S t u d e n t   J o u r n a l s

Subject: Dry Forest Exploration
While visiting the upper regions of Santa Rosa National Park, we took a pleasant loop of a nature walk. The ones who felt especially fatigued or uninterested were able to stay back at the bus, but the rest of us embarked on a very relaxing stroll. The walk turned out great: every few meters we stopped to look at something that our guide Marcus could tell us something about. The highlight of the walk for me was the bat cave. It was this little cave/tunnel that passed under the path and was completely infested with bats. We tried to get betting pools together for anyone who’d run through, but there were many difficulties in passing through the cave. Constantly, there were at least seven to ten, and sometimes as many as thirty or forty bats, in the air at a time: also, it smelled awfully of guano, and was very low and slick. I was close to doing it for a hefty sum, but then I was told bats can carry rabies and I decided that I didn’t need any of that in my system.

Another fun thing we experimented with were the ant lions. They make little craters in the sand and sit at the bottom waiting for a victim to slip in. We fed them a couple of ants for our entertainment and watched as the ants struggled in vain to escape their death trap. After we stopped feeling morbid, we left the poor things alone and continued along the path, trying to translate the trailside plaques from Spanish.

—Doug W.




Rainforest Reaction:
It’s very sad that this is the last night I’m going to spend in Costa Rica. It’s been a great trip with many surprises and great memories. I’ll never forget my early morning runs through the rainforest and talking to the loud howler monkeys: it’s not every day that one has a chance to do that! It seemed that there was something bizarre and extraordinary around every corner. There was an abundance of huge, unforgettable trees. The strangler figs will always stick out in my mind because of the way they wrap themselves around their prey and grow on top of it. I never expected so many different types of bugs and little animals, but the closer I looked, the more critters appeared. Overall this trip was nothing like I expected but was still a great experience.

—Doug W.

Marty’s Journals
  Arrival
  April 10, 1998
  April 11, 1998
  April 14, 1998
  April 15, 1998
  April 17, 1998
Student Journals
  Gwen R.
  Martha B.
  Brian D.
  Sarah F.
  Doug W.
  Allison T.
  Becky H.
  Sarah F.
  Tim B.