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What did you learn while abroad? What was Costa Rica like? Did the volcanoes bother you? Did you have a good time? These were all questions that I was asked when I returned home. I answered “Birds, awesome, no, and of course I did”. Costa Rica was an amazing experience. I saw things that I will most likely never get to see again even though I would love to visit again. The main difference that I have noticed since my return has been my greater appreciation for my surroundings. I am more apt to notice animals in foliage and birds in the sky,but that is not where my awareness stops. I notice people, and mostly I notice that I am quite wasteful. In Costa Rica we made a point to finish all of our food in order to avoid the stereotype of being wasteful Americans as well as to avoid causing displeasure to our hosts which was fine, but upon arrival home I would notice how I would usually waste a good portion of my food. This caused me to be more conscientious and to ensure that I do my part to limit my waste. This was a trip to study birds that taught me appreciate and take care of the things around me.