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MARTIN
 
Earth University, Costa Rica
 

Traveling out of the cloud rainforest from San Jose in the direction of Limon, you might catch a glimpse of Earth University just past Guacimo. You won't see much of the campus though. The entrance to the university is an incredible three and a half miles long (six kilometers). If you take that drive, you'll see manicured landscapes, palm trees and the varied colors of tropical flowers that look like they belong in the Garden of Eden.

It's also hotter than, . . . well, Michigan.

On this beautiful and very tropical campus, agriculatural students from around the world come to study plants and animals. It was the most diversified place I've ever seen. More than forty countries were represented by some of the most remarkable young people anywhere on the planet.

 
 

I stayed in a guesthouse that had four bedrooms. The most interesting part of the living arrangements was not what I found inside my home. Nope, it was my neighbors. In my backyard, during the heat of the day, it wasn't a surprise to find an iguana or two sunning themselves. The adults were over a yard long.

On one afternoon, a human neighbor came by my place. He asked if I wanted to see a boa constrictor. (Of course!) There was a six foot long slitherer in his backyard. That snake blended in so well with the foilage that it took a long while for me to see it. Yep, I was happy to see the critter but equally pleased that it wasn't in my yard.

 
 
 

The flowers all over the campus were beautiful. But, Earth University also had a big banana processing plant on the grounds. There was a monorail system that transported the fruit from the field to the processing center. The rail ran past my home several times a day. All bags contained about 100 bananas. They were wrapped in plastic to protect the fruit from too much sun and individual clusters of bananas were separated and cushioned with foam pads.

 

I sort of saw the processing center. On one free day, I had a tour of the campus. I don't do well in tropical heat. I don't do well with much less heat in Central Ohio. I didn't do well on my tour. The processing center was the third location I visited on my hour and a half walk. I was drenched in sweat, exhausted and almost ready to faint. I was just too tuckered out to consider photos at all. When the college student said I looked tired, I jumped all over that. I went home and took a three hour nap.

 
 

Perhaps on a future trip, I'll get part two of my tour and hopefully with a golf cart.

MARTIN
Copyright 2015 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.