Family 2014

Family 2014
Family May 2014

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Art science and Costa Rica !

David and I are having a great time at La Selva Costa Rica.  Meeting new scientists and friends and everywhere we look we are inspired!

We are staying in houses at the biological station and use our rented bikes to go back and forth from the air conditioned lab and classrooms used for the OTS class that David is teaching to our little house and the centrally located outdoor dining and hang out area.

Meals are provided and are basic but very good.  The rice and beans combo is served at every meal (even breakfast) but this awesome local squash and other veggies are served and fresh fruits with awesome homemade salsas are out for us at all meals.  (I'm getting the recipes for the salsas!)

Most of the scientists and students here don't get into town but I've been 3 times!  Such a cute little safe town with the basics of a small community.  We have a driver for our course, Carlos, but a taxi is just $5 one way so no biggie.   Today my friends Laura and Andrea and I went into town to get snacks and a homemade piƱata for one of the students birthday party celebration tonight (adding festivities  to the scheduled student presentations tonight). See the pics of the pastries?   Yum!  And they also have Cuban pizza in town and I really want to try that!

Enjoy the pics!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year's Eve .... Costa Rica

We landed in San Jose Costa Rica into a peaceful and smiling country!  The taxi ride from the airport to the hotel was funny as our cab driver helped us get going with our Spanish speaking skills.  David made a mistake on a word and said something foul and our driver couldn't stop laughing and said he has the same problem when he tries to say "beach".  Maybe you can figure out what his accent sounds like?  Ha!

Our hotel is just 1 block from the university but the university is locked for the holiday.  The hotel grounds and buildings look colonial and have beautiful gardens and houses where the owners and family live quietly.

Oscar, he hotel receptionist, told us about a local Costa Rican restaurant so we walked there for dinner.  We asked a few locals what to order and we ended up with some fantastic food!  In this region they serve sliced and slightly fried plantains with guacamole, black beans, cheese and pico de gallo. (look kinda like a banana but not as sweet)   All of the restaurants and shops closed by 630 because everyone heads to the mountains, beach or is with family for New Year's Eve.

We slept with the windows open and heard birds and big firecrackers at midnight. For breakfast we had papaya, pineapple, the local breakfast dish of rice and black beans mixed with seasonings called "gallo pinto", eggs, meat and 4 cups of awesome coffee in a screened in porch.  Since we won't be able to have our traditional black eyed peas for good luck today, we had the substitute black beans and I'm sure that will work for us! We will also eat our 12 grapes....  The Costa Rican tradition for good luck in the new year.

We are headed to La Selva Biological Station soon and I can't wait!  Something like 400 species of birds there and now that I am a bird lady I am crazy about birds even more than before!!!!!  2000 species of plants!  We will be at La Selva for 8 days.  I haven't even arrived yet and I'm already hoping to return with the family!!

I'm making drawings and designs for new metal botanical sculptures and will try to share those on my art website...

Happy New Year friends and family!!!!

David and Rene