On Pura Vida

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Pura vida. Literally: pure life. But don’t bother with a direct translation. In Costa Rica, it’s a greeting, a goodbye, a thank-you, a you’re welcome, a slogan, an exclamation, and an explanation. It’s a proud toast to your country’s victorious soccer team. It’s an energetic call as you land a dorado in the Carribean. It’s a gracious refusal of payment from a local farmer who gives the stranded backpacker a ride to town. And it’s the humble answer to any tourist’s question of “how can it be so pretty here?” “Pura vida.”

More importantly, it’s uniquely Costa Rican. Which I am not. I intend this blog to be my experiences, the experiences of an American naturalist working as long as he can stretch his budget in the most beautiful and best conserved country in Central America. These will be the observations of an outsider. They will mostly concern my time in the field, but will include some adventures in civilization. Fellow naturalists, want some basic tips on how to stay healthy and sane in the jungle? Ecotourists, want some advice on how to see the cool animals? Backpackers, want to learn from my mistakes how not to navigate the cities and transportation? Mom and Dad, would you like to know what I’m up to these days?

In the field, internet is spotty, but I’ll update this when I can, or when I have an especially juicy story. But it won’t be a regular journal. After all, I’m here to work, and enjoy the most of the pura vida here.

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