Places on Earth

Until I went to Costa Rica...

I didn't know that.....

I love rice and beans for EVERY meal! Also, I like not cooking for EVERY meal!

They have 20 different kinds of bananas, and some of them taste like potatoes.

Goat cows. Cows really, but they're smaller and have long floppy ears like goats. Goat cows.

Macheti is pronounced like it's written, not with a "sh" sound.

You can pick one up at the local hardware.

Passion fruit looks NA...STY. Like frog eggs. Delicious though.

It's a passion fruit cupcake from the Wild Ginger Bakery in Tortuguero.  
See how it made me very, very happy? 
Also, don't leave your mascara on the counter at home.

Two kinds of ginger grow wild in Costa Rica. Lots of edible things do. Favorites: coconut, mango, plantains, rambutans, heart of palm (tastes like bacon!), guava (a legume) to name a very few. The slightly wicked looking pink and red fruits with green spikes are the rambutans. Inside it's like a big, extra sweet grape. They have a slightly different version in China, but that's for another post.

They say if you get Costa Rican dirt under your nails, a mango tree will grow. 

Maybe not, but if you build a fence, it will grow. 
Chop a branch off a tree, stick it in the ground, it just can't help it. 
Everything in Costa Rica grows.

Howler monkeys don't actually make a howling sound. I would say it's more gutteral, predatory, angry and terrifying. I was under the impression that whatever made that kind of sound would certainly want to devour me. But that was before I discovered it was just this amazing mama right outside our cabin. FYI: They wake up at about 4:30 and want to have a conversation about what happened last night. "Hey Phil, you still alive?" "Yeah, dude, but a jaguar got Stan." FYI: The rainforest is a little bit scary. 

The blue bags are covering banana bunches. The bunches are at least three feet long, and 25 of them go on a pulley system called a banana train. One young Costa Rican guy pulls the train from the field to the plantation. Only 10% of Costa Rican men are strong enough to do this. They don't just pull. They run. All day. 

 The spines of the pineapple plant are the seed. I just never knew that. 

Costa Rica leaves almost zero carbon footprint. 
They use geothermal energy and have huge recycling education programs. 

This is a recycling bin. It doesn't make me want to recycle. 

This is better. 

The geothermal energy comes from this (active) volcano, Arenal.
Arenal is cheeky. Red snakes of lava used to slither down the mountain, glowing at night, so investors built hotels with room views. Arenal promptly switched her flows to the other side of the mountain. Investors purchased buses to drive tourist to the other side nightly. Arenal promptly ceased all lava flows. She still vents gas. If she stops doing that, Costa Rica may have a problem. 

Costa Ricans, like three-toed sloths, know how to take it easy. They call it "Tico Time", and if you stay there long enough, it starts to grow on you like the moss on this sleepy sloth's back. Fruit, warm sunshine, the sound of the ocean and 100 different animals, and a hammock. It has a Neverland effect and I almost forgot to come home. 

Teens can be more appreciative of new experiences than adults.
Probably why I write for them. 

I did not bring home any viruses, parasites, insect bites or jellyfish stings. (Only a few of us did, and they were all minor). I did however, catch a case of Pura Vida.... Costa Rican for chillax. 

There's only one sun, but every night it creates innumerable paintings all over the world. 
One artist, a million canvases, and I got to witness this one.