Traveling Nancy

Traveling around the world as far as I can go.

National University – Liberia Campus: Feb 8th

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After breakfast this morning Sergio drove Vilma, Daniel, and I to the National University (Liberia Campus).  Daniel had to do something like registering for the next term.  Vilma and I were scheduled to go on a tour with the rest of our group.  We were told to wear closed-toe shoes with socks so I followed directions.

These are our tour leaders.

There are 12000 students at this campus and the offer 7 different programs.  We were given more facts about the University.

He showed us some posters on the poles along the walkway.  I photographed this poster of the national bird of Costa Rica, a clay colored thrush.

Then we started at the bee hives.  The  bees raised her do not sting people. do not sting people.  This is one of the bee hotels.  The bees that live in this section are the ones who are pollinators.

Our group was very interested in the information.

There is what he called a police bee that goes in and out of this hole.

He explained about how they only take the honey out of the top floor of the wooden hives.  It reminded me of one of the lessons in the wonderful movie Honeyland and the man who was instructing us said that he had seen it.

He opened one of the hives for us.

He said that if you move the hive too far away the bees will become confused about where it is.  So if you move a hive very far, you have to do it at night when the bees are all asleep so they can use their natural GPS to find their way back.

We took a walk through the woods.  There are 74 species of birds on this campus because there is much good food in the trees but we didn’t see any.  Randy told me he saw this hawk.  I wish I had seen it.

I wish I could remember all of the information about the plants but, alas, I don’t. One thing I remember is about these vine like trees that come up from the ground and grow more trees.  I didn’t get a photo but I remember seeing these in Ecuador. I will post the photos I took and see if anything comes back to my mind.


Below is a 3 year old specimen of a tree that grows very, very slowly.

I believe that this plant supports ants. They live near the spikes that you can see the the following 2 photos. 

Randy spotted some cool moths on a tree trunk.

This small oval thing is called Guacimo.  Vilma helped me remember.  It is used to cure diarrhea and helps somehow with diabetes.  i think the slang for it is a plug.

There were many of the all over the ground.    They break them open and make a tea out of the seeds.

We walked through young forest areas and those that are over 100 years old.

This is a mango tree but it is very old and does not produce mangos anymore.

This fruit is eaten by birds.

Another cool moth.  It looks like it is beaded.

The following two photos are of a plant that has seeds you can eat.  But these are not ready.   It has to grow bigger and turn brown before it falls off of the tree.  Then you can eat the seeds.

I think he said that this tree produces photosynthesis in the trunk.  if I heard him correctly, the bark falls off and exposes the trunk to sunlight.

These seeds are eaten by animals.

I think this is a Lagarto but I am not sure.  The growths on it were not spiky and could be broken off.


When we got home from our morning excursion, we had lunch.  Gabriel made sea bass ceviche for me.  It was absolutely delicious. I took a photo of Gabriel today.

Today I did the dishes before Vilma had a chance to do them.  Yay.

Then I worked on the  morning portion of this blog post.  At some point this week Vilma took a photo of me in the spot that I usually sit in the house.  It is my typical position so I thought I would post it.

While I have a bit of time, I am going to post some photos that I took off of Susan’s phone because I think they are interesting.  At Betty’s house, she is staying in the granddaughter’s room.  She took these photos of the walls in the room that had been decorated by Betty’s granddaughter.  Although we don’t know the story behind these, I want to post them on my blog.

Now I have an hour to relax before going to our farewell party with the Ticos from Liberia.

Sergio took a photo of Vilma and me before we left for the party.

The party was being held in a very large courtyard at Alicia’s home.  She has a beautiful garden behind her casa.

When we arrived, I took the opportunity to get the photo of Lee and Adele that I missed taking last night.

The entertainment began when a group of Tico women who were dressed in beautiful, traditional Costa Rican skirts with flowers in their hair demonstrated a few dances.  .

Her basket has candy in it and they served the candy to us.

We took photos with them.

We each were given the opportunity to try on one of the beautiful skirts.


We had the opportunity to try out a few traditional dances with them.

A marimba band arrived.

We were all dancing together.  I was dancing so much that I didn’t have much time to take photos.  Sergio took this photo of me dancing with Sylvia.  I know there are many other photos of us dancing, but I don’t have them yet.

At some point the photographers that were ar the party are going to send the photos to me so I can share them with the rest of our Portland group.

Here is a photo f the women dressed in white

Throughout the evening we had snacks and tea or coffee.  They also served a delicious dinner to us.

I took a photo of Vilma and Sergio.

I had fun trying to play the marimba even though i had totally forgotten the piece I knew.

We all had so much fun at this fabulous farewell party.  They gave each of us a gift.  I received a wooden box, a wooden pen, and a key chain.  There was even a full moon and Randy send the photo he took to me.

When we got home, Sergio and Vilma gave me another present.  I received a key chain with my initial and very pretty blue t-shirt that says Costa Rica on it.

This Partners of Americas intercultural exchange has so far been very rewarding.  The Liberian group carefully planned  interesting/fun activities for us.  The warmth and hospitality of the Liberian people fills my heart.  The best part of all has been getting to know Vilma, Sergio, Daniel and Gabriel.  They took wonderful care of me, not only making sure I had everything I needed but also sharing themselves with me. We sure joked and laughed a lot with each other.  Daniel and Gabriel were helpful with translating for me.  Vilma, Sergio and I made good use of English to Spanish and Spanish to English websites.  I will hold their warmth and  laughter in my heart.  Tomorrow morning we will  continue our adventure in Tilarán.  I am excited that Barbara and I will be staying in the home of a classmate of Vilma’s when she was young.

Author: Nancy Panitch

Traveling has been a passion of Nancy Panitch's life and she loves seeing how people in other cultures live. Her travels have taken her to many places within the United States, Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa. Being around people inspires her and she has much gratitude for the kindred Souls that are joining together with her in body, mind, and heart. She moved from Chicago to Portland, Oregon in 1982. It was one of the best decisions of her life. While in Portland she stays very, VERY busy. She volunteers (Inter-Religious Action Network, Human Rights Council, & ushering for various theaters); attends a Unitarian Universalist church; goes hiking with groups (Cascade Prime Timers & Trails Club of Oregon) and also with individual friends. Book groups, movie group, and bridge groups occupy her time as well. Her quiet activities include yoga, knitting, Sudoku, and reading. She enjoys all of these activities, but making time to see her wonderful 4 grandchildren takes priority over it all. She is happy to share this blog and hopes to encourage others to travel.

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