“Gravity always wins eventually”

Later: Right after I posted that blog post I saw a steely vented hummingbird feeding on pretty flowers just outside the student union.  It was so pretty!  It made me think of my hummingbird Daddy.

Then we had a fantastic lunch.  It is unusual that I feel the need to share this info.  We had lentils and rice, steamed veggies and avocado and mango salad.  After lunch we had classes, wooh.  Is that the reason we are here…?  During neotropical biology we admired the clay colored robin who was feeding her babies in the rafters of our classroom.  I recommend you Google all the animal names as I mention them.  Then we took a short nature walk.  The jungle is, in my most professional opinion, da bomb.  So I didn’t know that we are not just on the top of a mountain, we are on a volcano.  (Mom don’t freak out!)  But it is extinct.  There is one 5-10 miles away which is still active.  And apparently there are earthquakes sometimes but all of the buildings are wooden structures so it is ok.  (Mom don’t freak out!)  Regarding volcanoes and their tendency to turn into hills, Dr. Moran said “Gravity always wins eventually.”  That is practically the story of my life (and is the inspiration for the name of this blog post).

Anthropology class was great, except when I looked at the robin I felt like I was distracted whereas in biology I was still on task.  After class I tried to read and had a short 10 minute nap.  I was much more productive in the library.  (We have a library!)

Before dinner I chatted with Drs. Moran and Penner.  Moran said that Mississippi has the highest per capita distribution of writers in the nation.  Hellz yeah!  I also went to bed before 9 and it was great.

5/29 BONG
I saw hummingbirds chasing each other before breakfast.  Then during breakfast from the window we could see a pair of Euphonias (blue and yellow birds) alternating between guarding the nest and feeding the babies.  There were cute little open mouths in the nest!  I was very happy.

Then we saw a huge cane toad chillin’ in front of our dorm.  It was exciting to see but he was sick or old so that was disappointing.  And a beautiful Blue Morpho butterfly!  There is so much to see.  Like during our biology class we heard a three wattled bell bird mating call, which sounds like a BONG.  It travels 2 miles which is the loudest animal sound.  And during anthropology a motmot flew past and landed in the trees next to our open-air classroom.

You wanna know what fun thing happens here sometimes?  Pickup soccer games!  Whenever I got the ball from one of the Ticos (Costa Rican people) which, granted was not very often at all, the other Ticos would laugh at the boy.  It was maybe a little bit because I am a foreigner, but probably a lot because I am a girl.  So after that was lunch and a 5 hour break.  Know what I did in that break?  Took a hike!  (Clearly I am excited about all of these things.)  We saw 2 agoutis before we even left!  Then an army ant group was on the march carrying pupae.  We saw 3 more mammals total:  a capuchin monkey, variegated squirrel, and a coati.  It was a great hike.   We then tried to figure out where the trail spit us out, and saw the cutest calf.  I am jealous of his eyelashes.  We came across a couple of researchers birding and learned about a few of the species we saw.  For instance, a social flycatcher, since it is not a songbird, calls and does not sing.  Also the main distinguishing factor between the yellow crested elania and the great kiskade is that one has a white crown and the other’s has a gap in the back (more like a tiara).  We never would have noticed that alone.

We made it back to the student union for a much needed snack then showered and read before a 5 o’clock film about Costa Rica’s Monteverde region.  It didn’t rain during our hike but it did during the movie.  The rain was so loud on the tin roof that we had to cut the movie off because we could no longer hear anything.   On our way to dinner from watching the film, all I had was my waterproof bucket hat so of course I climbed into Chris’s poncho with him and looked out of the arm hole to make it to the union for dinner.  That was fun.

There was a leetle bit of drama at dinner.  There was a fire!  In an all wooden structure!  (Mom don’t freak out!  :-P)  And all of the Americans were freaking out and the Ticos were kind of like “que pasa?” as they ambled over to see what the problem was.  Finally someone realized there was a fan blowing on a gas burner keeping the food warm, so they unplugged the fan.   All better!  Until there was a cockroach in my room and lots of girls freaked out.  It was unpleasant.  Someone killed it but then it was still alive!  Zombie cockroach.

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6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Michael said,

    Do you perhaps mean that it sounded like a gong? Because I don’t think bongs make noise. Or do they? I guess I wouldn’t know.

  2. 3

    Sara said,

    Definitely Googled all the names of animals in this post. They are all beautiful!

  3. 4

    llewisraney said,

    You make me sound like an OPM!!!!! After Horse in a Hole Incident, I
    can deal with volcanoes, earthquakes and fire.

  4. 5

    Grace said,

    For all the times you said, “mom, don’t freak out” my mother would’ve had a slight heart attack…this blog needs more pictures, McKenna!!!! They would make me infinitely more jealous of you 🙂

  5. 6

    Marc and Linda said,

    Today’s our 33rd anniversary and what a neat gift – discovering your blog. We love your writing. We hope you get to experience a small quake just to make the experience complete!


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