My Experience In Costa Rica

Costa Rica was the experience of a lifetime! from the minute we arrived we started to IMG_8376[1]make memories that would last forever. we experienced so many different things on the trip I don’t think we could have fit any other experiences into the 17 day exchange. we did everything you could wish to do from swimming in the sea (which was actually pleasantly warm) while watching the sunset over the horizon to making cotton thread with our new found friends from Portugal and Costa Rica. From beginning to end my experience of Costa Rica and its diverse wildlife and culture was absolutely amazing!

B ‘e Costa Rica an t-eòlas a bh’ ann air beatha! bhon gheàrr-chunntas a ràinig sinn thòisich sinn air cuimhneachain a dhèanamh a mhaireadh gu bràth. bha eòlas againn air uiread de rudan eadar-dhealaichte air an turas, chan eil mi a ‘smaoineachadh gum faodadh sinn a bhith a’ freagairt eòlas sam bith eile a-steach don iomlaid 17-latha. rinn sinn a h-uile càil a bu mhiann leat a dhèanamh bho bhith a ‘snàmh anns a’ mhuir (rud a bha gu math blàth) agus a ‘coimhead air a’ ghrian-grèine thar fàire gus snàithlean cotain a dhèanamh leis na caraidean ùra a lorg sinn bho Phortagail agus Costa Rica. Bho thoiseach gu deireadh bha m ‘eòlas air Costa Rica agus na fiadh-bheatha agus an cultar eadar-mheasgte air leth iongantach!

when the day finally came, the day I had been counting down to for weeks previous, it didn’t feel real I couldn’t believe that we were actually going, I was excited and nervous because I would be travelling thousands of miles across the world with people I didn’t know too well to meet more people who I don’t know at all, now I know I shouldn’t have been nervous at all because these people are some of the nicest and most respectful people I have ever met, the people from Portugal were  fun to be with and always full of joy, the people of Rey Curre were patient and didn’t care weather they could communicate with us or not they wanted to be our friends anyway and soon we all had google translate downloaded onto our phones to make communicating easier. the leaders from Portugal were very kind and understanding and were more than happy to translate for us when google translate was not working, my fellow scots (and American who lives in Scotland)who I didn’t really know to well before we left turned out to be amazing people who were full of banter and now we are close friends. I couldn’t have wished for a better group to spend the seventeen days with.

Since we returned from Costa Rica many people have asked me what my favourite part of the exchange was and every time I struggle to answer because it was just so amazing and we did soo much, so I have managed to whittle it down to my 2 favourite things. the day after we arrived we visited the diamante eco adventure park in the Guanacaste province where we did a series of 5 zip wire’s one of which is the longest in central diamante_photos-12931.jpgAmerica and we walked around the animal sanctuary where we saw SLOTHS, crocodiles, frogs , snakes, panthers and loads more. This day was one of my favourites because it was our first proper day out as a group and we all started to get to know each other. Another of my favourite things was the time which we spent in Rey Cure, we were warmly welcomed into their community, with everyone working hard and trying to make us feel as welcome as possible. I really enjoyed finding out about the community’s culture, which was similar to ours here on Skye in some ways and different in other ways. I also enjoyed making friends with both the Costa Ricans and the Portuguese, ove20170730_012350[1].jpgr the six days we were in Rey Curre these friendship’s grew stronger to the point where people would take your phone and take lots of great selfies on it like, you would to one of your close friends, these friendship’s are still strong a month after leaving with regular video calls and messages being sent and received between us all .

In the days which we spent in Rey Cure we learnt so much about their history and culture through dance and guided walks through the village and museums, we were shown so many of their sacred things such as trees which had been in there since the first colonisers arrived. we were also shown how they make the famous Borucan masks which are still made today how they have been made for centuries, and how they use them in an annual festival “Dance Of The Devils” which celebrates the resistance against Spanish colonisation which allowed them to keep many of their


traditions. In this festival the Spaniards are represented by a bull costume and the boruca wear their traditional devil masks, in the festival the bull is chased off by the devil masks.

I feel this trip has changed me in many ways, these changes have all been good changes for example it has made me more confident, before  I wasn’t really someone who liked to talk in front of an audience but now I don’t mind it. it has also changed the way I look at things before the trip I didn’t really pay attention to my surroundings and now because I liked the way that so many of the natural things in San Vicente, Boruca and Rey Curre are sacred it has made me think more, like, how long that tree has been there and I wonder what it has seen throughout its lifetime.

