Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The rainy forest

Today we switched focus from biodiversity to eco-tourism. This means we went out to a local sustainable farm for breakfast this morning. Many of us weren’t too happy at getting up even earlier than previous days to do this but we once again piled into the cars at 6:15 this morning on our way to Finca-Albergue. This small village is at a higher altitude than Tirimbina (1000m or 3000 feet) and the access road was not meant for minivans. My van driver once even had to ask all the guys to get out and push while the rest of us sat in the front of the car as dead weight to give the driving wheels more friction (MIT students never stop doing physics). As we caught up to them, we saw Erin – a TA – rescuing a horse from some barbed wire. Later up the hill two of the three vans were once again stuck. After a couple failed attempts, everyone was forced to walk up the hill while the cars stayed parked at the bottom.

The reward was worth our while though. The farm served us the most delicious breakfast ever, all of it home made by the farmer, José and his wife. We had cheese and traditional round bread, rice and scrambled eggs, fresh pineapple, what they call a cake that tasted like the most delicious corn bread ever, a hard pastry filled with guava jam and the best drink ever to top it off, it was very warm and

Today, and a little last night, we also got our first taste of rain in a rain forest. The sound is beautiful and the coolness it brings refreshing. The radio students aren’t as happy with the rain because it means that they need to take extra care with the fragile equipment and keep it out of the rain. The best way to do this is to cover the microphone in a condom! Now, the radio people are already being somewhat invasive because in order to get good sound you need to hold the microphone rather close to someone’s mouth. Imagine the scene when the protected microphone is held up to a speaker’s mouth!

I hope tomorrow will be as exciting as today was!


  1. Your trip so far sounds super awesome! I'm a terra-alum (Mission 2009) and grew up in Costa Rica, and my family is good friends with Jose and his wife. Their drive towards conservation efforts despite hardship is truly impressive, and I'm really glad you guys got to visit their finca. I miss the food they prepare, it's amazing!
    Best of luck on the rest of your trip!


    1. Wow! Hey, Rodrigo, how've you been? What a neat coincidence--it should have occurred to me to ask you about Costa Rica before we went.

      By the way, before going we listened to most of your year's piece and the students *really* liked it. Wish you'd heard them talking about it.

      Wonderful to hear from you, even indirectly--give a yell some time to catch up.


    2. Hey Ari, good to hear from you!

      Yeah, it's a neat coincidence. My family has some land right next to Jose's farm, so we've known him for years. I hope you guys got to see some interesting birds.

      I'm glad your students liked the Chile piece. I'm looking forward to listening to their radio show!