cafe con leche later, I'm back in the states. In the last 10 days, I've seen an active volcano, hiked to two waterfalls, visited three national parks -- one via 5 am canoe ride, zipped across the cloud forest on a cable 150 feet off the ground, encountered countless fascinating characters, laid on beaches of both white sand and black, dipped my toes in both the Pacific and the Caribbean. I've seen iguanas, sloths, monkeys, toucans, turtles, porcupines, sloths, tarantulas, frogs, lizards, geckos, chickens, cows, bats, river otters, caimans, parrots, hummingbirds, coatis, and agoutis (real life ROUSes!). I witnessed my traveling companion getting bitten by a monkey, then helped him track down the requisite inoculations in a tiny Caribbean beach town. I've learned a lot about Costa Rica: a magical country where national priorities lean towards peace and the concerted effort to protect the nation's lush environment; where the lack of a military force opens up funds for education, and where the life expectancy surpasses our in here in the states.
cabina being pelted with coconuts knocked off the tree on a windy, rainy night. Savored bananas soaked in rum, creamy guanabana straight from the tree, swoony strawberry-pineapple pie, luscious batidos that seduce you into going for seconds, and fried plantains effortless bridging the gap between sweet and savory.