Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Costa Rica: First Official Blog

Hi family and friends, tonight's blog is brought to you by Eliana, Mariah, and Sydney!

The last few days have been absolutely chaotic. On our flight to Houston we had to fly around a storm coming which delayed our landing by an hour. Luckily our next flight was delayed, unfortunately, it went downhill from there. When we got on our 8:00pm flight we sat on the runway for about 2 hours, before the pilot told us deplane. Considering the Liberia airport isn't open 24 hours, our flight was too late, meaning we would have landed without air traffic control and radio dispatch. After we deplaned we had to wait 2 hours to get our vouchers for our hotel and breakfast. On top of that, we ended up waiting another hour for the shuttle, because they kept filling up too quickly. We didn't get to bed until 1:30am and we were back up and at the airport by 5. After our flight, everyone was relieved to finally arrive in Costa Rica. We breezed through customs and got on the bus.

Day 1:
When we got to Finca la Anita we had lunch, then went on a chocolate tour. We had cacao beans and nibs, and lots of chocolate! Afterwards, we conducted our first experiment on microbes with Dr. Pinto, using the scientific method. Following our experiments, we ate a fantastic meal; then we watched a few science videos about the leaf cutter ants and how canopy animals have adapted to their habitats. Then we happily went to bed.

Day 2:
Once we awakened from our slumber we were surrounded by constant downpour, which lasted a majority of our day. After breakfast we were taught by  Dr. Bouwma and Dr. Pinto how to properly extract a fungus garden from a leaf cutter ant colony. Then, we went out into the field (rain forest) to see very interesting demos on the extraction for Atta and Acromyrmex colonies. throughout this experience in the rain forest, we saw soldier ants, worker ants, along with the Queen and multiple fungus gardens. After learning an abundant amount of educating information, we were ready to have an adventure. So of course, we went zip lining. Along the way, we talked to some locals and met some adorable dogs.While we went we heard howler monkeys and seeing a beautiful toucan. Zip lining was so much fun, the views we amazing and our guides were interesting fun characters. When we got back we had our dinner and afterwards we went back to the classroom. The first part was fun and educational. We built homes for our ant colonies and went over our data from the preverous experiments. The second part however was extremely scary - we spent time in nature.. We ventured out for a night hike, looking stylish with our trusty head lamps, with Dr. Bouwma and Alan. We saw many frogs and spiders (SCARY), but we under constant threat of snakes and bullet ants(EVEN SCARIER). Finally the day came to a close and here we are writing this blog.

Hope Minnesota's treating everyone well, peace out and goodnight from Costa Rica!!!


Eliana, Mariah, Sydney


  1. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. Zip lining looks like it was a blast! The details behind your science experiments are interesting to hear about too.

  2. So the adventure began in Houston! Your first days sound like they have been full of fun and learning, day and night! Thanks for sharing the details - it’s nice to hear what you’re doing and experiencing.
    It’s rainy in MN - that’s what we’re experiencing!

  3. Just gotta roll with the travel surprises! Glad you made it and enjoying the experience. Love to hear about your run ins with the local fauna. Looking forward to updates on the ant research and some mouth watering descriptions of the smoothies!

  4. Great blog! Enjoying hearing about your “abundant amount of educational information” and the “scary time spent in nature”. Not sure I want to know what a bullet ant is!

  5. This was a great blog. Every day is going to be such an adventure for all of you. Enjoy each moment!


Tues June 26

Hi everyone! This is Liz and MJ with our last blog post of the trip!  We are giving the kids the night off so they can get packed up ...