My musings…

Posts tagged ‘work’

a little bit of everything

Okay, so I survived the white water rafting adventure in Costa Rica.  It was actually quite fun.  I went on a raft with a woman and her 61 year old mother and a Venezuelan guy who was about my age or a little bit older plus the guide.  The guide and I were the only ones who had been rafting before and we were on class 3 and 4 rapids.  Plus it rained in the morning before we went rafting so the water was pretty high and moving quickly.  It was a blast!  Luckily, we never fell out! 🙂  It was B-E-A-utiful!  At one time we went through a canyon and there was this old footbridge across the top.  It felt like we were on a Hollywood movie set.  There were a lot of waterfalls along the sides of the river and we saw some really cool touristy places as well.

In the afternoon, I went into Turrialba (the town closest to CATIE) and saw not much of anything.  I did, however, find a souvenir store and bought some pretty cool stuff.  That night was the long car ride back to San Jose.  In San Jose, I stayed at a pretty cool hotel with a huge bed, cable, and a private bathroom…moving up in the world of tourist hotels.  Haha!  I woke up super early in the morning because in Costa Rica it’s light outside at 5 am and got ready to go for a walk.  

I didn’t really have any destination or a very good map (plus streets in Costa Rica are NOT marked…) so I just started to wander.  I saw some pretty cool buildings, some government buildings, a couple of churches and a few parks.  Eventually I found a market which was also pretty neat.  I also found a strip club open at 9am on a Sunday at which point in time I figured I was not some place I should be and turned around and headed back to the hotel.  A short bus ride later, I was at the airport – just in time for the skies to open up and it to POUR rain.  Two flights and a van ride later, I was back in College Park.  Exhausted, but glad to be back as well.

Last week was spent catching up on emails and being busy with work things, a meeting at USAID and a meeting at the World Bank.  This weekend was relaxing but busy.  Elvis and I are rushing to fill a huge box with things for his parents and brothers and sisters.  If we send it by Friday, it will arrive in time for the fiestas and his Mom’s birthday.  We found a HUGE second hand store this weekend and bought tons of clothes and shoes for everyone.  I also found a couple of things for me.  I much prefer shopping in second hand stores to buying all of my things new.  For some reason I always find more things that I like there.

On Sunday Chicha and Meryl came over for soup and playing Luisa.  We also went to the lake near the house to walk for a bit since the leaves are changing colors and it’s absolutely beautiful.   The weekend went by way too quickly, but it’s okay, hopefully this week will, too.

It’s now COLD in DC – 53* is the high for today.  I don’t like that at all, but c’est la vie.  🙂  Guess I should start doing some work!

Here’s a link to the pictures from Costa Rica for those interested: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2023049&l=e388c&id=75900409.

Pura Vida

At least that’s what they say in costa rica – pure life.

I’ve been here almost a week and haven’t seen any of it…  I arrived late on Sunday night and boarded a bus.  I slept for the next 2 hours of the bus ride when we arrived in Turrialba.  We’re staying at CATIE the Center for Tropical Agriculture Investigation and Teaching (or something to that effect – http://www.catie.ac.cr).  It’s a very secluded place.  We’re kept inside the walls by a guard who works at the entrance and we’ve only been off campus once since arrival.   The center is used to do research and there are also Masters and PhD programs here…

Since Monday, I’ve basically been staring at a hundred thousand power point presentations about REDD – reducing emissions from deforestation and land degradation.  The idea is that countries that are forested and haven’t cut down their trees should be given an incentive for not cutting them down with the idea that cutting them down would release more greenhouse gases, leading to global warming and our eventual deaths (okay, so I wouldn’t go that far, but it will involve a lot of changes in all of our lives).  I’ve learned a lot about methodology, different projects, etc, and it has been great!  I’ve met  a lot of cool people from all over the globe.  And I’ve also learned that the real purpose of these conferences is not really to learn more information about the subject matter, but to meet people and make connections to improve your work – whether financially or otherwise.  Today was our big show – our project clinic.  We had 12 potential projects present, all of which have questions about methodologies or legality, etc, and we have them sitting down with experts in the themes and they are trying to figure out how to make their projects work.  Pretty cool.  I managed to escape to a little side room which has a good internet connection to be able to do this sort of stuff now, though I’ve mostly been able to check my email all week.

Tomorrow I’m going white water rafting!!!!  Then, hopefully on Sunday I’ll have a little bit of time to explore down town San Jose before I get on the plane to go back home and to real life.  Monday is NOT going to be a fun day.  I have a bunch of work that I need to catch up on.  I think I might stay home on Tuesday to be able to vote, plus I get a comp day for travelling on a weekend, so I might as well use it – I have to do a lot of laundry and Mom is not willing to share her new (front loading!) washer.

For now, though, I better post this before my internet connection disappears.  Peace, love and pura vida to all!