It was my first experience living with a home-stay family.  It showed me the lives of others and their everyday routine in a different country.  It was the key to life lessons that I will carry onward from this experience throughout my lifetime.  I have written significant events that happen to me on my first GEO international internship experience in Costa Rica.  

It almost seems like yesterday, when I first received the keys to my room in my Costa Rica family house.  The interior was different from my first family.  I didn’t think my first time living with families of Costa Rica descendant would be a life lesson in itself.  It tested my limits and called for quick decision making at my first family.  It ignited my passion for family closeness, appreciation of the different personalities that my Costa Rica siblings possessed, and my mother and father’s role in the household at my second family.  As I entered my room, the ceiling was lined with golden colour trimmings.  The fabric clothed closet didn’t have any other peoples’ belongings, the nightstand had an Alaskan sunset cloth fabricated over it, and the bed was just right.  I felt at peace.  Claro! I would lock myself out of my room with the keys inside on my first day with them.  The first family had a second set of keys, but my second family, they had a machete.  The machete helped unlock the latch of the door after going through a pile of extra keys that didn’t fit the keyhole.  My brother and father laughed at this and I did too.  My time in Costa Rica with my Costa Rica families allowed me to practice my Spanish, opened the doors to the lives of a different culture, and the charm that the country possessed.  Last week was very emotional for me.  I had said goodbye to the 20+ children that I had connected and worked within two schools, saw my first and last soccer game of my brothers, and said goodbye to my home-stay families and friends that I made during my time there.  Yesterday, I hopped on flight 1807 along with Canadian tourists and others landing in Toronto.  Before I left Costa Rica, I had made the red, white, blue colour of Costa Rica, friendship bracelets to people that I connected with and presented them.  They are a symbol of global friendship and proudness that the people had of their country.  I hope when I complete my studies at Centennial and work that I will return and be reunited with them.  As I walked through the house, I slowly un click the two keys I had from my keychain, one to the house and one to my room.  I placed them on the dining table that I had most of my meals at.   Farewell Costa Rica, hasta luego!  This was my global experience, I encourage you to take the keys to another country and open to a new global journey….. what will your global experience be?

By Sherry Ing, GEO International Internship Costa Rica Summer 2015 participant

My Goals for 2013

Hello again!

So here I am retroactively writing my blog because time flies when you’re having fun and it could not be more true now that I have spent just over a week here in Cancun.

I have also been to Playa del Carmen both weekends and Cozumel just today with my father! It’s been a lot to take in but I’ve been mentally blogging and looking forward to a “time out” from all the adventure to publish my thoughts! Now that time has come…

My first week of school was…very different…more on that later but it’s definitely a different system than back home and I feel like I’ll need another week or two to adjust!

Anyway, regarding my topic for today “Goals for 2013”:

Personally, I NEEDED this retreat to save my soul (drama queen much?) but seriously, I need the sun and water…(always) so winter always makes me depressed back home. A change of scenary, beautiful climate, and new culture. I also wanted the time alone to do my “eat, pray, love” pardon the cliche…darn that Julia Roberts. I realized that In order to become truly self reliant and independent you have to challenge yourself and realize all the potential you have within. Being in a different country on my own I will have to fend for myself, make my decisions using my best judgement and go with the flow as well. Though I’ve lived in Europe on my own before it’s completely different here.

Academically this opportunity will allow me to perfect my Spanish as well as formally learn to read and write as I realized in class this week, I know all the material but I am missing the technical terms so it will take some effort on my part to do the work. My classmates have been helpful with my note taking (as some teachers will deduct marks for spelling errors in your notes…yes they check you’re actually taking notes…weird! haha) my classmates and I will exchange English lessons for Spanish writing lessons.

Professionally I do hope to investigate international companies to see if perhaps someone could have an informational interview with me! Ideally, I would like to talk with someone from Coca Cola as the beverage market is huge here, since the water is undrinkable, that’s one share but also with the heat you are constantly drinking something so if you get tired of water, there’s always soft drinks and juices many of which are from Coca Cola and boy are they affordable. I will research other companies that do business with Canada too. My dream job will allow me to travel (preferably somewhere hot), use my languages, and use my socio-cultural skills to enhance the companies business and client relationships.

All in all, with just 9 days in the bag I feel positive about the road ahead and I look forward to navigating it and documenting it along the way!

I will definitely be seeking words of wisdom to keep me inspired and so for tonight,

Everything that happens to us leaves some trace behind; everything contributes imperceptibly to make us what we are.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe