Thursday, November 6, 2014

San Grise

After 14 days in San Jose, I wanted more plants in my life. San Jose was full of mint green cars in traffic, olive green trash on the sidewalk, and chartreuse houses lining the street, but lacked any hint of nature. We left on August 28th at 7 a.m, and after a warm hug from with my mama tica, and a 7-hour bus ride, we arrived in Las Cruces. Yet again we hopped off the bus, but this time we weren't instantly dank from sweat like in La Selva. There were clouds above, and the weather made me want a jacket. It smelled like dirt and photosynthesis, instead of dirty bus stops. Sweet relief.
            The next day, a kind looking man with silver hair was lounging in an OTS pickup truck. The blue-eyed man was our tour guide. He was to educate us on everything there was to know about Las Cruces, and much more. According to our bright smiling tour guide, the number of plant species in Las Cruces exceeds 3000. I won't attempt to name them all, but our guide tried. We romped around the garden for hours, and found species from all over the world that have been in the garden for decades. The Thai King Kong tree was my favorite. It had the trunk of a palm, and the leaves of a behemoth, 10 meters long. The bromeliads glistened with a pink orange gloss, green palms pointed at the ground with their yellow tips, even fluorescent blue and green orchid bees circled purple flowers.
            The 11 days within the botanical garden rejuvenated my spirits, and brightened my eyes.
I'm writing this in San Jose. My disdain for the city covered my body like a layer of grease as soon as I touched down on the charcoal runway of San Jose's airport. Every day blends together when they all look the same, and every memory has a background of puddles and drizzle. I'm still sick of trash and exhaust and the color gray.

             But I can't wait to go back to the field stations.

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