From the Archives: Costa Rica (2014)

Occasionally, I publish photos and stories of old trips. This is one of those times.

When I was in college, I spent a few weeks living in the Costa Rican rainforest, studying some local species of monkeys with about twenty other undergrads. After just a few weeks of living together, we were all teary-eyed as we said our goodbyes in San Jose.

A few years later, I found myself back in Costa Rica, this time as a teacher. I brought fifteen of my students from Los Angeles to the same field site. We were only in the rainforest for two weeks but the kids endured monstrous insects, 5AM wake-up calls, suffocating humidity, and even genuine danger -- a student saved my life by pointing out a large Fer-de-lance coiled not six inches beneath my raised boot.

As the year wore on, students that chose not to go on the trip grew tired of the repeated references to events in Costa Rica but the field research does something to you -- even in just a couple of weeks. I've since moved to another school but, every once in a while, one of my old students will contact me to reminisce about those two weeks spent chasing monkeys around the rainforest.