I’ve now finished my first extended stay in Costa Rica. In retrospect, I can’t believe that it went by so quickly!
Researching at La Selva, a world-class tropical biological station, was amazing. I met researchers from around the globe, and heard about many different types of research that are being done in Costa Rica and throughout the tropics. Being surrounded constantly by the lush and vibrant green of the rain forest was both relaxing and mind-opening at the same time. Carrying out an investigation on the evolutionary ecology of dart-poison frogs was challenging and exciting. And, I had plenty of opportunities to take pictures!
My time with the OTS Global Health semester abroad was fantastic. The number of new experiences was mind-boggling. We not only saw typical tico culture, but also visited several indigenous territories to learn more about their specific cultures. We travelled throughout Costa Rica, and even visited Nicaragua to study the health care systems. We had discussions about moral, ethical, political, financial, and logistical concerns related to health care. We impacted local communities with education outreach and research projects, and developed our abilities to think critically about the development, completion, and review of a research project.
Researching, studying, and traveling in Costa Rica was a life-changing, eye-opening experience. I enjoyed it so much that I am the teaching assistant for the spring semester of OTS Global Health in Costa Rica. I plan to continue blogging, this time with a little different perspective. Instead of a student experiencing everything for the first time, I will be able to see changes in communities I had already visited, along with meeting new communities and people. I’m looking forward to continuing to share my experiences with you, and hope that you continue to comment on the posts. 🙂