Category: Videos and Resources

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An Amazing Day with Peanut’s Group

Dian Fossey’s Karisoke Research Center, Rwanda, Africa

Hagenia trees seem almost life like with their many twists and turns.

Hagenia trees seem almost life like with their many twists and turns.

Journal Entry August 9, 1985

Wayne, David and I hiked into Zaire today in search of Peanut’s Group. The Zairean border is only a 15-minute walk from Karisoke. No passport required, we simply jumped over a small stream.

The terrain is surreal. We passed through wide emerald meadows flanked by huge hagenia trees. Whispy vegetation hangs from the horizontal branches like gauzy sleeves swaying in a breeze. It almost feels like we’re on another planet. I can understand why Dian hates leaving here even for a couple of days.

Wayne really didn’t want to take both of us along with him. He was cautioned by another researcher against approaching Peanut’s Group with more than one other person. There’s still a good deal of unrest among the 6 male members over the two females acquired from Nunkie’s Group after he died recently.

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Costa Rica – Home of the Jesus Christ Lizard

If you’re headed to Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica on vacation, be prepared to be awed by Mother Nature.

Imagine an iridescent blue butterfly the size of a paperback book, a monkey that howls louder than a coyote and a tree sloth so slow it grows moss. Stay tuned for more about Costa Rica’s amazing creatures in future blogs, but for now let’s talk about the quirky Green Basilisk, nicknamed the Jesus Christ Lizard because of its ability to walk on water. Technically they run on water. How do they do that?

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Quepos & Manuel Antonio are the backdrop of Marcia Gay Harden’s latest film

AFTER WORDS is a romantic adventure set partially in Quepos and Manuel Antonio. It stars Academy Award Winner Marcia Gay Harden, who plays Jane, a librarian who spirals into despair after she loses her job.

Jane travels to Costa Rica with the intention of seeing beauty before committing suicide there. However, a charming tour guide and an adventure teach her about the true meaning of the Pura Vida (Pure Life) lifestyle, which may just save her life.

The production crew filmed on location in Quepos and Manuel Antonio in July of 2012, often hanging out at Dos Locos while the second floor served as the makeup and wardrobe for the cast. Other familiar locations are Ummar Bikini Store and Jaime Peligro Bookstore. Look for our own Jeff Ralston and Carolyn Onay in the waterfall scene in the trailer.

How to Chew Betel Nuts

Sumba Island, Indonesia 1996

Sumba Island is one of those rare places where they practice megalithic (monolithic) burials. Prominent villagers are buried under huge rocks in the middle of the village to blur the line between life and death.

We needed permission from the village chief to visit Sumba, so our guide took us shopping for gifts. Cigarettes and betel nuts were the chief’s favorites. I noticed small bloody puddles of what looked like broken teeth and gums on the sidewalks. It turned out that one use for Betel Nut is to stimulate the flow of saliva to aid digestion.

Betel nuts have been around since the 1st century A.D. and are used like caffeine for alertness, increased stamina and euphoria. Medicinal uses include to expel phlegm, kill worms, for purification, and as an aphrodisiac. David gets a lesson on how to chew Betel Nut in this video.

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