The exchange to Costa Rica was amazing and I cannot wait till the second part of the exchange when the Costa Ricans come over to Scotland. None of this would have been possible without our amazing leaders from ST Andrews university, thank you for this experience! it was the trip of a lifetime!








Potato scones/sconaichean buntata

Potato scones or ‘tattie’ scones are one of scotlands best known breakfast foods. They are best served warm with eggs and bacon (how they were traditionally served). There are many different recipes for potato scones some are fried and some are baked in the oven, but my favourite recipe is out of my great granny’s cook book .

Tha sconaichean buntata neo ‘tattie’ scons fear dhe na biadhnan breacaist as ainimeil aig Alba. Tha iad as fhearr nuair a tha iad comhla ri uighean agus hama (ciamar a bha iad air iche gu traditionta). Tha torr diofar doighean ann airson gan coicearachd – s’urrainn dhaibh air a bhi cuir dhan obhainn neo ann am pana le ola, ach tha an doigh as fhearr leamsa a mach as an leabhar coicearachd aig mo shi sheanamhair.20170513_164535

1) Peel, boil and mash the potatoes.
2) Put all dry ingredients and the butter into the bowl.
3) Rub in the butter untill it looks like bread crumbs (by hand or by machine) then add the potatoes and some milk – (enough to make a soft dough) and mix untill combined.
4) Pat the dough out into a circle and cut into equal triangles and brush tops with some beaten egg.
5) Bake for 10 minutes at 200 °C untill golden on top and serve warm and enjoy.

My Neighbour Effie McLeod/Effie NicLeoid mo nàbaidh


Airson an agalamh agam chaidh mi chun an nabaidh agam, Effie nicleoid. Bith Effie ruidh am buth anns a bhaile agus le seo tha i gu math an sàs anns an coimhearsnachd. Anns an agalamh dh’inns i dhomh ciamar a bha an coimhearsnachd nuair a bha i fhein fàs suas, ciamar a tha an coimhearsnachd air atharrachadh tharais na bliadhnaichean agus cho cudromach a tha am pairt aig an taigh tasgaidh ann a bhidh cumail an cultar beo. Bha mi smaonaicheadh gun robh e uabhasach intinneach a bhi ag ionnsachadh barrachd my dheidhinn an coimhearsnachd.//For my interview I went to my neighbour Effie McLeod. Effie runs the local shop through which she is very involved with the community. In the interview she tells me about what the community was like while growing up, how the community has changed over the years and how much of an important part the museum plays in keeping the culture alive. I found it fascinating learning more about the community!

Could you pleas introduce yourself – Where were you born and where did you grow up?/An urrainn dhut innseadh dhuinn co thunnad (caite an do rugadh thu agus caite an do chaidh thu a thogail)

My name is Effie Macleod I was jborn on the Isle of Harris and that is where I was brought up.

Could you please describe the community and what it was like when you were growing up?//An urrainn dhut innseadh dhomh mu dheidhinn an coimhearsnachd agus ciamar a bha e coltach far an robh thu fàs suas?

It was a very close-knit community everyone helped each other all the time, if you were cutting the peat or if you werent as well off as others or if you didn’t have a big family who could help you on the croft, everybody in the community would come and help. It was a very happy environment. Everybody was always out in the fresh air and helping others and working on th croft.

How has it changed or has it stayed the same?/ Ciamar a tha air atharrachadh neo a bheil e an aon rud?

Well it hasn’t stayed the same unfortunately it has changed in many ways, people don’t work the crofts now like they used to. A few people have become crofters but they don’t live off our ancestors did. The climate has changed which maybe doesn’t enable you to grow your own crops because now we ger a lot more rain. But I like to think that where we live here in Staffin the people are very nice and helpful

Are there any community traditions that you are part of?/a bheil tachartasan neo cuir seachadan traditiona ann a bheil thu gabhail pairt ann?

Well no not really, I am as you know working in the localendar shop. I am very much involved there and I try to help as much as I can with fund-raising if anything is going on. But I don’t have much time to take part in many events myself. If anyone was organising a family ceilidh or that I am always there to help them.

