Saturday morning I sat at my kitchen table and told my parents how much I didn't want to go on our science field trip. I was optimistic prior to getting our schedule which was jam packed with hiking and research in the rainforest. My dad was making fun of me talking about all of the bugs I was going to have to touch and my mom was comforting and let me know she was going to have a good dinner waiting for me when I return on Sunday night.
When we arrived to at the Tirimbina research park we were surprised with being able to stay at the hotel instead of the research center - this saved us a two hour hike to get to the station. At first I was excited, but quickly kind of bummed out given that I am here to grow, not stay in hotels all of the time. We set down our stuff in the rooms, ate lunch, and got dressed fur our afternoon hike. Most all of the girls sported spandex, big t-shirts, and huge rubber boots; which is actually super comfortable. We hiked all along this path and went over a bunch of suspension bridges, including the largest one in Central America. It was amazing to see all of God's creation in full force. I was blown away by how impressive nature is and how much enjoyed myself. We had some free time. Caroline and I went on another hike to where all of the chocolate trees grow and we are the only ones that hate chocolate! It was actually interesting to see how chocolate is made and where in nature it comes from. After dinner we went on a bat tour. We learned how they caught bats, how they live, how to tell them apart, and then we got to pet some! So neat!
Sunday was my favorite day by far! We went out to the research center to gather our data for our sciencec reports. It's hard to rememer that I am here for school. Again we sported our spandex and huge water boots. We got to the river that was only supposed to be 6 inches and it was between 3-4 feet! The earthquake that happened in January has completely changed the ecosystem and economy here. Crazy. Ellen and I were the first to walk in the river. We held hands to try and support each other because the rapids were so strong. It was so much fun to play in the river with everyone. Our teacher let us hang out while she decided to what to do about our research. We tested some of the water samples which was difficult because of the rapids. After collecting for 1/2 an hour we classified the organisms we found. Our professor needed us to find a different stream for the classes in the future to research. We hiked a little further down and found another stream that didn't seem nearly as deep. Again, Ellen and I, held hands and ventured into the water. This time everyone else stayed on land and just watched. While we were dancing in the river, it started to rain. It was so magical! I can't describe how amazing it was to be in the middle of the rainforest, splashing in a river, being rained upon, the sun shining, and being surrounded by luscious green. I still get chills when I think about it.
I am now back safe and sound in Sabanilla and can't wait to return to the rainforest in Monteverde in 4 days! :)