Ti Amo, Italia! Part 1: A foodie’s dream.

Ciao! Mi chiamo Fiona. Ho studiato I media di bambini in Centennial College e ho finite il programma nel mese Agosto.

Through Centennial College’s GEO Program, I had the privilege of going to Italy with a group of 26 other students to learn conversational Italian, enjoy traditional Italian cuisine and immerse myself in Italian culture. It was my first time in Europe and I could not have asked for a better experience.

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Urbania is a quant town in the province of Urbino. It’s about 4.5 hours northeast of Rome. The family that I stayed with had 2 teenage children that understood and spoke some English. There were instances of Google Translate being used to communicate. The magical thing about conversing while there’s a language barrier is that one can still make sense of the conversation based on the time of day, the situation and the tone of someone else’s voice.

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I LOVE FOOD. Usually, I don’t seek out Italian food often since I don’t really enjoy pasta dishes unless they’re smothered in cheese… BUT having mild lactose intolerance limits my dairy intake to no more than 1-2 times a week. I do love gelato though. I would suffer a stomachache for tiramisu and bacio gelato ANYDAY!

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Colazione (Breakfast)
At the crack of dawn, my Italian father would go to the local bar to pick up fresh baked croissants for my roommate and I. To put it into perspective, the bar is to Italians as cafés are to North Americans. It was a bit of adjustment eating patisseries for breakfast every morning, but all is forgiven since the croissant con marmellata di pesca è molto delizioso!

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Pranzo (Lunch)
The first thing I noticed when given the school schedule was the 2 hour lunch breaks. Long lunch breaks are given for people to go home and eat together with their families. Local stores are closed midday for family time as well. One of my favourite food items for lunch was a pastry flat bread called the crostolo, which is traditional to Urbania. It can be sweet or savoury. I enjoyed mine with lots of greens, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.

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Cena (Dinner)
The first couple of dinners in Urbania, I asked my Italian mom if the pasta that she’s serving us was homemade.  She told me no and that she used pasta from a box and proceeded to show me their cupboard filled with Barilla pasta (the Barilla commercials don’t lie – it’s a brand that Italians trust!). My Italian mom did eventually make us fresh pasta… and it was molto delizioso!

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Cena is a biggest meal of the day for Italians. Unlike North American society where you’re conditioned to have your biggest meal in the morning and eat less throughout the day, Italians have their meals the complete opposite. At the homestay, dinners usually started off with a pasta dish and then followed by a course of meats, veggies and lots of bread. The meal ends with fruit and coffee.

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Grazie Mille Centennial College! Grazie Mille Centro Studi Italiani! Ricorderò sempre il mio tempo in Italia!


Fiona Lui
Children’s Media – Post-Graduate Certificate Program

Waking Up with the Natural Universe

My first video blog and moving images that I had captured while I am here in Llano Bonito.  I invite you to listen and see what I am experiencing and be apart of it as well.

Waking Up with the Natural Universe

Every morning I arise to the sound of the Rooster in LLano Bonito.  My first morning here, I was woken up by the sound of the Rooster, house cats, the school children, and cars zooming by the house.  I live in front of an elementary school, and the students usually starts class at 7am in the morning.  I can hear them recite and repeat speeches in unison.  This school is also where I will be assisting the students.  I had attended a bullying intervention at this school.  The activity was an hour long and was facilitated by the University students of Costa Rica.  I had visited two other schools as well.  One of the school, I will be helping the students with an upcoming English festival, that includes a spelling bee, an impromptu, and a theatrical speech.

Early in the morning around 5 am here, birds are singing and chirping happily.  There are many hummingbirds, tiny creatures that flutters their wings in lightning speed while drinking the nectars of the purple butterfly bush.  I also wake up to freshly new insect and mosquito bites.  What is helpful is wearing light clothing, long pants, shirts and pants helps to deter them from doing this.  Living higher in the mountains, it gets cold here at night and early mornings.  But the late mornings and afternoons temperature increases.  The sounds, sight, taste, and smell while living here is new to me but is very natural.  What senses that trigger special moments in your life?

Until next time, Hasta Luego!

Sherry Ing

Massage Therapy student at Centennial College

¡Exactamente!

