Reflecting On My 3 Month Experience
Looking back on my time here in Costa Rica and all the things I did and experienced, dealing with the barriers I faced, and the great people I met and friendships I made.
I am feeling bittersweet of my soon departure from Costa Rica. I am happy to go home and see my family and friends, but sad to leave my friends here and this wonderfully beautiful country; with all the sun, nature/rain forest, animals, mountains and adventures. Goodness, who would ever want to leave.
When I got here on the 8th of January I spend 24 in Orosi Valley it is a great little town. I went horseback riding, sightseeing, and my first time trying Costa Rica food (Gallo Pinto and Fresca). It was great!! It was sunny, hot, and beautiful. Speaking Spanish for me was a little hard because my pronunciation was really bad, but I got through it. And Costa Ricans (Ticos) are great people with tourist, they will try to help you as much as they can.
Another thing I was shocked with is that the cars had the right of way and that you had to wait for clearing before crossing the street. As well as their sewer lines are open and run between the road and sidewalk, so you have to hop over them to cross the street. I also had the experience that sometimes the bus driver will not stop the bus to pick you up, they will see you and just drive passed you (haha that was fun).
I have been zip lining with Tranopy zip lining by Rain Forest Adventures, and Playa Jaco Beach. The zip lining was crazy we were 100,500 above sea level and had to do 10 zip lines back to back all the way down the rainforest mountain above the trees, it was amazing! And Jaco Beach was wonderful. Although I did lose my eyeglasses in the ocean. When your friend tells you to jumps over the waves so she can get a picture of you, just remember to keep your glasses in your hand and not tucked in the front of your t-shirt… hahaha!
These are some other things I did on my free time: Nauyaca Waterfall and Playa Dominical Beach, Isle Tortuga and Playa Puntarenas Beach.
Meeting, bonding, and working with the Indigenous students for Tec. They are truly amazing people. I will always cherish them dearly. We did a lot of things together, but my favourite things we did was visiting some of their Indigenous communities/territories (We went to Quitirrisi to the Huetar Tribe, Talamanca to the BriBri Tribe, and also San Carlos to the Maleku tribe, Rey Curre the Boruca Tribe, and Boca Cohen a Cabecar tribe Territory). Some of the other things we did was having a culture night-food fair/ Feria de Comida, we did a photo project, Spanish/English classes twice a week, social meetings/get together with the students it was great!!! These individuals are just wonderful people with a rich history and community.
Our Supervisor Diana and her assistant Joana are great!! They are the epitome of what a social worker should be like. I hope I can be that amazing. I start to work as a social service worker.
We also volunteered once a week at Pueblito. This unique organization was established for at-risk children. Pueblito Costa Rica offers children and adolescent survivors of situations of social risk, protective factors in the form of family, strengthening their rights and promoting their duties within a comprehensive approach. It was originally founded and started by Canadians. There are 15 homes with the “donas” (mothers/caretakers, multiple staff and volunteers, there is a daycare on the property that is for the surrounding community (own by a different organization). Founded in 1974 as a project of the Canadian International Development Agency. In 1975 the town starts operation as welfare and Social Care Association. In 1984 signing of acknowledgment with PANI. It is a non-governmental organization.
These are just some of the things I did here, but not everything. Yes, we did travel all over Costa Rica with Diana, Joana and the students, and thank you for the wonderful picnic at Jardin Botanico Lankester Gardens.
And now it is time to say goodbye and hopefully sees you all soon. I will miss you all very much, thank goodness for social media! Pura Vida mi amigos y Amigas!!!
By: Abir Hassanien
Social Service Worker
Centennial College (Ashtonbee)
International student placement internship Costa Rica (Instituto Tecnologico de Costa)