sábado, 15 de enero de 2011

The first week at 9 degrees north

Sorry for the delay in a new post, lots has been going on so hopefully I don't ramble too much...

Week one flew by, as I suppose I should have guessed it would. Orientation at UPeace has come and gone, a few hikes have been had, a few adventures and educational experiences have transpired and overall I think I'm converting to "tico time" pretty well. I still lack both a watch and a cell phone, though I feel that the watch situation may need to be remedied at some point. (Though, "que hora es?" is one of the Spanish phrases I have mastered.)

I look forward to UPeace a great deal though. Every morning will start something like this:

But even after having coffee in a beautiful place, the program and people at UPeace are great. Unlike at American, we've really been welcomed on the red carpet. We had a lovely reception, at which I got to talk to our program coordinator about my substantive research project (I'm thinking of working on something related either to ecotourism and environmental attitudes or coastal development.)

But, in our relaxed first week, we've continued to take advantage of being in Costa Rica to do some hikes that are recommended by the guide books, and some that apparently don't have maps associated with them. First, we visiting the obligatory coffee plantation:

It was a bit touristy, but they had a fantastic coffee shop there. At least I know where everyone's coffee care packages will be coming from now...

The coffee stop was on the way to Poas Volcanom which I hate to say, was a bit disappointing. The hike was pretty short over a paved trail and apparently it is pretty hard to find a clear shot this time of year of the crater. Perhaps we should have done our homework a bit better to find out a good time to see it but once again, slightly mislead by a guide book. Here we are at the top anyway:

But, fortunately for us, there was a sign telling us we were close:

Interesting thing about the central valley of Costa Rica - the altitude here is approaching that of Denver. Something that is easy to forget when you're surrounded by tropical flora and fauna, but, when you go on a jog or something like that you remember that there still is in fact less oxygen.

Anyway, after a fairly unimpressive Poas hike (though I mean, you can google it, the crater is spectacular) we decided to do something ridiculously American (and chauvinistic) and went to Hooters. For the wings, you know.

Anyway, this morning, we hiked up one of the mountains surrounding Ciudad Colon, on the other side of the valley from UPeace. It was a great morning, about 2 miles each way with a thousand feet of elevation change. Nothing to brag about but a nice morning jaunt:

Along the way we stopped at a coffee plantation:

Kind of cool to see them pre roasting.

Anyway, that was this week, hope all is well wherever you find yourself!

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