I sit down to write this blog post having just turned in the first draft of my DR (Directed Research) paper.  Never before have I felt this excited about a piece of my own writing. After four full days of analyzing data, running tests for statistical significance, and reading through supporting sources, nothing can take away from the sense of pride and accomplishment that I feel at this very moment.

< The time we spent in the field was a great way for us all to get a taste for what research really is. I, along with the five other members of my research group, traveled to Monteverde with our socioeconomics professor, Sergio Molina. There we spent four full days surveying two local communities, in order to assess the communities’ human, social, cultural, political, financial, environmental, and built capitals, as well as the communities’ relations with the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. As Monteverde hosts the most visited private reserve in Costa Rica, we met some very informative people who provided us with some very interesting data for us to analyze. Even more than the actual research work, though, one of the things I enjoyed most about being in the field was getting to spend time with my DR group. We broke up into pairs everyday to conduct the interviews, but every evening we would go out for dinner together. Sitting around a big table, enjoying a delicious meal, and sharing stories, I never felt closer to the small group of students I was with.

Now, as we all prepare to journey home in just a few days, my heart is full with all of the amazing memories from this summer. I will miss the field lectures, soccer games, and hammocks… the chance to always practice my Spanish, the intense games of mafia, and even the pandilla chores. Most of all, though, I will miss the amazing people who have come into my life and taught me so much these past couple of months.  Thank you, SFS, for giving me such an incredible summer!