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The Gap Year Blog

Project Blogs - Costa Rica


It is almost assured you will be shown amazing jungle life when you least expect it. Whether this is a cool snake you can add to the snake tally, or your 150th species of bird, the more time you spend with open eyes and a positive outlook, the more of the jungle you will see.

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I have been living here in Camp Osita for 3 months now, running surveys, setting up my absolutely boppin’ project (Birds of Prey (BoP for short)), making new friends, having new experiences and generally enjoying life here in the Osa. Living out here has been something of a dream come true for me. But despite all the amazing wildlife something was still missing...

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From the moment I arrived in Costa Rica, I knew that I was going to have a good time...

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There are things about the jungle that are common sense, but only once you have been out here for a bit. For example, waking up to the haunting cry of howler monkeys is not something anyone warned me about and was certainly a shock on the first morning – at 4 am.

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Approaching a year on Camp Ostia gives me the opportunity to reflect on what has been one of the most interesting years of my life. I started my time in Costa Rica with an open mind ready to push the project on and ensure that the camp provides an enjoyable and engaging project for all our volunteers and strive to push the scientific output of frontier to a new level for our staff and my personal ambitions.

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It’s 4am and my alarm is blaring, it’s time to wake up. Dragging myself out of bed to find my good friend the kettle, dodging the cane toads in the dark, to make myself a big strong cup of coffee to fuel myself in this predawn hour.

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The Potoos - mysterious and enigmatic birds belonging to the neotropical family Nyctibiidae are strictly nocturnal. Their general appearance strongly resembles the well- known European Nightjar, however unlike nightjars they roost in a stiff, upright position.

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After a confusing morning, I hopped onto the collectivo bus which is an adventure. You’ll drive through the most beautiful scenery straight into the heart of the jungle on a dirt road.

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Waking up at 4 am to get ready for work isn’t what every girl dreams of on their birthday, but for me, it was the DREAM. Even if I am getting older, the sound of howler monkeys as your alarm clock does not get old.

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Having dragged my 54-year-old body to the beautiful country of Costa Rica, there was a real feeling that I was going to be spending either 5 months trapped in a self-arranged prison sentence, or I was going to have the time of my life.

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