The best part of waking up…

Now that I’m back home, my mornings are much different than I had become accustomed to them being during the twelve days in Costa Rica. No more gallo pinto, no lush tropical garden, and none of the familiar faces I’d see every day.

At least I have Costa Rican liquid gold in my coffee mug today. I wish I would have bought more because I can’t get enough.

DSC_9689 DSC_9703 DSC_9711

Watching airplanes

We’ve safely landed in Fort Lauderdale, but now our 7:50 flight has been delayed to 8:40 now (but likely later than that) due to a mechanical issue with the plane. All we can do is sit and wait. As much as waiting sucks, I’d rather wait and have a safe flight. We’re trying to pass the time by reading, journaling (or blogging), and using our phones to browse the web or call our loved ones to relay our situation to them. I split a turkey sandwich with one of the other girls, but I’m kind of hungry again. Hopefully we’ll be boarding soon. If not though, I have the “Country’s Hottest” issue of People in my bag waiting to be read. Hello Luke Bryan!

Today was another great day in Costa Rica and also the last. It was raining all day as we drove up the mountain to Poas, and as soon as we walked up to the volcano the sky cleared. It was gorgeous! After we finished taking pictures we drove to another place to take a coffee tour. It was really interesting to see how the process of preparing coffee takes place.
It was also funny to hear what others thought of Costa Rica. As I went to wash my hands in the bathroom a mother walked in with her daughter. The mom reminded her daughter not to throw away any tissue paper in the toilet, and as she finished her statement the little girl said,”Mommy! Why do they keep doing this to us?!”. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. She was adorable. Something we take for granted; good plumbing.


Today and yesterday we had the opportunity to visit some beautiful national parks of Costa Rica. Volcan Irazu was around 45 minutes from our hotel and Volcan Poas was around 2 hours. Irazu is the highest volcano in Costa Rica at 3,400 m tall and Poas is the third tallest at 2,708 m tall. Poas is still active and you can see steam rising from the lake.Poas

Last night in Costa Rica

The trip today included the Poás Volcano and the Doka Coffee Plantation. Both sites were amazing. Now I am getting ready to go out tonight for our farewell dinner with the rest of the group. Dinner reservations are at a local restaurant high up in the mountains and offers a panoramic view of the city. I still need to pack my dirty laundry, hopefully I can fit everything in one bag so I don’t have to check my bag at the airport. Our flight to the US doesn’t leave until 1:01 pm which we’ll give plenty of time in the morning to get ready.

Healthcare in Costa Rica

Sometimes you just have to experience it to believe it.  A day and half ago I came down with a stomach virus so bad the hotel had to call a doctor.  I was amazed to understand this doctor was willing to come to the hotel within 45 minutes.  He arrived and asked me many questions about where I’ve been and what I ate, followed by the typical sick visit events, blood pressure, temperature, etc.  He explained the diagnosis and prescribed me medications using only my first name, which I noticed after was misspelled.  He hand wrote the receipt for payment, packed up his medical bag and wished me well.  Professor Lewis was able to fill my prescriptions at the local pharmacy without any issues.

Never would I ever have expected a doctor to still make house calls, prescribe medication with minimal personal information and let a non-family member to pick it up. This is in stark difference to our medical care in the U.S.  If I was in the U.S. this same process of exam, diagnosis, and fill of the prescription would have taken many, many hours whereas my experience in Costa Rica took just 2 hours.

While my experience is admittedly limited it seems from talking to the doctor about it that the red tape and privacy laws are nonexistent which enables a more streamlined healthcare system.

I’m better now, just in time to head home.  I would like to thank all my friends and hotel staff for taking such good care of me.

Looking forward to being on U.S. soil, but will miss my new friends here in CR.



All good things must end…

Today is our last full day in Costa Rica. Despite the clouds and rain this morning, we were lucky enough to be able to see the crater at Poas Volcano. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera on me, but everyone else took plenty of pictures of it. It was really cool because there was a little lake in the crater and smoke pouring out of it.

After that we toured the Doka Estate coffee plantation where we learned how coffee went from seed to cup. They said that Brazil and Colombia export more coffee than Costa Rica, but Costa Rican coffee beans are sometimes used in coffee brands like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and Green Mountain.

I’m packing my bags now and just heard the news about what’s going on in Iraq. I think might want to stay here in Costa Rica where they have no army! La país de paz. But I must say, as beautiful and peaceful as this country is, like Dorothy says, “There’s no place like home!”

Irazu – The beauty in the sky

In life we are always being torn between two opposite polarities, and settling somewhere in the middle where it can get exhausting and ugly.  Today, we visited the Parque Naciolnal Volcan Irazu and I noticed the beauty in living in the middle of the two opposite polarities, destruction and devastation when a volcano is erupting, lava and ash causing obliteration to anything in its path balanced, with what we saw today, the lush, fertile soils providing an abundant of vegetables and grazing fields for live stock for the people of Costa Rica to thrive on.  As we climbed higher and higher and pushed through the cloud tops, we arrived to Irazu’s crater and I felt as I was on another planet, where our moon, met the Amazon jungle.  I realized at that summit there is beauty in the balance of polarities, that you need both; soft and hard, hot and cold, light and dark, to be able to enjoy and prosper in the middle.

DSC_0681 DSC_0692 DSC_0694 DSC_0708 DSC_0711 DSC_0720 DSC_0739 DSC_0749 DSC_0753 DSC_0756 DSC_0788