Our return to the Casa Conde Apartotel & Suites in San Jose came with an appreciation for the two bedrooms, living room, dining room, bathroom, and kitchen with washer and dryer.  Especially the dryer!  The rainy, humid conditions left most of our clothes wet and musty so it was great to experience air conditioning and clean clothes.

Gran Totem

Gran Totem

On our last full day in Costa Rica we visited INBioparque, a private, non-profit dedicated to biodiversity by reclaiming land previously used to grow coffee.  Our guide, Fabricio, shared his sense of wonder at the inter-relatedness of all life forms.  A leaf in the tropical rain forest must be large in order to capture as much sunlight as possible.  Yet it might have holes in order to deceive an insect that might otherwise lay eggs on it or to disperse water that might otherwise saturate it.  The endangered white-tailed deer are not afraid to be near guests.  A special treat was the butterfly garden with numerous colorful butterflies  willing to pose for photographs.  The bio-prospecting labs were quiet on Saturday but it would be interesting to learn more about their efforts to discover chemical substances and genes present in plants, insects, marine organisms and micro-organisms, which may be used by the pharmaceutical, medical, biotechnology and cosmetic industries, and also in nutritional and agricultural applications.

On our return to Casa Conde between 1:30-2:00 p.m., we observed the sale of large Costa Rican flags on several street corners surrounding the soccer stadium.  A match with Uruguay at 8::00 p.m. would determine which country participates in the World Cup.  In many towns a soccer field is centrally located next to the Catholic Church.  The organic pineapple plantation even has a soccer field for its workers.  Young boys and girls were also observed kicking a soccer ball around during recess.  Soccer is an important part of Costa Rican life.  Unfortunately for the home team, Uruguay was victorious in this contest.

A festive baby shower located around the Casa Conde swimming pool lasted several hours.  It was interesting to observe the formal, public nature of this event and to hear some of the genuine merriment of the participants.  Costa Ricans, Ticos, know how to have fun.  Our time in Costa Rica was too short, but it was a terrific introduction to a unique land and its people.

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