Sherry Ing International Internship Llano Bonito Costa Rica Electricity Project
Beyond the mountains lays the electricity power project below in Llano Bonito, Costa Rica, the future of electricity power for the community. <<<<<Más allá de las montañas establece el proyecto de electricidad a continuación en Llano Bonito , Costa Rica, el futuro de la energía eléctrica para la comunidad.<<<<<

¡Exactamente!

I had a days in at Proal the day after my arrival. I had the chance to observe the ladies at Proal provide a bio-energy assessment.  Bio-energy assessment that the ladies at Proal utilized originated in Japan. They use a copper rod to assess the body starting from the head and moving inferiorly. Herbal medicine are used during this assessment as well. I am learning more and more about this throughout my time at Proal.

At the end of my first day at Proal in Llano Bonito, Costa Rica, I had the chance to do an active, passive, and resisted range of motion on a forearm.  I was able to eliminate the possible cause produce the pain and what muscle is affected. ¡Exactamente! exclaimed the person, as I pinpoint the area that is affected.  The extensor digitorum muscles that extends digits 1-4.  During the assessment, digit 1-3 reenacted the pain in the forearm area. What I learned from my Clinical Anatomy and Orthopaedic & Biomechanic program classes were very helpful to help me figure this out.  The days are going by quickly, and I am learning more and more of how I can utilize my learning in the Massage Therapy Program at Centennial in Proal in Llano Bonito, Costa Rica.  Having to trust myself with independent research, getting feed back from my classmate and another student in the health related program at Centennial, figuring it out and building confidence in myself is a challenge. Have you been in a situation where its up to you to figure things out?  How did you feel?  What steps did you take?

In Llano Bonito, Costa Rica,

Sherry Ing

Massage Therapy student at Centennial College

Centennial College GEO Experience in France – La Rochelle June 2014

The historical town of La Rochelle, inclusive of our host families and school Groupe Sup de Co (La Rochelle) welcomed all of us with an unforgettable warm embrace. The opportunity to learn the language in an environment enriched with pure French culture continues to create unforgettable memories. Whether we are mixing up all of our words or totally uttering the wrong masculine or feminine words, it has been exciting learning French; this definitely leaves me counting my blessings for the mandatory French classes that I used to botch. Before arriving in La Rochelle I could only picture the Eiffel Tower and shopping centres while thinking of France. But now I will forever remember La Rochelle for this experience as a student, made possible through the Global Cultural Exchange (GEO) opportunity by Centennial College. Besides feeling encouraged to learn the French language more fluently, I am filled with ambition that one-day I could be a competitive trilingual professional in the Canadian legal field. This trip has made me realize that you can always have the opportunity to travel as a tourist to many foreign countries but the experience while traveling as a student is comparable to none. Being a student at Centennial College has truly enriched my learning journey. But on the down side even though I am surrounded by all this fine cuisine I still miss my Amma’s spicy chicken curry.

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My voyage through France

I must apologize for the lack of updates throughout the month of August, however I was too busy seeing the wonders of France! And what amazing voyages they were… Traveling throughout Northern France, I saw the beauty of Normandy, the gorgeous seaside of Brittany, the picturesque scenes of the Seine winding through to Paris, and the rolling hills of the Champagne region! It has been quite the journey over the past few weeks, and I have come to love the beauty and simplicity that is rural France. 

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The view of Arromanche, in Normandy. The things you see on the beach are relics from WWII, part of the sea fortifications the Germans constructed before D-Day.

 

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Me in front of the Mumm vineyards near Riems. The river Mumm is visible in the back!

 

 

 

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The Cathedral in Bayeux, one of the few remaining intact Medieval towns in France.

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Another photo of Bayeux, to the right is the Museum of the Bayeux Tapestry.

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Mont St. Michel is almost too beautiful for words… And a impenetrable fortress which protected the French royal family during the Hundred Years War with England.

And now during my last few weeks at IIEP, I cannot help but reflect upon the previous few months I spent with a great group of co-workers whom I am happy to call my friends. We shared many laughs and great times together, discovering the beauty of Paris as a group. I felt so lucky and blessed to have met such a great group of people who all supported and helped each other in living in a foreign city. Here is a photo from a shared birthday between myself and a co-worker. 

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