Archive for November, 2010

Rainsong is a wildlife sanctuary on the North Pacific coast of Costa Rica in a small town in Cabuya. They take in injured and abandoned wildlife with the hope of releasing them back into the wild. Volunteers spend many hours each day caring for the wildlife in the rescue center and help to build more animal habitats for the hospital and breeding areas. I really wanted to work with animals so I decided to come here to help out.
The accommodation is very basic and rustic. There is at the moment two beds with a thin mattress, various other mattresses on the floor and a hammock. The walls are simple to say the least, they go up about a quarter of the way then the rest is covered by sheets of tarp. The stairs leading up to the room are varied in sized and quite difficult to go up and down. The gate at the bottom is made for those who are quite slender and it wouldn’t surprise me if some people may have to go through sideways just to fit through. As of right now the gate is being “locked” by a piece of string to keep the goats, pizotes, and Señor Piggy out.
Now for the kitchen, it has a gas stove with three burners, and you must pay extra for any gas you use. The fridge leaks water all over the floor and the interior. That being said, you want to keep your food outside in the other fridge that is not being used as a fridge but as a dry cupboard. Other than that the kitchen is very basic, there is no oven, though there is not much you need an oven for.

The toilet is located a bit of a walk away from the kitchen and is awfully dark at night. I personally have seen worse toilets but the other people staying here are quite horrified by the likes of it. It’s outhouse-ish but with a flushing toilet. The door is merely a sheet draped in front. The toilet is also home to many strange and interesting spiders. Be warned.
The shower is quite nice in my eyes. It’s a bit further up than the toilet and is three walls with a shower head in the middle. There is no roof and you stand on a small plank of wood under the shower head. It’s surrounded by quite a bit of trees and bushes. There has been a few mornings where I’ll be showering, then all of a sudden leaves will start falling on me and I look up and there is a group of white faced monkeys playing in the tree right above me.

Trip to Costa Rica

Author: Kristi

My journey to Costa Rica was a very interesting . The first 6 hours or so were fine, I slept for the most part.

When we stopped in Nicaragua to pick up some more passengers and I had a fellow Canadian, older gentleman sit next to me. What I had in store for the next 6 hours I was not prepared for. Turns out this man was “bi-polar”! Lucky me, he had been on anti-psychotics since 1980 but then 10 days ago decided to stop taking them! FANTASTIC. He was always kind to me, but when the music was too loud and the bus attendant wouldn’t turn it down, he’d lose it. Swearing, talking about strangling their necks and so on. I edged closer to the window at this point just waiting for him to turn on me. He was constantly talking to me while I was trying to watch movies on my laptop, listen to music or sleep. Most of the time, he was trying to get me to calm him down about loud music . Then when it came time to pay the Nicaraguan border fee he only had two out of the three dollars due, I lent him $1 to help him out. Then at the Costa Rican border, they had already rejected him once before and now they were trying to do it again because he did not have proof of a return flight to Canada. So he pulls me over and is trying to get me to translate and explain to him what he has to do to get across the border. He needed to buy a $20 return ticket to Nicaragua, but he obviously didn’t have the money. So he asked me for it, well by asked I mean begged. He was very scared and didn’t have anyone else to help him. I gave him the $20 to buy the ticket. He was so thank ful and was asking how he could repay me. I just said “pay it forward”.

I got dropped off in Punterenas later that night. Kind of scary being on the side of the road alone at night but I grabbed a cab to the ferry to Paquera. I was worried what I was going to do once I got there as it was very late at night and the buses had stopped running to Cabuya. I chatted up a man on the ferry and he offered to give me a ride more than half way there. Score! Once he dropped me off I caught another cab up to Rainsong Sanctuary. A girl named Cher met me outside and helped bring my bags inside. They had set up a bed for me, outside, with the dog. Once again, lucky me.
I woke up in the morning to a baby monkey crying next to my bed . It was the first time I got to hold a baby monkey that day. There are two baby howler monkeys, Evie and Frannie, that have been orphaned due to electrocution. The older howler monkey, Mona, is here because an alpha male from her pack beat her and her tail was lost in the process. I also get to feed and play with raccoons, porcupines, turtles, parrots and toucans.

Later another volunteer, Kristi (same name and from Vancouver too…creepy) waled me up to the long-term volunteer lodging at the farm. It is….RUSTIC to say the least. There was just three of us staying at the moment. Kristi was sleeping in a hammock and the other girl, Jackie, had the one real bed in the room. They offered me a mattress on the floor or Jackie’s little blue crap hammock. I took the hammockso I wasn’t on the floor with the jungle creatures. Our little lodge does not have walls and is very open, therefore little creatures can get in quite easily. Ah, home sweet(?) home.