March 30, 2012
Friday March 30- Our last but very satisfying day: Community Service
The WHHS Students spent the morning at the public school in the Bamu community, 1 km north of Puerto Jimenez - the "Escuela Bambu", to accomplish two projects: Paint the Lunchroom and prep the area behind the lunchroom for a vegetable garden. This community service project was supervised by Kristin the energetic Peace Corp Volunteer living here in Puerto Jimenez. Kristin Lucas, from Virginia has been in CR for 1.5 years and her term continues through December 2012. She is fluent in Spanish and then graced our Lodge final dinner with her effervescent presence. A shining example of all that the Peace Corps represents.
After the hard work in the sweltering heat, the Cafeteria, now with a fresh coat of baby blue paint and the garden hoed and weeded to create three furrows, we were treated to an authentic CR lunch of spiced hearts of palm, CR Coleslaw, rice and beans and homemade burgers. Upon return to the Lodge, a siesta in hammocks under the shaded canopy lulled by the shrieks of the pair of macaws that live on the property and the howler monkeys, followed by a hot "cuppa tea" - Mrs. Ashdown's special (with ginger and lemon grass from the Cocoa Plantation) rejuvenated the sunburned children, who are now packing and preparing their acts for tonite's talent show.
March 29, 2012
John: Today we visited a cocoa plantation, where a dazzling Latin American man-guide (who had a striking resemblance to Alan Rickman) told us of the names and uses of a variety of plants, including lemon grass, ginger, star fruit, cinnamon, bananas, cashews, and cocoa beans. He proceeded to explain the process of fermenting the cocoa beans and then roasting them for production. We were then treated with a lunch of fresh fruit and plantation-made chocolate sauce. Our next activity of the day was by far the most breathtaking. Soaring above the trees on zip lines hundreds of meters long, we got a bird’s eye view of the rainforest canopy. This was one of the few times where we had rain fall, but I feel that in that moment we were able to experience the true rainforest.
Peter: During the rest period back at the lodge, Helen taught that sexy beast Peter how to make wire bracelets, while Mr. Gray obliterated any foolish enough to challenge him to a game of ping-pong. He ruthlessly slashed the air with his paddle; his eyes alight with the fire that can only be inspired when deep in the throes of the glorious battle that is the game of ping pong. The tension in the air could have been cut with a knife, so intense were those matches, I personally found myself breaking out into a cold sweat while simply watching them twirl about the field of battle.
March 27, 2012
In the Corcovardo Forest with a primeval Ceiba Tree.
This is just a short post until we recharge the battery. March 26 was another incredible day: the students experienced the complex ecosytem and challenges faced bu the Costa Ricans seeking to balance economic dvelopment and conservation: In the horseback ride through the rain forest we saw signs of illegal lumberinb and faced the conundrum of needing gravel paths for the jeeps to get us - eco-tourists- closer to the forest, with the realization that doiing so itself, upsets the delicate balances. The glorous thunderstorm that drenched us and cooled off our hardy yet trusted steeds, gave meaning to the term "rain forest". The other half of he group- all the WHHS boys went creeking with Mr. Schnure, where besides the POISON DART FROGS, they also enounteres group of tourists with no guide tramping down he creek, Again a clash of economis vs. conservation.
Next blog wil describe the actual experiences from their journals.
March 27, 2012
Today the rest of the WHHS students did their horseback riding in the Rain forest. Accompanied by Mr. Gray and resident equestrian Helen Ashdown, the WHHS Students did a different trail from the prior day's group because yesterday's heavy rain had caused many more trees to impede the trail. Adonnis, the certified Indian guide accompanied both the groups on each of their rides, when we saw squirrel monkeys, vultures, "cara-cara", pink spoonbills, Kingfisher, iguanas, wild pigs and as always a plethora of spiders of various sizes and patterns. Helen, did such a great job assisting the horse guides with tacking and un-tacking the feisty mountain horses, that they offered her a job!
The other group of Mr. Schnurre, Angele and Mrs. A and the Hobbs family under the expert tutelage of Gary Morgan went creeking on the Rio Carbonara and saw several poisonous dart frogs, varieties of skinks and were pelted , albeit unwittingly. by a pack of squirrel monkeys discarding their wild fig-like fruit. The best part was jumping into the 15 ft or more deep waterfall pool of crystal clear water. Mr. Morgan was most satisfied that all of our students followed his instructions and there were no "narrow escapes" on the slippery rocks or steep mountain trails, including no sightings of any serpents, much to Mrs. A's chagrin.
March 25, 2012
The Walnut Hills students at Domilocos in Dominical, Costa Rica.
The Walnut Hills High School group arrived in Costa Rica on Friday Mar 23 and all are ready for an adventure of a lifetime! After touch down in San Jose, they boarded the "autobus" for Dominical. The students enjoyed stroll through town and to the beach, and back to the hotel where they enjoyed a great meal at Domilocos Hotel and Restaurant. Saturday....back on the bus to the Osa Peninsula and Morgan's Jungle Lodge!
March 25, 2012
SUNDAY MARCH 25: After a restful night, in the rustic but comfy cabins, the soft sea breeze, punctuated by the howls of the howler monkeys and buzzing insects, we awoke to the delicious aroma of hot coffee and Mr. Morgan and Jamie Hobbs cooking up a batch of fluffy pancakes and bacon, accompanied by fresh fruit, including a ripe papaya picked out by Mrs. Ashdown at the supermarket. Mr. Morgan then announced a surprise. He had been able to contact Dantino Constantino, an elderly indigenous Indian who lived with his extended family on the border of the Cocovado national park, who had greed that we could visit his property and walk through to the forest. Marvin drove the group to the bottom of the hill of Dantino;'s property and we trekked up the 500 ft of the muddy drive to be greeted by Dantino and his extended family. Adonnis, the guide translating, introduced us and we had a chance to look at their kitchen and around the garden. We then hiked out 1/4 mile into the primeval rain forest. Adonnis explained the variety of trees and wildlife: the milk tree whose sap is used for stomach ailments; the bleeding tree, with its red sap used to make glue, the montepalo vine that encircles a tree and snuffs out its life. The students were enthralled with the variety of "critters"; cradling the exoskeleton of the horseshoe spider whose venomous bite causes horse's feet to gangrene. The hour long hike under the awe inspiring canopy of magnificent original growth forest silenced even the otherwise rambunctious teenagers.
More to follow: Courtesy: Philomena Ashdown
Love the rivers
Our heritage is based on a profound love of our rivers. The founders had it in their blood and it is here where we like to cast light on the great outdoor experience.
P R E V I O U S P O S T S
- FLMSP Trail News, April 2016: Monarch & Bee Lifeline
- Walnut Hills Students feeling the Pura Vida
- Have you fooled with Mother Nature Lately?
- St Mary's Group arrives safely in Costa Rica!
- The St. Mary's School's 8th graders Prepare for their Big Adventure!
- Friday March 30- Our last day: Community Service
- March 28 update from John and Peter
- Day 3 - Creeking and riding in the Rainforest
- Day 4
- Walnut Hills High School Arrive in Costa Rica
A R C H I V E