Red on Yellow…

Well, this is the fist time I’ve had significant computer access since I arrived, so I have a bit of catching up to do!

The week started out with some firsts.  I went to the grocery store on Monday morning to find pre-packaged toast (isn’t the point of toast that it’s hot?) and musical toothbrushes (“It makes music in your mouth!”).  My new Dutch friend, Mathias, was not nearly as impressed by the toast as I was. (“They don’t have that in the states?”)

On the walk back to the office, where we live, I saw a dead snake next to the road.  It was a coral snake.  Yeah, that’s right, red on yellow, kill a fellow.  I checked the “venemous snakes of Costa Rica” poster when I got back.  Apparently it was Allen’s coral snake, one of the four varieties of coral snake here in Costa Rica.

Later that day, I went electrofishing in a nearby stream with Mathias and Bill, our boss.  I had forgotten just how much like ghost busters chest waders and electrofishers make you look.  On about 5 occasions, I nearly charged face-first into a massive spiderweb housing an accordingly massive spider.  I fear spiders (especially in the jungle), but don’t particularly dislike them.  Bill, however, has a completely different view:

We were wrapping things up for the day and gathering the equipment while listening to Bill talk about tomorrow’s plans, or fish, or something that I would probably remember if I hadn’t been so distracted by the 4″ diameter spider creeping over the horizon made by the crown of his hat.  I wasn’t particularly hairy, but it was leggy and colorful and definitely not something I would want to have riding around on my head.  When the moment seemed appropriate, I mentioned to Bill that he was carrying a passenger, and he calmly removed his hat, plucked off the spider, and let it crawl all over his arms.  He said it was a house spider, and “it’s a friendly spider, I hate to have ruined his house.”

Later that night, Mathias and I decided to attempt a local dish: “Gallo pinto”, or maybe it’s “Pinto gallo”.  Either way, it means spotted rooster, and is a tasty mixture of rice and beans.  Ana Maria, one of the Colombian women who works here, showed us how it was done.

1. Cook rice and black beans, stir them together
2. Add some oil and salt
3. Fry up some diced peppers, diced onions, and cilantro in oil
4. Add the rice and beans.  Add a bunch of salt.

Also, we made fried plantains, which came out delicious!

1. Cut plantains into 1/8″ thick slices, long-ways
2. Fry each side in lots of oil, flipping them when they get slightly browned

The rest of the week was fairly uneventful.  Generally, the weather has been beautiful, if humid.  Yesterday, however, we had an unexpected storm which has kept us out of the field for two days, so I had a brief opportunity to post some pictures.  I also drew a lot of fish for the taxonomic key to the Talamanca region (yeah, that’s what I came here to do, forgot to mention that!)

If you are at all interested in the wonderful organization that I’m working with, you can learn more here: http://anaicr.wordpress.com/

And one final bit of advice, as told to my dad by a very old hippie in Puerto Viejo:

“Don’t……………..let………………them……………..catch you………….with……………..marijuana…………………………….because………they’ll………TAKE………………your marijuana………………………………………………………………….and 20 bucks.

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2 comments

  1. noel

    wow kelly, this is awesome– how exciting for you to be down in costa rica!! those recipes look pretty deelishus, thanks for passing them along. enjoy all your adventures!
    noel
    (bzz-bzz)

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