This is a common reaction to parents and students that talk to us on the phone.
Base is a frequent term in our Costa Rica Outward Bound vocabulary. But based on some comments from students and parents, we gather that its purpose, function, description, and location are not as clear as we think.
Base is our rainforest "campus" that contains our homes (for the base staff), our offices, the kitchens, the student and instructor dorms, and our equipment bodega. It has been our hub since 2002, the year the communications staff left our Manuel Antonio base (bought in 1995). (Click here to view photos of both bases on our flickr.com "base" tags.) Students' sleep at this base (located in the outskirts of San Jose) on their first and final nights, during Transition Days*, and the nights before rafting trips (those in Central Valley rivers).
It has developed this mysterious reputation among students and parents especially since it has no physical address other than:
"500m northeast of the last bus stop of San Ramon de Tres Rios; the first right-hand gate after the fourth speed bump."
Sketchy? Yeah, we think so, too, but that's the nature of Costa Rican addresses. There are no street names or numbers.
To dispel any "sketchiness" about our base, we have already compiled two blogs to give the base more credibility as a real location:
- From Base to the SJO Airport: explains the base's relationship to the city and airport
- We found our base from space!: show's the Google satellite image of our base
And for a more personal view of our day-to-day lives here, one of our communications employees took photos on her morning jog. This video shows a lot of the beautiful views on and around base, to the apt tune of "Beautiful Day" by U2:
I think the word you're looking for is: preciosa. (Literally meaning "precious;" in Costa Rica locals use it to mean "beautiful" in a very emphatic manner when speaking about scenery.)
*These days are for students on longer courses (24+ days) to wash clothes and change equipment