Wonder: The liminal space between science and magic
Kiana Lussier ’13
Internship: Sendero Pacifico in San Luis, Costa Rica
Study Abroad: Global-Local Challenges to Sustainability, Monteverde Institute
“Me pregunto si…” I wonder if… damselflies are territorial? And if so, I wonder if they are possessive of one rock in the riverbed? Or two? Do they attack other damselflies that enter their space? They do. I asked myself these questions while studying abroad through a Mount Holyoke program in Monteverde, Costa Rica. I wondered how many luciérnagas, fireflies, I could spot in the forest in one minute. I wondered how many more amphibians I could find at night, than in daylight.
The course, World Regional Geography ignited my curiosity and astonishment within the discipline. I carried the seed planted by geography with me to Costa Rica and it grew, nourished by the instruction of fig trees, bees, permaculture and talented biologists. In Monteverde, I studied global and local challenges to environmental sustainability. The experiential course emphasized an enchantment with nature. Paired with a vocabulary informed by geography, I understood and cultivated the relationship between myself and my physical environment.
During the semester I became culturally, emotionally and academically engaged with Monteverde as a place. While I basked in the bewildering interconnectedness of the cloud forest, I created another home.
I returned to Costa Rica the following year for a Geography Department fellowship in Mapping Community Migration using GIS. I returned two years later to hike and visit family and friends. In reflection, my dear friend Isobel Arthen ’14 verbalized this title, succinctly explaining why I established roots in Monteverde; it inspires wonder.