Now that we're staying put in Monteverde, I am happily settling into a routine, and getting to know the lay of the land, and the rhythm of the area. Our typical day starts with breakfast at seven and first lecture at 8. Lectures last until lunch at noon (with a couple coffee breaks, of course). After lunch we have a couple hours break, during which we scramble to take advantage of what Monteverde has to offer--yoga classes, hiking, horseback riding, any of the many nature museums (bats, snakes, butterflies, etc), or just cruising town or the many art shops. 3 days a week we hike to the Institute for Spanish lessons in the afternoons, or have more charlas (talks) or workshops (field lessons). Fridays we spend the whole day in the field after morning lecture--eating lunch on the trail or at whatever agroecology site. The evenings usually have some sort of night lecture and then the evening is left to studying and hanging out.
Being able to stay for so long in one place has been awesome. I can actually walk around and run into people I know. The farmer's market this weekend was an amazing gathering of many of the characters that I've met so far. This town is remarkably small-everyone seems to know everyone. Such a beautiful community--and I am so excited to contribute to it.
I'm honing in on a research topic. It looks like I'll be living/ studying on a coffee farm, looking at something related to the organic shade-grown processes, and trying to find a solution for the problems with a certain fungal infection that has really hit the farms hard this season. I'm super excited that I can at least get the ball rolling (short of seeing it all the way through--2 weeks isn't much time) on something that can actually be useful for the community. Also, I have worked out with my agro-eco teacher an extra project compiling all the past projects done on the farms and creating a book for the farmers who have been allowing students to study their land since the beginning of this program.