The Beginning of it All
Today marks the second anniversary of my first trip to the tropics and the sheer joy I feel when I reflect on the experiences I have had and beauty I have seen in that special place remain as prevalent and consuming as ever.
That first visit to Costa Rica holds a very special place in my heart. I became involved with a program called the Forman Rainforest Project as a senior in high school. FRP is a program in which high school juniors and seniors undertake an eight-month tropical ecology class taught by a world class team which culminates in a two week excursion to remote locations in the Costa Rican rainforest. During the class and trip to Costa Rica I learned a broad range of topics associated with rainforest conservation including basic GIS, conservational law, and identifying many animals, insects and birds.
Leading up to our departure to Costa Rica I was both excited and nervous. It was both my first trip out of the country and longest time away from home. I recall my apprehension fading the moment we were able to see Costa Rica from our plane. The mountains were beautiful and I had never seen so much GREEN or a real volcano. As we got off the plane and felt the heat and humidity and smelled the lush surroundings I knew I had arrived somewhere special.
Over the next two weeks I traveled to parts of the rainforest few people ever see and met and worked with an incredible team of biologists who were conducting research including extracting silk from spiders (don’t say ew), studying wildlife habitat, wildlife bioacoustics, and even tracking venomous snakes.
I am forever grateful to the Forman Rainforest Project for exposing me to the experience of a lifetime and one that has inspired me to pursue a career in Environmental Science.
P.S. I am feeling incredibly envious because the Forman Rainforest Project leaves today for Costa Rica! SO JEALOUS!!