Note: The following is a reproduction of the field journal I kept from my first summer in Costa Rica in June and July 1996, when I was a student at La Suerte Biological Station. This was the first time I’d ever left the United States for a country other than Canada. I’ve typed out the writing and included photos of the drawings when present.
Thursday, June 20, 1996, 1:22 AM
At this moment I’m sitting on my bed in the Hotel El Dorado in… guess what… Guatemala City! It seems the San Jose airport was closed because of inclement weather. The weather we landed in here was anything but pleasant. We damn near crashed in the storm as the airport had no navigational controls. When they cancelled the flight (after 2 1/2 hours of waiting) we were forced to leave the plane and face the Guatemalan military… an experience in and of itself.
At least the hotel they put us in is posh, with free meals and a ride back to the airport. Tomorrow, I fly COPA airlines into San Jose at 7:00 AM.
Finally on a COPA flight leaving @ 1:50 PM. The runway here is actually closing at 2:00! Went to the beautiful Guatemalan National Archaeological and Art museums. The scariest thing was passing by a Pepsi truck across from the National History Museum with machine gun carrying military personnel on top.
Guatemalan Bird List
Southern Rough-winged Swallow
[To be continued]