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munity of Bribri. Tey performed an interesting interactive play on the his- tory of their people. Tey also showed us their gardens and crafts they had made to sell. Te highlight of the trip for me was


lent at finding sights and maneuver- ing as close as possible so everyone could get a picture. We saw huge or- ange iguanas lying on tree branches, purple gallinule birds, and several An- hingas on tree branches in the middle of the canal with their large, black, white-striped wings outspread, pos- sibly drying them from the morning rain shower. We saw the tiny Jesus Christ lizard and bats lined up in a row along the roof of a dock. We also saw Great Blue Herons, a Tiger heron with two babies, and several Northern Jacana walking on lily-pads right be- side the boat, as well as a river otter, a kingfisher and the tail of a Boa con- strictor. Costa Rica has 138 species of snakes, but fortunately we saw far more birds! Although the tempera- ture was high, the trees were so high along the narrow canal tributaries that we were usually comfortable in the shade on our afternoon tour. Our afternoon delights were delivered by our very knowledgeable guides en- abling us to see numerous species of birds and plants. No need for an alarm the next


morning. Te growling of the howl- er monkeys from the trees outside woke us before 6 am on the morning we could have slept until 7am! Ten


26 n KEEP IN TOUCH | Spring 2014


the chirping of the birds filled the air. What a paradise! However, to- day we have to leave, backtracking along the canals to meet our bus and driver. Unfortunately, the water was lower and our boat had another load of passengers from another resort, so we became stuck on a sandbar. For- tunately, no luggage had to be sacri- ficed. After much pushing with poles by our guides and maneuvering by our driver, we finally managed to chug through. Our entertainment while we were stuck was provided by the huge pig lying in the mud along the shore. After leaving the dock, we bumped back through the banana plantations’ rocky trail before heading south to the port of Limon and the southern Ca- ribbean coast at Puerto Viejo de Tal- amanca. Another unique resort was tucked in the jungle, and since our arrival was on Valentine’s Day, special treats decorated our bed. Te supper buffet also included entertainment-- a young lady performed acrobatics on long fabric curtains hanging from the ceiling to the accompaniment of music. Te Talamanca


region protects


the largest population of indigenous people in Costa Rica, so besides the beach, we visited an indigenous com-


visiting a one-room local indigenous school in the area, and although all the schools were closed while the teachers attended a meeting in the capital, our guides and driver were able to find a more remote school where we could meet the teacher and tour the school. When the children heard there were visitors, they shyly came to school as well. After seeing the one blackboard and the few books they had, we should be very thankful for all the supplies and convenienc- es we have in our schools. We were grateful that we had taken along bags of school supplies to give them. Our next day was free to enjoy the large pool at


the resort, or watch


the waves roll on the beautiful sand beach, or take a long walk to explore the shops in town. Even staying at the resort, we saw a two-toed sloth high in a tree and a Passerini’s Tanager, which is a black bird with a brilliant red section on its back. Along the way to our next location,


we visited the only sloth sanctuary in the world where rescued sloths are nursed back to health and released if possible. Te grandson of the sanctu- ary’s founder handled several of the sloths and provided us with a wealth of information. Sloths eat 93 types of leaves and fruit, but no meat. Tey don’t need water as it is provided by the leaves they eat. Teir fur grows from the stomach so rain drips off as they hang upside down in the tree tops where they spend most of their lives sleeping. Te fur colour can range from blond to dark brown. It varies depending on the cli-


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