Abby Walke-Studying Abroad in Costa Rica

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Things have been pretty busy in Costa Rica so I haven’t been posting that much. Two weekends ago, my study abroad group went to Puerto Viejo. The beginning of the first full day there was a lot of fun. We got to walk through a rainforest and spotted a sloth and two monkeys. Then we laid out on the beach, swam in the ocean, rode on a boat, and even went snorkeling. It was great! A little later that night though my roommate and I got sick from food poisoning so we stayed in our hotel the rest of the weekend. The hotel we stayed at was very unique and colorful with hammocks outside each room. The only downside was our room had a couple cockroaches. One girl even found one on her toothbrush! After that weekend, I was kind of ready to get back to school and classes.

During my Alternative Health class that week, we visited an Indian reservation. It was very interesting to see the different health practices they had and the different plants they used for healing. We got to learn about their culture and even got to crush sugar cane to make a sugary drink that we got to try. Overall, it was a really interesting experience.

            I also was able to go on another field trip that week. This time we went to the central market in downtown San Jose for my Spanish class. We were each assigned different medicinal plants and went around to the local sellers to ask about their uses and properties.

            This past weekend my Alternative Medicine class went on another field trip in a town right next to Puerto Viejo, called Punta Uva. Before we went to our hostel (owned by my professor), we made a stop in the rainforest. Unfortunately it was pouring down rain so it was a little muddy, but that didn’t stop us from hiking up the mountain with a tour guide. He showed us different plants and animals along the way. We got to see a lot of poisonous bright green and red frogs. We had lunch at the top of the mountain in a cabin that had sloths hanging out in trees nearby! The hike down the mountain was a lot more difficult with all the slippery mud, but luckily no one fell. We spent the rest of the weekend at the beach and swimming in the ocean.

            I only have one more week left in my trip. I’m excited to go home (especially since my parents got a puppy while I was gone), but it will definitely be bittersweet. My host family here is amazing and I will miss them a lot. We’ve had movie nights and Mario Kart competitions. They’ve cooked my roommates and I amazing food and made us feel right at home!

Pictures from the Quitirissi Indian reservation

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Crushing Sugar Cane at the Indian Reservation:

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And my new puppy, Ruby, waiting for me at home!

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