Six dancing quetzals and a long conversation

Trip Start Apr 09, 2005
Trip End Jun 08, 2005

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Sunday, May 29, 2005

This morning I went to the Santa Elena reserve with Jodi and we saw six quetzals dancing in the canopy right above our heads. I always knew, even before I came to Costa Rica, that I would have the experience of seeing this mystical bird--and so I did. They were so close that I could make out details of their bodies with my naked eye. When the males flew, their long, sensuously fluttering tail feathers stretched out behind them, making them look like serpents gliding across the sky, just as is described in the legends of Quetzalcoatl, an Aztec god who is half quetzal and half serpent.

Later tonight Fish, a Costan Rican guy I had met about a month ago, came over and we went out for dinner and then sat on my porch and looked at the stars and talked. It was unbelievable how on the same page we were as far as our life philosophies, our fascination with animals, and our love for conservation of the environment. It was exhilarating to be conversing on such a deep level in Spanish and to be aware as I listened, fascinated by his words, that we were two beings of such radically different backgrounds who chanced to meet in a small mountain town but were, in essence, doing what mighty government delegates could not do: breaching the barriers of ethnicity and nationality and connect simply as two human beings.
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