Blog for May 19th
Written By: Jens Engelmann
Photos By: Sam Beasley, Debbie Chilson, and Google Maps
Early in the morning I took the airport shuttle from Gainesville to Orlando. I checked in, got my ticket, had food, and waited at the gate. Then the flight finally left, and I finally was on my way to Costa Rica, or so I thought. Halfway through the flight I realized that I had booked a flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and not to San Jose, Costa Rica.
I WAS ON MY WAY TO PUERTO RICO!!! Once I arrived in San Juan I had to admit to the flight attendants, jet blue workers, Dr. Brendemuhl, and Dr. Snyder that I went to the wrong country. I flew back to Orlando on the same day, and arrived in Costa Rica four days later. Puerto Rico is alright, but Costa Rica was much better.
Blog for May 19th
Written By: Rikki Schwarz
Photos By: Danielle Atkins, Nick Hardebeck, & Paul Lindborg
Most of the group arrived in Costa Rica around the same time on Wednesday afternoon. I know that I, personally, had a lot of preconceived ideas about what I would find upon my arrival. I am sure this is a common theme amongst most of the students attending this program. I figured the airport would be very simple, open air, probably a single terminal. I was instead surprised to see a fully equipped airport with terminals, gates, and a very American looking Customs line. I was further surprised to see a Cinnabon as the first thing right off the plane. While I walked to retrieve my baggage, I saw signs for Hertz Rental Car, Sleep Inn, and other American franchises. My biggest surprise was seeing a Holiday Inn with a full-sized Denny's right down the street from my hostel. I had no idea that San Jose was so Americanized. Although, given San Jose's (and Costa Rica in general) reputation for being a vacationer’s paradise, I guess I can see why it is so.
However; despite the American chains that seem to be lurking at every corner, local establishments are far more abundant. We are staying at a neat hostel with a nice porch, lots of native tropical flowers, and lovely architecture. After arriving at the hostel, the students from Purdue and UF met and as a group decided to take a walk to find something to eat. We wound up eating at a local fast food type of restaurant called "Rosti Pollos." We all talked and got to know each other a bit, waited out a rainstorm, and then headed back to our hostel for dinner and our first class. Everyone seemed to get along right off the bat, which was really exciting.
I know this is going to be the experience of a lifetime."
Blog for May 20th
Written By: Jackson Troxel
Photos By: Debbie Chilson, Garrett Mackey & Jackson Troxel
Early in the morning we left the suburb outside San Jose. We travelled more than 3 hours through the mountains in cloudy, rainy weather. We witnessed drivers passing in the mountain without even being able to see around the turns and curves in the mountains. Once arriving in San Isidro, we ate at a chicken place called Delji. After that, we went to a massive coffee cooperative called Coope Agri R.L. After learning about the production process we went to a taste-testing room and learned about how complicated it is to test the quality of coffee. While taste-testing we felt an earthquake shake the ground beneath our feet. We found out later that the earthquake was a 6.2 on the Richter scale and was about 70 km off the coast from us. After supper at our new hotel where we ate some amazing fish we had some meetings. Patrick talked about silage production and Ivan lectured about the different types of soils. Before we all retired for the night we got to listen to the Costa Ricans in their karaoke night and hang out for a while.
Blog for May 20th
Written By: Nick Hardebeck
Photos By: Danielle Atkins & Debbie Chilson
Today we sat in on a presentation about how coffee is produced in a Costa Rican farm operation called Coope Agri. The highlight of my day was when we got to do the coffee tasting. We had to rate 3 different coffee qualities and of course, I was the only student to say that the worst tasting coffee was the best. I got a hat in the raffle though!
Blog for May 21st
Written By: Danielle Atkins
Photos By: Danielle Atkins
Today we went to visit Ivan’s farm for a tour. We learned how to make mini-silos with Dr. Snyder and took a tour with Dr. B to learn about the animals. When we got off of the bus some of the group had to wear plastic booties over their shoes so that the soil wouldn’t get contaminated. While we were waiting Dr. B found some sugar cane and let us have a sample. After that the group broke up. One group started with Dr. Snyder in making mini-silos, and the other started on Dr. B’s tour. I’ve decided that silage still smells bad even if you use pineapples instead of corn. At least I didn’t seem to be as allergic to the pineapple version. After our group finished making a mini-silo we went with Dr. B for a tour of the pigs and cows. When our group went through one of the mommy pigs was giving birth, so as Dr. B gave his talk he stayed near so that those who chose to do so could watch the piglets being born. After all of the excitement at the farm we had lunch on top of the hill with a picturesque view. When lunch was done we headed to the sugar cane processing plant where we received a tour ending with a rooftop view of the surrounding mountains and scenery. I still don’t like heights, but the view was worth it. Finally, after everyone had a chance to shower we went to dinner at a second story restaurant with a balcony that let you sit outside and enjoy a view of the city when it wasn’t raining like crazy.