Day 5

Wednesday! This morning Meghan and I ate breakfast on the patio and the view was breathtaking.
Then we headed out to the biological station, almost 3 hours away. We stopped at a little reserve with forest area and there were sloths! We also stopped at a fruit market on the side of the road and I bought a passion fruit which tasted nothing like I thought passion fruit tasted. 

 The biological station was called “La Selva” which is over 4,000 acres and contains over 500,000 species. The amount of information researchers come to study is incredible. There is so much to learn about, I could only imagine how much research would need to be done in order to obtain all the information held in the reserve. We got to see boar-like animals, birds, howler monkeys, spiders, and ants bigger than your finger nail! The whole forest was so beautiful! ?????? Many well known researchers have stayed in La Selva, some for over 20 years to complete their research. The whole station have over 30 miles of trails that researchers have to walk by foot or bike in order to do their studies. It was incredible.

4:30 PM

CARLOS! Oh man, best and most memorable part of the trip so far. The enthusiasm and energy Carlos made the trip so much more enjoyable. Be fore going to Dole, I only though I knew bananas grew on trees…WRONG. Banana plants are not trees and are 90% water. The growth of one plant includes so many particular steps. The corm is used to clone the plant producing thousands more or a cheaper way by cutting the corm into four, which only produces four plants. The plant takes 9 months to grow and produce the fruit. The bud, which is in the middle of the trunk, grows up the trunk and out the top. The bud produces female and male flowers but only the female flowers are used to grow bananas. The male flowers arent able to become mature to become a banana. The flowers on the bud are upright but when they sprout the bud falls over and the bananas are forced to grow upside down. This is how they get their curved shape, the banana flower, upside down, wants to grow it’s correct way. Because of this, more nutrients are being pushed towards the back of the banana which curves the fruit. 

The banana bunch, unfortunately, needs to meet market standards so they are highly protected. They’re packaged and then sent off to supermarkets! Carlos also let us taste banana liquor which smelt like bananas! It was all such a fun experience and I learned so much!


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