Costa Rica Trip, by Steve Machen
“¡Pura vida!” is pretty much the catch-all answer to almost any greeting of question in Costa Rica. “How ya doin’?” “¡Pura vida! “Was your trip to the beach good?” “¡Pura vida! “Do you like the food in Costa Rica?” “¡Pura vida!” Well, you get the idea.
Ask any of the eight of us who spent 18 days last month in Costa Rica about the trip and our guaranteed response is, you guessed it, “¡Pura vida!” Four square meals a day; warm and inviting families to stay with; daily four-hour Spanish classes with a 3-to-1 student teacher ratio during the week; exciting excursions during the weekends, including frolicking on a Pacific beach; boating through the jungle lagoons of Tortuguero National Wildlife Refuge amidst howler monkeys and caimans; watching life and death struggles between quetzal birds and toucans in Monteverde Cloud Forest, and ziplining through the forest canopy at 40 mph, 500 feet above the forest floor, to name a some of the highlights. As one student put it, “What a trip!”
Faculty sponsors of the trip were Steve Machen and Kristin Kalangis. Student participants were Clint Barker, Olivia Cicci, Niall Ridgley, Meggie Stone, and Emily Talbot.