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The McDermott Scholars Award covers all expenses of a superb four-year academic education at The University of Texas at Dallas, in concert with a diverse array of intensive extracurricular experiences, including internships, travel, and cultural enrichment.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Writing from Costa Rica

Today I went with 3 friends from Canada to Playa Buena Vista, which my mama tica told me was one kilometer away. After walking for half an hour, we met a woman on the way who told us we were still about a mile away, so the estimating was a little off, but it was a great walk. On the way, we saw (and heard) a lot of howler monkeys hanging from trees (and power lines too, which was a little disturbing. It looked like an anachronism... if that's the right word for that). We saw some newborn calves and horses on the way too, one of which ran up next to Jacklyn as if to pose for a picture and as soon as the shutter closed he ran off.

We had to cross a river before we could get to the actual ocean, which by the way, was bright orange. I guess it's from the silt in the river that flows out into the ocean, but it looked extremely bizarre. We had all been told separately, by Tyrone at the school and our respective Tico parents that if the river was over our knees, we shouldn't cross because of the crocodiles. I just kind of hoped they were exaggerating or joking, but when we got to the river (which was also bright orange and you couldnt see the bottom of it), we all hesitated before we crossed it. All of a sudden some random Tico comes out from the trees and we asked him if it was dangerous to cross, but he didn't answer because he had a place for a trachea tube and couldn't talk, but he led us across the river, so we assumed it was okay.

Once on the other side, we were the only ones on the whole beach which is about 4 kilometers long except for a few people who were on the other end who camp out to volunteer with the turtles that come there to keep them safe from poachers. We ate the sandwiches we brought with us, and before we finished lunch, the tide had come in so much that we had to move way back on the beach. It was at that point that we realized that the river was rising with the tide, and so we went to ask one of the volunteers about crossing the river to get back home. The conversation went something like this:

"What time is high tide?"
"Does the river get really high then?"
"But can we still cross it?"
"Should we still cross it?"
"No." (Notice that he didn't volunteer that information.)
"Is it dangerous to cross the river?"
"Are there really crocodiles?"
"Yes, they are 2-3 meters in size."
"Ok thanks bye!"

So there are 2-3 meter crocodiles, the tide is coming in, but it's not dangerous? Peculiar. Anyway, when we saw all the volunteers leaving we just followed them across, hoping that the crocs would eat them first if there were any hanging around. Don't worry - we all survived and caught a ride back to Samara. I'm really glad I stayed here this weekend -- I've had so much fun with my Tico family and friends. I'm going to miss them a lot!

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