What advice would you give the younger generation about preserving the community’s traditions and way of life?/De biodhadh to ag radh ri na linntean ri teachd mu dheidhinn cumail na tachartasan traditionta and an doigh beatha aig an coimhearsnachd beo?

Well I would just advise them to take a leaf out of there forefathers book and try and keep up traditions and work the crofts as best they can. To help each other. It is very important that we help, help your neighbours and anybody in the community that needs it.

What would you say the role of the museum in the community is?De bhiodh tu gradh mu dheidhinn am pairt a bhios an taigh tasgaidh a gabhail anns an coimhearsnachd?

The role of the museum in the community is vet important amongst locals and visitors, the visitors just love the history of the place and they always want to know about it. They are very intrigued when they hear you speaking our own language gaelic. You could be bleathering to somebody in the shop in gaelic and the visitors say ‘we just love listening to that’. Anything to do with island life the visitors love and they come here to experience it and to see people working the croft. They come here expecting to see a lot more than they do see. The museum shows them how the land used to be worked , so the museum is very important for that.

Andrew: The Role Of The Museum Within The Community // Am Pairt A Bhios An Taigh Tasgaidh Ann An Stafainn Cluich Anns An Coimhearsnachd

I think the museum in Staffin plays a vital role in the community. It helps to share some of Staffin’s history. It has some very interesting artefacts including crofting tools and even some dinosaur fossils dating back to the prehistoric times. These artefacts help to show everyone how people used to live in Staffin and how much the community has changed, it also helps us learn about our culture and allows us keep it alive.

Tha mi smaoineachadh gu bheil an taigh tasaigh ann an Stafainn cluich pairt mor anns an coimhearsnachd.Tha e cuideachad le bhi toirt seachad pois echdraidh aig Stafainn.Tha rudan gu math innteanach aig mar innealan croithearachd agus fius fosailean díneasaran deiteadh air ais gu amanan ro-eachdraidheil. th na rudan seo cuideachadh ann a bhi sealtainn a h-uile duine ciamar am b’abhaist daoine bhi fuireach ann an Stafainn agus cho mor a tha an sgíreair atharrachadh. Tha e cuideach leigeil leinn a bhi ag ionnsachadh mu dheidhinn ar cultar agus leigeil leinn bhi ga chumail beo.

Andrew: My Favourite Place On Skye An Aite Fheárr Leam Air An T-Eilean Sgitheanach

After moving to Skye 5 years ago my family and I have explored many parts of Skye, but my favourite part has to be the Quirang.

As deidh bhi gluasad dhan t-eilean Sgitheanach, coig bliadhna air ais, tha mi fhéin agus mo theaglach air tórr dhen eilean fhaicinn. Tha an aite as fheárr leam air an eilean an cuith-raing.quiraing

The Quirang is situated in Staffin on the north end of the Isle Of Skye, it is part of the Trotternish Ridge. The Trotternish Ridge was formed by landslips. the Quirang is the only part of the Ridge still moving.

The reason for the Quirang being my favourite  part of Skye is because it is magical and mysterious. The views you get from the top are amazing and on clear days you can see for miles right over to Gairloch on the Mainland.

The Quirang has featured in many movies and adverts over the last few years, it is becoming more and more of a filming destination, it has recently made an appearance in one of Disney’s new films the BFG.


Andrew: Skye In Winter

greamhadh on Skye

we don’t get much snow in winter on Skye at winter but when we do it looks spectacular it makes the mountain’s look even nicer than normal.20170113_121059

(a picture of the old man of Storr in the snow)

And when it does snow we make the most of it.

Image may contain: snow, plant, tree, outdoor and nature  (me and my little sister made this very small snowman using up nearly all the snow in the garden)

winter normally consists of torrential rain and storms, some of which even have names. One storm reached wind speeds of 109mph this storm took off part of our roof.




Andrew: My Hopes And Fears

Fáilte screenshot_2017-02-04-12-01-591

Costa Rica!

I am so excited at the prospect of visiting Costa Rica, experiencing the cultural diversities, meeting new people and visiting the Costa Rican jungle and hopefully some of its inhabitants. we were asked to comment of our fears for this project, I`ll be honest I am struggling with this as I don’t have any – is this a good thing or a bad thing?