Twice in a row now, I have had new and exciting experiences during the weekend. Hopefully I can pass on the excitement through writing and pictures.
El Sabado: I went with a small group of friends to Volcan Poas. Not only was it fun to get out of the city and breath the fresh, mountain air, but the volcano was seriously amazing. Volcan Poas is considered an active volcano, but we didn’t see any lava. After hiking a short way, we could look into the crater of the volcano, which had a small lake full of sulfur water (I think) and the lake was steaming the entire time. We also hiked over to a lake near the crater, which was also quite beautiful.
El Domingo: I was not exactly looking forward to Sunday because I knew it would be a homework day and I didn’t think I would get to spend much time outside. However, I ended up doing homework outside in my yard with my hermana, Maria Fernanda. The sun felt wonderful and the sky was so bright. Plus, since I was home all day I spent sometime talking with my family.
I spent this weekend in Limon with my entire LASP group. We spent the weekend studying and experiencing the cultural diversity in Limon. On the way there, we stopped at three different plantations: coffee, pineapple, and banana. All were very interesting! I sucked on the middle of a coffee bean, learned that pineapples grow in the ground (not in a tree!) and watched workers at a banana plantation/ packaging factory. After arriving in Limon, we were sent downtown in small groups to interview the locals about poverty and inequality in Costa Rica. Until recently, English was the primary language of Limonenses. One man we interviewed spoke English better than he spoke Spanish.
Saturday felt like three days put into one. In the morning we got to meet and talk with an indigenous BriBri leader. She explained to us their culture, religion and how their tribe has experienced discrimination and inequality. This woman and her family breed iguanas in order to keep the species alive. Iguanas are very important to the BriBri because they use their skin for drums and their SOMETHINGS ELSE. It is kind of like the buffalo to North American Indians. I was surprised that iguanas, of all creatures, are such an essential part of life to the BriBris. After walking around the iguana area, we headed over to the beach! Although talking with the indigenous leader was quite amazing and eye-opening, spending time at the beach was my favorite part of the day. The sky was blue and the water was perfect. My friends and I swam, ate fruit and empanadas and walked along the beach. The third part of the day was dinner and dancing at the Black Star Line community building. We had a delicious dinner while a live band played. After dinner the whole group got up and danced for a couple hours.
On Sunday we went to the English service at a Methodist Church in Limon, which was a really cool experience. Afterwards we drove back to San Jose and I will spend the rest of the day doing homework and writing a reflection paper on my trip to Limon. It’s strange how coming back to San Jose today felt like coming home.
p.s. I have a lot more photos uploaded to facebook. Check them out there. it's just too hard to upload photos to blogger.