and personal notes

The best way to discover the area is to actually participate in activities. Here is our scrapbook of photos from our adventures.  Click here to go to our photo gallery.


Personal Notes:


Tracy Gelbaugh
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Beth Ardoin
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Jacqueline Washington
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Shelly Pollock
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Jenét Ardoin
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Tracy Gelbaugh

Well, I have been home from Costa Rica for one week and I really wish I was still there! Never in my life have I felt so connected to the natural world. It was like living in a zoo for a week! The first night we were there, the howler monkeys woke me up. I thought it was some sort of joke, but animals can really make such a noise! One of the highlights of the trip was when I got to hold one.

The hikes were awesome, but manageable. I will never forget the smell…the smell of clean earth and vegetation. I really did feel a part of it. We were able to drink out of one of the creeks…you could not do that around Buffalo Bayou! I learned firsthand what an ecosystem was by being a part of one.

Another highlight was the kayaking trips. Now, if you had told me that I was going to be able to kayak, I would not have believed you! However, I did it! Yes, I was the only one that fell out of the boat, but only my pride was hurt.

If you are thinking about going on the trip, stop thinking and GO!! You will regret it if you don't . How can we teach our students about nature if we don't experience it? How can we talk passionately about conserving nature if we don't see it at its best?


Beth Ardoin

I took this picture just before we left to come home to the U.S. It was the last I would take in Nosara.

Besides the ones we took on the digital camera, I took 9 rolls of film. Everywhere you turned there was beauty. The flowers, birds, butterflies were brightly colored. The beaches, pristine and treasured. The water and shells were glorious... I even found my first starfish on the beach.

But, by far, I believe Nosara's greatest natural resource was its people. Once we left, there were no more brightly smiling faces; no longer did we hear "con mucho gusto" at every turn; and once again we were back in the real world of jobs and responsibility. I will treasure most the people and their smiles.

I put some of my favorite pictures...ones that we didn't get to use in other places on the website...into this slideshow. This trip was a wonderful chance to spend some time with one of my two favorite people. She is one very special girl and we are all very proud of the spiritual, gentle and yet strong lady that she has become.. I'd like to take a second to thank Momma (DeCuir), Dad (Ardoin), Mom (Ardoin), and my good friend Phil for helping us get there. :-) (We've done well!)

 


Jacqueline Washington

As this was my first oversees trip, I had no idea what to expect. I had heard that Costa Rica was a beautiful place and that there were lots of beautiful beaches. However, no one would have ever been able to prepare me for what I saw and experienced on this trip. Going to a country with all its natural beauty still in tact, for the most part, allows the body and mind to really relax and regroup.

While in the Nosara area, I experienced life in a new way. The kayak trips down the rivers allowed me an opportunity to see another side of nature, also the daily hikes were bit tiring. However, the overall trip was well worth the effort. The peole of Nosara are very friendly and makes everyone feel at home. Although there were not many mordern places to visit and no malls to shop in, I feel that my life has been truly enriched by my visit to Nosara.


Shelly Pollock

When I found out that Costa Rica has one of the highest literacy rates in the world (~ 96%), has no army, and most of the land is protected, I knew that I had to go there. Costa Rica was amazing and exceeded all expectations. The town of Nosara is my kind of place - dirt roads, no billboards, locally owned businesses, and not much to do except be out in nature, eat good food, and talk to friendly folks. I can't wait to go back.

I loved kayaking down rivers knowing that the area is protected, being on the beach where no one can take their cars (Texans love to drive on beaches!), and hiking to a spring where there is a cup hanging on a tree and a sign saying that everyone should take a drink and please put the cup back for others to use. Who knows how long that cup has been there.

I am someone who is passionate about teaching kids (and adults) how components in the natural world are connected and how people are connected to the natural world. Most kids growing up today in America have no idea where there food comes from, what watershed they live in, or how pollution directly affects them and their society as a whole.

Going to Costa Rica and seeing so much land that is not completely altered by humans and being in a country where the government seems to realize that preserving land for tourism income is a great idea really inspired me. Costa Rica is a place I will visit again in order to see the beautiful landscape, talk to incredibly friendly people, and support the tourism industry.

 


Jenét Ardoin

If you like green trees, green grass, and beautiful mountains, this is the place to go. When you walk down the white sandy beaches and have the clear blue water wash up and run around your feet, you just don't want to leave. There are so many dogs there that kind of adopt you and run around protecting you while you walk on the beach. Every beach there is picture perfect. The trees shine different shades of green, while the blue sky and puffy white clouds hang behind them.

Close your eyes and imagine horseback riding through luscious green woods hanging on each side of you, mud splashing at your feet and all over your horse's legs. Then there in front of you is an opening. The second you can see out, there is a mountain rising in front of you with clouds surrounding the top making the brownish-red peak turns to a light brown the more the clouds move over it.

Now imagine that is just one or two minutes of the nine days that you spend in this foreign country...doesn't that just kind of make you want to stay and enjoy this place forever, and never want it to disappear or let people overrun its beauty? That's how I feel about Costa Rica. I want to go back and learn as much as I can about this foreign place that has such kind and welcoming people.


A note from all of us

While staying in Nosara, we called the Gilded Iguana our home base. The staff and employees were part of what made the trip such a delight. To say that our ability to speak Spanish was not the best, is quite an understatement. The staff not only took care of our rooms and meals, but they helped us to learn about their language, their culture and their foods. Our thanks to all of them: Joe, Patty, Wendy, Marta, Grettel, Maricella, Seydi, Irene, Alexander, Alejandro, Walter and the monkey that came to the back of the kitchen every evening. Gracias!

1. Beth Ardoin, 2. GI Joe, 3. Irene, 4. Tracy Gelbaugh, 5. Maricella, 6. Dr. Bernard Robin, 7. Amy Bradford, 8. Pamela Ramsey, 9. Seydi, 10. Jene't Ardoin, 11. Dr. John Ramsey, 12. Marta, 13. Shelly Pollack, and 14. Jacqueline Washington

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