THE 17KM WALK
By Sherry Ing, currently interning in Costa Rica
I have given an insight on my 5 hours walk to the Basilica in Cartago with two Costa Rica friends. At first we were strangers to each other, but as we walked together we were able to motivate and keep each other moving.
On August 2, two Costa Rica friends and I decided to walk 5 hours to the Basilica in Cartago, the old capital of Costa Rica. The previous day, hundreds of Costa Rica people came from all directions, South, West, East and North. It was also a holiday and a time of celebration and many people travel here to do the pilgrimage walk or visit the Basilica on these two dates. The road we took was after San Marcos to Cartago. We did not come across many walkers but a few. On our way we met three young boys in their bright soccer team shirts and shoes. They also had to stop to massage their legs, one boy barely could walk without restriction. During this 17 km walk we saw many abandoned umbrellas and we walked the path that once was called the mountain of death. Its called this because the paved road never existed and people easily slipped and fell to their death. Once we got to the Basilica de Los Angeles, there were many people. On one side there were food stands and the other the line up to the church. You have the option of walking into it or be on your knees. The day was complete with a view of a soccer game in front of a school that once was a government building. The 17 km walk could not have happened if it were not for the two companion I had with me to do it together. We made sure we had something to eat, if anyone needed a break, and taken turns carrying bags. We were behind one another, with one person leading in front to keep our pace going. Would you consider a 17km walk with complete strangers? How would you keep each other motivated?
INTERNSHIP LIFE IN LLANO BONITO
By Sherry Ing, currently in Costa Rica
What exactly am I doing this summer? Right now, Toronto is filled with crowds of cheers for Athletes competing in the Pan Am Games. I had the personal choice of either staying in Toronto and joining in with fellow aspiring health professionals to support the Athletes or intern at a health based internship in Costa Rica. Both are important to me and relates to health & people, but living cross culturally and developing international friendship was a new personal goal for me. As a Centennial student, I am taking part in a GEO international internship in Llano Bonito, Costa Rica at the moment this summer. Llano Bonito, which is translated into English as flat and beautiful, which is contrary to what the description of the location here actually is. There is a humour to it and if you get it, the hills aren’t exactly flat in Llano Bonito. Be prepare to pack a good pair of hiking shoes because it’s a gastrocnemius (calf) workout here. For the internship, it consist of working with the Proal women in natural health assessment and plant based medicine. While the majority of my work week is spent with children of Llano Bonito at two elementary school with an English teacher. Just recently, me and my fellow health-related program Centennial student revitalized the green house at Proal. We cleaned it up a bit and then planted different vegetables and herbs. We had red and green leaf lettuce, chives, curly and flat leaf parsley, and seeded zucchini and radishes. These are only for the coordinators’ personal use for now. Hopefully it can be turned into an educational green house for school children to visit and to learn about where their food come from. My time here is almost coming to a close chapter, living cross culturally in this brief time period in Llano Bonito is filling me with new stories and experiences to share with my friends and family. I am creating international friendship, and enduring challenges that inspire new ideas and way of thinking about life. What one personal and professional goal would you like to gain from an international internship experience?