College of the Atlantic
Tropical Biology– Summer 2023
This is Orr Uzan-Tidhar, writing to you from the depths of a Costa Rican rainforest (I’m actually typing this up on my laptop in my comfortable bed). Time truly feels elusive here. We’re already approaching the end of our fifth day, yet it feels as if I’ve been here forever. The reason behind this distortion of time is the sheer abundance of experiences we’ve had, far surpassing what one would expect to encounter in just a few short days.
On the first day, after a lengthy three-hour drive, we arrived at La Selva Biological Station in Sarapiqui and immediately delved into our first nature walk through the rainforest.
What an extraordinary walk it turned out to be! Passing beneath a colossal tree that arched over the path felt akin to stepping through a wardrobe and discovering the enchanting world of Narnia. Along the way, we encountered vibrant red strawberry poison dart frogs, peculiar python millipedes, a small snake, and not just one, but two troupes of white-faced capuchin monkeys and Geoffroy’s spider monkeys simultaneously, among many other remarkable creatures. It almost felt as if we were strolling through a meticulously arranged zoo, with every creature perfectly positioned for our viewing pleasure.
What pleasantly surprised me was how deeply integrated the station is within the rainforest itself. Towering trees envelop us from every side, accompanied by an orchestra of sounds emanating from frogs, crickets, cicadas, and more. One might assume that encountering the incredible creatures of Costa Rica requires venturing deep into the forest, but that assumption would only be partially correct. Simply traversing the station’s paths from our rooms to the classroom reveals a treasure trove of fascinating
From witnessing a pair of green anoles engaged in mating rituals at the base of a tree… to observing a white-nosed coati rummaging for bird eggs and quenching its thirst from bromeliads in the trees.
Regarding my fellow ten students, while I’m still in the process of truly getting to know each of them, it feels as if I’ve known them forever. We spend every moment of every day together, and when you spend such an extensive amount of time in the company of a small group of individuals, it’s remarkable how quickly you discover how perfectly we all fit together, like the pieces of a puzzle.
We still have what feels like an eternity ahead of us (although it’s only 21 days), but I’m certain it will pass by swiftly, while simultaneously feeling like an everlasting journey. I eagerly anticipate living each moment to the fullest and experiencing the wonders and adventures that lie ahead.