Thursday, August 20, 2015

Farewell to Costa Rica

It was so much fun to hear about everyones individual projects during our last day at La Selva.  They were all so different!  The California group focused on soil testing.  They even had us test our own samples.   The low pH of the local water made the results a little hard to interpret.  I am glad that we weren't the only ones experiencing technical difficulties.  I never would have thought about brining my own water to assure a consistent pH during field work.  The Frogger Loggers shared lots of frog sounds with us.  So many cute little croakers.  Then the Pennsylvania shared their vegetation measurements.  Hearing about the time they spent out in the field fighting to use equipment in the pouring rain sounded so familiar!  4 people doesn't seem like nearly enough when 2 of them are holding up umbrellas.  The plans people have to extend and share what they learned in their own classrooms when they return are truly inspiring.  
I had no idea ahead of time what an important part the projects would play in the ECO-classroom experience.  I  really didn't think that we would get as much data as we did in such a short amount of time.  It was so exciting every time we went out to check the camera traps to see what animals we had captured.  Looking back, I can see how we could have done so many things better, but we all learned so much though our trial and error field work.  
The trip back to San Jose and a night back at the Adventure Inn helped us to transition and start the process of thinking about leaving.  Everyone was strangely quiet as the bus pulled out of the field station for the last time.  
This was our last group dinner together.  After two weeks of rice and beans with each meal, eating at an Italian restaurant was such a treat.  Such a wonderful group of people!  Being able to share this experience with them was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.  I am so grateful to have been lucky enough to take participate in this program.  
Text messages and e-mails are starting to come in now asking us to share our experience with different local groups.  So far we are slated for a district inservice day, and something at the planetarium.  I guess we'd better take a look at what we'd like to say.  I am also supposed to share some pictures at our next faculty meeting.  That will be fun!
We had Open House last night and parents were telling me that they had read about my trip on this blog.  How much exciting is that?  Of course I had to include my favorite ocelot picture in my power point.  Hopefully there will be more to share as our follow up projects get under way, for now though, farewell to Costa Rica.  

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