by Becca Hurliman
All 19 students arrived on time in front of the kid’s club, and all 19 students were quite eager to be scientists for the day. They were decked out in hats, long pants, and closed-toed shoes, just as we had requested. “If you don’t come properly dressed, you can’t go” we told them firmly.
Final permission slips were handed in, bottles of water were purchased, and the kids piled into the air-conditioned van provided by Bahia del Sol. Then we set off to Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Mixto Conchal for the first of four activities we’ll participate in throughout this year. On this particular day, we were observing the dry forest. Clip boards and magnifying glasses in tow, we started off on our journey after a review of the scientific process.
First things first, we had to check the temperature: 38 degrees Celsius. For those of you who don’t have celsius to fahrenheit conversions quite down, it was 100 degrees F. We had a warm, sunny day for our walk in the forest! We stopped frequently along the path to drink water, see if we could count how many ants we saw, and record the approximate number of various tree and plant species. We practiced the names of different animals and seeds, and furiously scribbled them down in our observation worksheets. Among the most exciting forest creatures we cast our eyes upon were some adorable monkeys and a small armadillo.
After the hike the kids gulped down juice and Chicky’s (some of the best little cookies in Costa Rica) and hopped back in the van for the ride home.
Many thanks to Reserva Conchal and Bahia del Sol for making these trips possible!