Kelsey Baker


Kelsey Baker

living la pura vida

Well, after 3 1/2 months in Costa Rica, it’s time to go back home! It was a jam packed semester with good times & bad times, happy times & sad times, silly times & study times. It’s hard to put in words my experience here, but overall I would say muy bueno. I learned a lot about myself, life, and of course biology. Saw some pretty awesome things, went to some pretty bitchin’ places, and met some pretty amazing people. I’m going to miss a lot of things about the Tico life and the OTS life, but I am very happy to call California home. Here are some random pics from the whole semester. Thanks for reading everybody - ¡Pura Vida!... read more
la selva
Cuerici jeep ride
Las cruces coffee plantation

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Guanacaste » Nicoya November 27th 2012

Hola from the hottest driest place in Costa Rica (at least thats what it feels like)! This place is like Cuerici in the sense that I dont feel like i am in Costa Rica at all. However that is the last similarity. It feels like a very hot summer in California everyday, which I like a lot! Definitely better than the constant rain in Monteverde. There is a really neat marsh with lots of wildlife - including crocodiles! I wish I could take pictures but I have only seen them at night. If you walk on the boardwalk in the dark, you can see there eye shine. Kind of creepy. But also awesome. Also mosquitoes. Boo. Out of all the places I have been in Costa Rica, I have been bitten most here. I think there ... read more
La Roca sunset

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Guanacaste » Tilaran November 18th 2012

Well to say a lot has happened since the last time I posted is an understatement. The internet here in Palo Verde National Park unfortunately isn't that great so I am going to keep it brief. First, Bocas del Toro. I suppose one good thing about flying home unexpectadly and returning late to the program was the fact that I got to ride in a little tiny plane, or a puddle-jumper I think some people call them. From San Jose to Bocas by plane was only about an hour. And there were some pretty neat views. The field station was not one of the nicer ones we have stayed at. Apparently we were the last guests there before they opened a new facility. Oh well. The carribean side is definitely different than the Pacific - in ... read more
view from little plane
Bocas del Toro field station

Hola from Tamarindo! I LOVE it here. Even though the journey here wasn't very pleasant, it was totally worth it. We left Friday morning around 8:30. Our first stop was the airport to pickup my camera that had flown from Connecticut with my friends parents. We incorrectly assumed that we could take a bus from the airport to Tamarindo, and ended up having to go back to San Jose and catch a bus from there. Aaaaand we missed the bus by 5 minutes. The next one wasn't for like 5 hours so we decided to instead catch a bus to Santa Cruz, and then Tamarindo. By means of uncomfortable, but cheap, buses we got to Tamarindo around 8:30pm. A long travel day. But our hostel, called Pura Vida, is super neat and comfortable. There are a ... read more
dorm room at hostel
road to hostel
storm coming in after sunset

Today was my last day of school! I won't miss it that much. I can definitely say I am a fan of education outside desks and a classroom. It’s weird how fast time goes by. It doesn’t seem like I have been at my homestay for three weeks! I am sad to leave but also really excited for break! And to get out of San Jose – not the best city to visit. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, but I can show all of you where I live(d) and go(went) to school! Here is the link to the google maps for my house: url=,-84.031677&spn=0.183632,0.338173,-84.031677&spn=0.183632,0.338173 The actual address is: Santa Marta, Bo. Ma. Auxiliadora, del Convento de Monjas suroe... read more

Hola! This weekend was SO AWESOME. I think Montezuma is my favorite place so far in Costa Rica. It was a long trip to get there from San Jose but totally worth it. We left on Friday morning really early, around 5am. First, we took a taxi to the bus station near downtown. Then we got on a bus (pretty nice, kind of like the Greyhound we sometimes take to the airport). After about three hours, we got to the Nicoya Gulf, where we got on a ferry. We rode the ferry for about an hour and a half. The ferry charters cars too so our bus was below deck somewhere. Once we crossed the gulf, we got back on our bus for about an hour and a half. Then we had to change buses one ... read more
kelsey big waterfall
little pool
ferry ride there

I was planning on posting this last week but the internet was out for two days! So here it is....And another post about this weekend will be coming soon :) My friend told me that the other day was the half-way point of the semester – wow! It seems like I have been here longer. I think that the rest of the program is going to go by very quickly though. This week, and the week before here in San Jose flew by. I don’t know if it is because people realized that it’s about the halfway point of the program, but nobody wanted to be in class this week. It seems like more people are getting homesick. One of my friends really likes to sail and he is missing the America’s Cup in San Francisco. ... read more

After an AWESOME weekend, I’ve returned to my casa in Santa Marta safe and sound! It was so great to have three days to enjoy the weekend. It gave us enough time to explore a lot of Manuel Antonio! I’ll fill you all in on the best parts. So we first took the bus from San Jose on Thursday night at 6pm. I didn’t know what to expect since I had heard that sometimes the buses can be uncomfortable. But I was lucky! I got a seat right behind the handicap entrance so I had a ton of leg room. It was a very comfortable ride. It only took a little over three hours. Then we arrived at our hostel, called Backpacker Manuel Antonio ( We had made reservations before we left, but it turns out ... read more
el avion
kelsey on rock

Well I have my first real weekend starting tomorrow! I am off to Manuel Antonio National Park with about 12 other people from the OTS group. I’m a little bummed because initially I wanted to go to Tamarindo, a beach town on the Nicoya Peninsula in the northwest. But, this morning there was an earthquake there, and they are apparently anticipating aftershocks. So the school didn’t want us to go. I didn’t feel the earthquake this morning but other people in the house did. Today in class we learned about some problems that Costa Rica has, a major one being traffic. I learned that certain cars, for example with license plates that end in a 2 or 3, can’t drive between 6am and 8am during the week to San Jose. I’m not sure if this is ... read more

Well, I’m not sure if I can consider myself a “Tica” yet, but I’ve gotten used to living in San Jose! Technically I live in Santa Marta, a small neighborhood outside of the big city. It is a little challenging to get around the city because there are no street signs and no house numbers! I don’t know how people give directions, but an example would be “300 metros norte, la tercera casa a la izquierda” (300 meters north, the third house on the left). A compass would definitely have been a good investment. I’m in the intermediate class at CRLA (Costa Rican Language Academy) and there are five other students with me. All of them are from the OTS group so I know them well. Our professor’s name is Gabriel and he is a great ... read more

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