Thursday, November 20, 2008

Random Travel Update 33

Last Location: Heredia, Costa Rica
Arrival Date: November 7, 2008
Departure Date: November 14, 2008

Last location: Monteverde y Volcan Arenal, Costa Rica
Arrival Date: November 14, 2008
Departure Date: November 16, 2008

Current location: Samara Beach, Costa Rica
Arrival Date: November 7, 2008
Departure Date: December 9, 2008

Next location: Undecided

Photos at:

Hola! Estoy en Costa Rica estudiar espanol. Yo quiero escribir esta cartra en espanol, pero no es possible por mi ahora. Tal vez en tres mas semanas…

I love it here. Before it even touched the ground, I understood why my plane was packed with tourists eager to spend their precious little vacation time on this rich coast. As my aircraft descended, the clouds parted to expose the luscious green landscape below:

Costa Rica is thoroughly beautiful, the tico (Costa Rican) culture is relaxed, the environment is generally well protected, and the infrastructure is simple. I live with host families of which I have two, one in Heredia and one in Samara. The accommodation, like the infrastructure, is simple but charming. My mama ticas are wonderfully caring and make me two delicious vegan meals a day.

My tico families don't speak English and I get plenty of practice between them, the staff at my school and my fellow students. My Spanish is improving rapidly, though I think that perhaps I am better at forgetting English than I am at learning Spanish.

I will leave the rest of the details to the few photos I have already taken: There is much here to do and I am keeping busy between my studies and all of the activities my school has available for us to participate (in Spanish, of course). I will add comments someday when I am back in English-speaking mode. In the meantime, I will do my best to reply to emails during my breaks. Extra points if you help me practice by writing in Espanol- though please try to keep language simple.



Friday, November 7, 2008

Random Travel Update 32

Last Location: Los Angeles, California
Arrival Date: October 27, 2008
Departure Date: November 6, 2008

Current location: Heredia, Costa Rica
Arrival Date: November 7, 2008
Departure Date: December 9, 2008

Next location: Undetermined

Of all the places I have been or could have been in the world, there is nowhere that I would have rather been then right where I was during the eight days leading up to the most historical election of my lifetime. On Tuesday, November 4th, Californians passed a ballot initiative to end the intensive confinement of calves, pigs, and egg-laying hens in crates and cages so small the animals can't even turn around or extend their limbs. When implemented, the new law will affect 20 million animals, making their lives a little bit better in a significant way.

The landslide victory, 63 yes to 37 no, shows that treating the animals we raise for food with some standard of common decency is a mainstream value accepted by people from every demographic and political ideology. To those of you who contributed financial resources to this campaign or otherwise helped out, thank you and congratulations. For those of you still in the dark about Proposition 2 or the plight of animals on modern day factory farms, visit or the Humane Society's homepage for more information about this landmark victory for farm animals.

My gratitude goes out to Josh Balk who suggested that I come out to California; to Paul, Brian, Eric, Sandy and Ryan who were amazing company during the last few days of the campaign; and to Jane and Mark Garrison (as well as Tuffy, Little, Daisy and Tiny) who put us all up with amazing hospitality in their gorgeous vegan utopia on Redondo Beach.

Another congratulations goes out to those of you who supported Obama for president. I have always been proud to be an American, but never in my lifetime have I been so proud of Americans as I am right now.

Pictures are up at
Click on the Prop 2 Campaign 2008 photo album.

I will send an update from Costa Rica soon.