Word press is not letting me add pictures again this year we are going to try blog spot



Lots of walking!

June 22, 2013

We woke up this morning to the sound of light rain and a feeling of excitement for the day! Before we started out the day, we ate a wonderful breakfast consisting of fresh fruit, beans & rice, eggs with ham, and juice. After, we began the day with the science portion with Dr. Adrian Pinto. He showed us how to cultivate an ant colony and gather the chamber and fungus without collapsing it. Then he allowed us to attempt to dig our own colony. One group was able to dig one and another group wasn’t able to find the fungus and will continue their digging bright and early tomorrow morning at 7 before the rest of the group wakes up for breakfast.

After a delicious lunch, our group pilled into a small trailer pulled by a tractor for a nice muddy hike to the river. The tractor ride consisted of lots of flying branches, bugs, smiles and laughter. We rode as far as the tractor could pull us, we got out and started our slippery, down-hill nature hike with a guide. About half way to the river, it started to pour rain. The trails were extremely slippery, enough so that Jake and Drew surfed down the mud. Arriving to the river, Tyler was the last to arrive because he an announcement that, “I have escaped from death once again!”. In other words, he stepped on a deadly poisonous snake in which Pablo saved the day and killed it with his machete. After a much needed swim in the river, we started our long hike up-hill, back to the tractor. We finished our hike with a fun and muddy ride back home.

After arriving back at the ranch we had approximately one hour to clean up and take some well needed showers. Before dinner we took another hike through the forest. This was a night hike specifically dedicated to finding night creatures in the forest. Our greatest discovery was a toad tree (and Annie’s furry creature of whom she was terribly afraid of and turned out to be a rock).

We ended the day with observations of last nights petri dish experiment. It was interesting to learn about our various discoveries on microbes around the environment. Pictures can’t even describe the beauty of this country and our amazing adventures as a group. We have really almost become a family.



Annie and Camille


Let the science begin!

June 21, 2013

Today we woke up at 7 and began to prepare for our first day of science with Dr. Pinto. We went to breakfast at 8 and had a meal of beans, rice, eggs, papaya, watermelon, white pineapple, toast with homemade marmalade and butter . After breakfast some of us took a well deserved shower. After our short break of showering, Pablo, one of our hosts, talked to us about the importance of a sustainable farm starting with showing us how to prepare heart of palm, we sampled it and then we watched him make “ceviche” with fresh ingredients from the farm that we later had with lunch. Then he introduced us to much of the biodiversity on the ranch. One of the most important things we learned today was what plants the leaf cutter ants will attack or shy away from. Two of the plants the leaf cutter shy away from are the plantain and the banana leaves. These contain a large amount of fiber which may have to do with the fact that leaf cutter ants are not attracted to them. Nobody knows the true reason why ants do not attack these two trees but the amount of fiber within the leaves may have to do with it. Finca la Anita is working to become a certified organic ranch. Pablo cut a white pineapple open out in the field and we all got to eat it, it was so juicy and delicious.


After another wonderful lunch we headed into the local town named Colonia Libertad. We stopped and had Costa Rican ice cream and Pablo climbed a tree and threw down “waterapples” for us to taste. Then we stopped at the local store and got some Coke and treats.


Late afternoon we met with Dr. Pinto for the first time. We had an opportunity to introduce ourselves to him. We learned about the scientific method. After that, we worked in our research groups to conduct our first experiment. We worked to try and find out if microbes were on all surfaces. This was our first opportunity to use the scientific method. We used petri dishes to try and grow the fungus. After dinner we ended the day watching a movie that starred Dr. Pinto doing research on bullet ants.


Jake and Tyler


Logan sleeping

Logan sleeping

DSCF0066Day one of the trip to Costa Rica began an arduous task of getting on one plane and another, although we love flying and getting to connect with our peers. We arrived to HEAT and humidity! We stopped and ate at a wonderful establishment called Comidas Pald Verde that served a great plate of food and a refreshing mint lemonade. Logan had an startling encounter with an Iguana. After lunch we “enjoyed” a long, long ride up between the volcano’s to Finca La Anita. The views were awesome (if you could stay awake to enjoy them). We arrived at Finca La Anita and got settled in our cabins while the second year students introduced us to the family dogs. Step one was getting our rubber boots and testing them for comfort on a short walk in the rain forest. Next, some of us decided to go for a dip in the pond. Followed by free time to get familiar with our surroundings and our cabin mates. Before dinner we saw a bunch of huge toads the size of softballs by the science work area. We had a delicious dinner of fresh sea bass, fresh steamed vegetables and a dessert of Cajeta (a coconut nougat) At the end of the day we all went off to our cabins and socialized and typed this blog. Finally off to bed. Night! By: Drew A-G Logan Olesen

According to the Delta website, our return flight from ATL to MSP arrives at 6:12pm on July 2nd.  This is different from the time listed on the itinerary given to parents and students at the last meeting.

Our departure time remains the same, so we’ll see you bright and early!

Welcome to Hawks in Costa Rica, a place to find out what the Hawks are doing each day during their trip, see photos of the Hawks in action, and get more information about upcoming trips.

We hope you’ll enjoy following our adventures in Costa Rica!