Throwback Thursday: Costa Rica circa May 2002

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I think I’m ready to go on a trip again… Tuesday night I was working on a project that included looking through old photos. Once upon a time I scanned my Costa Rica Scrapbook and I was looking through it… I decided to share it. 1) Don’t judge my pictures…. 2) Don’t judge my handwriting! 3) This was a time in my life when people actually called me fat to my face…. I’d hate to see what they say about me now!

I’ll add a few stories along the way….

So this really wasn’t made for 12 American’s… lol. We were cram backed in this van like sardines. There were times we added even more people. And we had 2 of us on this trip that were prone to getting car sick. The Van was a standard and I spent a lot of time sitting on the console in the front so I didn’t get sick. The other way to keep from getting sick was I kept taking motion sickness pills and they’d knock me out. So I got made fun of for sleeping a lot of this trip away if we were in vehicles.

The other funny was when Dr. Rowling got stuck in the back of the van and he constantly told us to get the hell out of the van because he wanted a picture.

This was at the first Agriculture college we visited. We were there for only the day.

This was on the drive to the second Agriculture College where we stayed a couple days.

This is actually the first time I hand milked a cow. I’d done it by machine before, but never hand milked. Their dairy cattle were much different than ours too. So we milked before breakfast and that was the milk that everyone used for their coffee. I thought I’d try some. I just about threw up. Have you ever drank warm milk?

Dr. Andreason picked on me a lot, especially early mornings (I don’t do early mornings). He thought it would be fun to see if the cow and the milk could shoot milk all the way and hit me in the group. I got soaked a couple times by goat milk and cow milk….

This place was HOT and DRY!

This was exciting as it was my first time to the Pacific Ocean. So far I’ve only been one other time….

We waited for the sunset and then went out to eat. At the restaurant we ate at they ordered seafood. I don’t do seafood, but I remember being conned in to trying some.

This was our last day at the second Agriculture College.

The manager at the Tilapia farm we stopped at was actually an American who relocated to Costa Rica.

This bird was drawn to me.

Once we crossed the Continental divide it was Cold.

Trish was huge into birds. Dr. Rowling conned her in to trying to eat like a bird.

So at the bottom of the waterfall, btw the water was freezing, I was sitting on a rock in the middle of the water. Some people (tourists) asked if they could take my picture. I told them yes and felt kinda special, but one of the girls that I was with said that they only took my picture because I was in the shot they wanted. Wham… knock a girl down :). haha. See, people weren’t so nice to me sometimes.

So seeing Volcano Arenal you typically don’t see the clouds move away from the top. This was a rare occasion.

We went zip lining. That was flippin phenomenal, but every time I’d take off down the rope I’d scream. One of the guides kept asking our professors if I was going to survive or if I was going to have a heart attack.

So the cabin here… the first night we stayed there, the girls in the next room (people with us) had a HUGE spider in their shower. We went over to see the spider and got ourselves locked out of our room so at midnight we had to get the owner out of her bed to come let us back in our room. Woops!

I ate fresh coconut. I wasn’t crazy about it….

We also tried Sugarcane. Still not a fan.

Did you know Iguanas eat bananas?

We stayed with host families in this town. I have NO CLUE who lived in the house I stayed in. I know a couple of the boys went to stay at friends houses so that we could have beds, but other than that I have no clue who was family and who was friends because people were constantly in and out of our house.

We got to go white water rafting, class III, IV, and V rapids. If you’ve never been White Water Rafting, stop what you’re doing and GO. NOW. You’ll thank me!

I would like to say I know who all was in this family but I know Mom, Dad, and one of the sons. From there… I have no clue if the rest of them in this picture actually live in this house or not. I can also tell you in Costa Rica is if you don’t eat their food, they take offense. I hate beans. I ate more beans in 2 weeks than my whole life. I always ate them first so I could hide the flavor with the rest of the food. And whatever you didn’t eat for one meal was incorporated into the next meal. Our host mom could cook though!

The host families cried when we left. Our host mom actually said a blessing on us as well. We also learned their postal system. Our address was something like on the road past the grocery store next to the white mailbox. Okay so that is a little made up for the exact address, but the system is not made up.

So we wanted to go into Volcano Irazu. It is dormant so you can take tours but we didn’t get there in time so Dr. Andreason thought it would be a smart idea to climb up the side. We didn’t make it and coming back down I slipped and fell, sliding down on my butt and totally scratched up the back of my leg. I might still have a scar back there, not sure.

I’m not Catholic but their cathedrals were GORGEOUS!

Now this church was actually supposed to go to Greece the country but the ship that it was loaded on to piece by piece made a mistake and took it to Greece, Costa Rica. By the time they hauled it to the town and realized that was incorrect, it was so expensive that they decided to keep it.

So while we were in our host town, they did my hair in braids. These 2 ladies worked on it. I sat there for 3 1/2 hours and had 96 braids. 2 of the other girls had it done too but theirs didn’t but a couple hours. Mine lasted the rest of the time and once I got home until my mom took it out. It took mom 1 1/2 hours to get them all out. They charged me $10. I gave them $45. To make sure they took it I hid the bigger bills in the smaller and walked away before they could see what I gave them.

Another fun fact about Costa Rica is it is 1/3 the size of the State of Missouri or 1/2 the size of the state of Iowa and has more diversity that the whole USA.

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