As I sipped my coffee this morning I took breaks from my deep ponderings to scratch the newly acquired mystery bug bites. With my eye mask holding my wild, frizzy hair out of my face I yelled at Ho to shut the hell up. (Remember that Ho is our dog who lives on a rope in the backyard) Another dead dog was found on the side of our death calle this week. This is the second dog to get hit by a car and die in the last two weeks. The main sentiment about dead dogs is one of annoyance, mainly because there is no “dead dog clean up crew” so whoever owns the property where the dog dies has to get rid of the mess.
I make myself a plate of pinto gallo (a bean and rice mixture used as a staple for every meal) and grab some cold chicken from the night before. I usually load on hot sauce but this morning I am feeling dehydrated so I eat it plain. The family is no where to be found. I haven’t seen them in 3 days. Our schedules are completely opposite.. by the time I get home at night they are asleep and dinner is sometimes left on the stove for me and when I wake up they are already gone (remember they get up at 4:30). I notice that Ho rarely has water out back in his dish, granted he is stupid and knocks it over whenever anyone fills it for him, so I go out back and dash to grab his bucket before he can jump all over me and scratch the hell outta my legs with his claws. I decide he should have some breakfast too so I make him a nice plate of rice and fruit loops. He drinks and drinks and drinks and I feel bad for him wondering how long he’s gone without water out in the heat. He sniffs at his breakfast and then looks at me like “what the hell is this?” I tell him he shouldn’t be so damn picky and leave it there. As I walk into the house I can’t help but think how good Manny has it back home. His little golden retriever pampered ass gets to run free in a big back yard. He gets to sleep in the nice house and snuggle in the bed with my mom. He gets to go for walks (unheard of here, I have yet to see anyone walk a dog with a leash ). The only thing that Manny would be jealous of is Ho’s breakfast of rice and fruitloops. All the dogs eat left overs, although I heard one Tico say that they were going to the store to buy dog food (I just assumed they didn’t sell dog food here).
On Monday we all went to La Selva Biological Rainforest Research Station. Apparently 60 percent of what is published about rainforests comes from this place and it is where a large amount of research is conducted. I was excited to see the “wildlife” and learn about the various current research projects. But can you imagine my delight when we arrived and this place was seriously just like the Dharma Initiative!!! For those who do not watch LOST I apologize because the various references will mean nothing to you. We walk into the gated community where all the buildings look similar and an old swing set sits in front of an old schoolroom to the left. Our guide, Fofo (who is the brother of my house father) explains that many researchers live here while they conduct their various projects and some have children. He then says that it was more common in the past but that they do have a few couples that have lived on the compound for years and years. They also host groups of research students for month long stays. We shuffle forward, under the violent sun rays, and Fofo continues to educate us on the local fauna and flora. I am only slightly interested in this and am trying to nudge our group on towards the actual “forest.” Anne Louise, a member of our tribe, asks questions about everything, “Why is that part of the leaf red…?” This is all fine and dandy except that I soon realize that our tour leader is incapable of walking and talking. With every question we immediately stop (usually directly under the sun) and are forced to stand patiently while he repeats himself and the answer over and over again. This is especially painful for me because I am suffering from extreme sunburn and therefore am wearing a t-shirt and long pants. My sunburn is so bad that I’m not wearing a bra, which also makes our small trek slightly uncomfortable as sweat pools between my small “mountains.” We finally make it to the pathway into the primary forest. We walk about twenty feet and there is a hatch to the left!! I can only assume a poor Tico is forced to live down there in seclusion, pushing a button every 180 minutes. We meander out of the primary forest and make our way to the “other” forests. We see wild boars and a few birds who all look the same to me (Yeah, I’m a terrible birder). We saw a sloth on the bridge into the camp and that was my highlight. We do not have much time and to my delight we head back to our cars to leave. I want to come back, when I’m not dying of sunstroke and our guide doesn’t move at the pace of a snail.