rican weather up here is extremely unpredictable. (It is sunny and calm outside now, but an hour ago it was raining with wind blowing so hard it nearly blew away my math notebook!)
A species guide would also be a good thing to carry around. My first night here we found a scorpion on the wall of my friend’s room and hours later we discovered another one on the floor of my room. Turns out it was a Bark Scorpion and not poisonous, but still rather terrifying to see so close to your feet.
Now, my fifth day here, I am sitting in the small library writing this post while looking out the window and into the jungle. Upon my prior travel experiences I’ve made lists with questions and notes about what I want to figure out before leaving that location – but for here I do not have these notes. I have come without any expectations and am looking forward to the bits of Costa Rica I will be able to discover while I am here.