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Monday, February 18, 2008

Costa Rica Day 2 : Coffee and Creatures

Anyone who knows me knows I love a good, strong, fresh cup of coffeee just about anytime, and one of the places I was most excited about seeing was the local coffee plantation...cuz you just know they're gonna have all kinds of samples! And sample I did...and left the tour bouncing off the walls full of caffiene and sugar!

And in case you haven't yet, let's meet the family:


This is Hector, the wonderful, darling husband that let me walk around half the day with a tag hanging out the back of my shirt...nice, hu? Next to him is my Uncle Larry, seriously rocking the tourist hat. The guy in the blue shirt is our Tour Guide, Guillermo, and the cute white-haired lady with the fake smile is my grams. They're all dying for a cup...so let's go on inside.


Did you know that coffee is actually a fruit? One more reason everyone should have 5-6 servings a day as far as I'm concerned. This is what it looks like on the vine.


The skin peels easily off the fruit, and the seed inside is covered with some slimy, sugary-stuff. It tastes just like sugar cane, and yes, I know because I tasted it. They actually dry and sell the sugar and sell it separately. Anyone else notice how badly I need a manicure...?


An entire field off coffee, all ripe and ready to be picked...get this...by hand! No wonder Starbucks charges $4.00 a cup.


The coffee pickers are paid by the basketfull, and though I'm sure it was mentioned how much they get per basket, I was way too wired to pay attention. It's a rediculously low amount, though, I'm sure...as minimum wage is only 90 cents per hour. I only remember that because I was told at the woodworking plant, before the 40 cups of coffee I had.




Anyhow, after they're all picked and peeled and cleaned and whatever, they're laid out in the sun to dry. At this point, the coffee people are all just praying it doesn't rain. I think they do a dance or something...


Then it's all bagged up and ready to ship BEFORE it's roasted. I snuck a few of these babies in my pocket to take home and start my own coffee plantation in the backyard. Of course, I forgot to take them out of my pocket, and then washed my pants. Looks like Starbucks will be able to stay in business after all.


Lookit that goofy smile...it's easy to see why I'm a sucker for it, no? After the tour, we had lunch at the plantation, though I don't know how anyone could possibly eat after all that coffee.


It was served on a banana leaf...isn't that clever? No time for dish washing with all that coffee to pick! Take note of the black beans and white rice...you'll be seeing A LOT of them over the next week and a half...so much in fact, that you may never want to eat them again as long as you live. Or maybe that's me.


After 8 more cups of coffee and a considerably skinnier wallet (you don't even want to know how much coffee I brought home) we headed to a place called EnBio. It's a place where scientists collect and study the Costa Rican environment and promote conservation and display lots of interesting creatures that inhabit the country.

They have an awesome butterfly garden, and if you're not careful, these guys will hitch a ride right outta there.


Much to the delight of this guy here.

This cute little sucker is about the size of my (badly bitten) thumbnail. And don't let that innocent smile fool you, he bites and is extremely poisionous...how rude!


This guy's not poisionous, but has a pretty decent aim.

Much to this guy's dismay. He's a sloth, and very, very slow moving. I feel really sorry for Sloths...they're all fuzzy and live in trees, but they're not even really that cute...especially when he's sharing the tree with an adorable little baby spider monkey.


And speaking of monkeys...


I should totally post this somewhere his friends and co-workers will all see it. Remember what I said about payback, honey...?

6 comments:

Stayce

awesome but I'm still waiting to see a monkey.

you're pretty freakin funny...

and i love you to bit and pieces

michelle

awesome photos! I never would have known coffee was a fruit.

Anonymous

Am still enjoying the blog and am getting so jealous every time you mention the word "coffee"-my husband & I can drink it all day; we were in heaven in Mexico! Pictures are absolutely adorable, especially the monkeys!!! I got your RAK today and was so excited since it's the 1st time I EVER got one! You'll see how I've used it over at IBSS by tomorrow night...TX and keep enjoying!

Kate

Mara...

Wonderful Nicole!!!!! Great photos, I can't wait to see what's next...

Preemie Mom

Nicole I love your commentary :) And awesome photos!! Keep 'em coming Chickie!

Veronica

Lala

I am so jealous you are in CR! One of my favorite places in rhe world!! PURA VIDA!!!

La-