This day thou shalt hear the tale of a day gone by in which we met and shared the day with fellow travelers.
Just kidding! I’ll be writing like someone from this century. Today we went to the Cerro Seco reserve in the dry tropical rainforest. While there we did a few different things, but what I found most interesting were the people and what I learned from them.
One of the other visitors was a girl from Switzerland on her gap year working as a volunteer. While talking to her I learned a lot about Swiss education systems. For example you are placed in different public schools based on how well you do. Public schools are free, no college is the “best” or “better” school, and you are required to take the language you speak at home (German in her case), English, and another language. Because of this requirement, she is proficient in English, French, Spanish, and another language spoken in Switzerland while also being fluent in German. This fall she plans on studying either political science, geography, theater, or ecology.
Another friend I made today is Drew, a grad student here to study lice found on birds. As I have recently been informed, individual birds carry multiple different species of lice that have adapted to live in that particular part of the bird. For instance, wing lice are long and skinny, so they can hide from the bird as it grooms its flight feathers, while body feather lice don’t have to worry about that as much and are more plump. Now, don’t freak out Mom, humans can’t get bird lice because bird lice eat flesh and feathers while the lice that humans get suck blood. Other than lice, Drew and I talked about where we live. Turns out, for some deranged reason, he moved from the Boston area to Illinois. Okay… Well, maybe he’s not insane and he just likes the school, but still. He also wakes up at five in the morning to go birding for fun, so maybe he is a little crazy after all.
Our guide and the owner of the reserve, Marcelo, was another interesting character full of knowledge. His family has owned Cerro Seco for generations, and he has devoted his life to it. While on our nature hike, Marcelo showed us a tree that has green, thorny bark. This tree uses the thorns as well as the bark for photosynthesis and the thorns for protection. He also told us about how all of nature is intertwined, and no matter what happens to the plants or animals it will always affect the other. Marcelo’s funny antics while talking made him easy to understand even without Rayna translating.
Overall, today has been a day of learning not only from our guide, but from our fellow travelers as well
And that, dear reader, is where this tale comes to a close.