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Day 10 Beach Day, Last Full Day

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Day 10 Playa Cubuyal

Big shout out to the Grunin Foundation for helping to make this research trip happen for some of our students! We finished with a great day at the beach. Last night we saw a rare cactus blossom that only blooms for 1 night.
The same flower today

The gang in the tree outside our lodgings at Horizonte Research Station. 


Many lizards at Horizonte. 

We are staying at the blue dot and drove to Playa Cubuyal today. 


Playa Cubuyal ... Hermit crabs everywhere!




Soccer on the beach

The Hakuna matata phrase of Costa Rica ...said Poo' ra Vee' da
Barbecue dinner on the beach.






Thank you parents, family and friends that made this trip happen!

Day 9 Good Bye La Finca Anita. Hello Horizonte Field Station

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Day 9

We had a sad goodbye and headed to Horizonte through Liberia. It is very hot at the research station.

After taking the night to relax and decompress from our final presentations, we had to bid adieu to La Finca Anita Ranch this morning. The climate is quite different given the fact the Horizonte research station is located in the dry forest. No more sporadic rain showers, woohoo!


We took a 3 hour car ride to get to our new base of operations, we had 2, 30 minute stops. On the way we took a much needed pit stop. The excitement was palpable in the bus when we passed a McDonald's. After heaps of begging, the drivers were nice enough to pull over and let us get some much needed trans fats. For most of us it was our first time eating something non-organic in the past week. There was also a market where some of us were able to stock up on junk food.

We then continued our journey, finally arriving at the Horizonte research facility, which is in close proximity to the Liberian airpo…

Day 8 Science & Sloths

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Day 8 Breakfast was eggs, homemade cheese, fresh fruit, multi-fruit, fruit juice, and plantains.

Mrs. Wallace held her last yoga class at La Finca Anita and 3 Germans, a mom and her 2 daughters came today and 2 yesterday as seen below,  Mrs. Girtain did yoga as well. The rest of us slept because we were up very late finishing our research and then stayed up to talk with our friends.

Mrs. Girtain was happy to see some of the Pocklab sensor data from the Cacao fields. She was up early a few days setting sensors in 5 different locations in the Cacao fields (Bean used to make Chocolate). Pablo, the owner of La Finca Anita wanted light data on the Cacao fields.




All the science groups did practice runs of their final Ant research presentations with Dr. Adrian Pinto. His graduate students, Allan & Ibrahim help groups on last minute questions.

All the groups presented. We can't believe our Ant research is finished and over.








The 3 Science Amigos, Allan, Adrian, & Ibrahim!  Adrian P…

Day 7 Science and Sun!

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Day 7 A gift of Sunshine!!
We had a full day of sunshine! The mountain tops all cleared of clouds and we got to see beautiful views of the volcanoes.


Lex, Jackson and Drew (from Texas) got to use the Pocketlab  data sensors for their project. They are collecting temperature readings from the in-take and out-take tunnels of 2 leaf cutter ant species. They are also mapping the distribution/location of each of these types of tunnels.



Seth, Lana, Bukky and Anna (Texas) did more Gram staining for their bacteria project investigating if any other fast growing bacteria are present in the fungus garden.

Jesse, Karlee, Wendy and Lucas (Texas) found a good journal article about ants not liking grapefruit so they are trying different combinations of grapefruit leaves and rinds to keep leaf cutter ants off of the Cacao trees.

Lolo, Dylan & Clara worked on a project testing leaf cutting in light and dark environments.


We sang Happy Birthday to Zach after our Coffee Break. He turned 17 in Costa…

Day 6 Rincón de la Vieja Volcano

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Day 6 Rincón de la Vieja Volcano which means Corners of the Old Woman

We started the day with breakfast, eggs, rice & beans, fresh fruit, homemade marmalade & toast. Our great drivers Eddie & Christian took us to the National Park Rincón de la Vieja. We hiked from the wet forest to the dry forest. 


We swam in a waterfall and in hot springs. The hot springs smelled like sulfur!


Pablo packed lunches for us. We were starving when we got back to the old cattle ranch house at the entrance to the National Park. 

Seth serenaded us.



Lex liked torturing Mrs. Girtain with her music but fell asleep.