Hola! Llano: a short Llano Bonito visual essay

HOLA! LLANO: A SHORT LLANO BONITO VISUAL ESSAY

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

This is a brief summary of a short visual essay of my global experience internship in Llano Bonito, Costa Rica.

a Llano Bonito visual essay

KEYS TO COSTA RICA

KEYS TO COSTA RICA

It was my first experience living with a home-stay family.  It shown 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.  

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

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 fathers role in the household at my second family.  As I entered into my room, the ceiling was lined with golden colour trimmings.  The fabric clothed closet didn’t had any other peoples’ belongings, the night stand 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 key hole.  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 with in 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 red,white, blue colour of Costa Rica, friendship bracelets to people that I connected with and presented them it.  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 dinning 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?

FIVE THINGS TO DO IN LLANO BONITO

FIVE THINGS TO DO IN LLANO BONITO

This is my compiled list of five things to do in Llano Bonito, Costa Rica. As well as, it can be a guide for making the best out of your rural living-condition experience.

By: Sherry Ing, Centennial College Massage Therapy student currently in Costa Rica.

  1. HikingOn your sole, get set, GO! In Llano Bonito, there are routes and passages that you can discover by foot with a hiking companion ofcourse. I personally wouldn’t go alone, two mind is better then one. I like to hear someone with a different view set as me and can point out things that I might otherwise have not seen with my own eyes. Along the unmarked path, sometimes there are no sidewalks, along the hills, you can get a taste of the edible berries and fruits from trees and bushes. Not sure what they are, but its good to have a local person guide you on what fruits that can be eaten. An unfamiliar fruit I had tasted was a “Manzana de agua” (translated as water apple in Spanish) Everyday the weather is different and you can always guarantee that the same place looks different. Sometimes you can be walking through the mist and fog, or have lightning and thunder in the background.
  1. Fotbol FieldGoal! There is a solo outdoor fótbol (soccer in Spanish) field in Llano Bonito. It is bigger then the indoor soccer field located within the elementary school of Llano Bonito. Every Friday evenings, the female and male soccer players would have a game there. My homestay brothers play a family soccer game every Sunday with their cousins after church in the outdoor field. Sometimes there is a serious soccer game played on a Sunday there. People of all ages would gather to watch it behind the fence or sit on top of their cars.
  1. Play dress up and find the needle in a haystack. There are little shops that you can find and buy used clothing. It is sometimes San Pablocalled “tiende de ropa americana” ¢200-¢300. You can find interesting patterns and fabrics from the mountain pile of clothings. It really is a workout and like finding a needle in a haystake as I mostly watch the girls pull clothing out of the pile and help with the pulling and stacking as well.
  1. Its good to get out of the district once in awhile. Take the bus to the nearest canton, such as San Pablo or San Marcos. The cost for a bus ticket is approximately ¢900 Colones.
  1. Attention all Coffee Lover out there, visit a coffee plantation and learn how its processed and how they do it here in Llano Bonito. It’s a 24 hour non stop coffee assembly during November to February and sometimes March. Local family and workers that come from the nearest country such as Nicaragua during this time to help out with the coffee picking and the production. It is also the summer season and time of harvest for the coffee plants.

A GLANCE INTO A DAY AT WORK IN SAN RAFAEL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

A GLANCE INTO A DAY AT WORK IN SAN RAFAEL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

I have documented and shown a day into my life as an intern in Llano Bonito at an elementary school called San Rafael and what my Monday looks like last week.

By Sherry Ing, Centennial College Massage Therapy student currently in Costa Rica

5:30am

Woken up to the sound of my brothers leaving for work. The Mother Hen is always busy in the kitchen early in the morning to prepare us breakfast.  I ate a traditional breakfast called pinto: fried eggs, rice with beans, and sour cream on the side.

8:30am

Started work at the San Rafael elementary school and ended at 11:30 am. The children just returned from a 2 week vocation. We helped the English teacher with the kids by reviewing potential topics for their upcoming test. We utilized active learning. I had the children play a mini competition between each other when they reviewed their shapes. I drew a robot and a house and gave instructions to the children to construct the same drawings by dictating in English to them a shape to draw.

12:30pm

Coffee PlantationWe visited and toured Coope Llano Bonito coffee plantation. This is a fair trade certified coffee plantation in Llano Bonito. Fair trade certification is a set of guidance that the plantation follow so their workers are treated fairly in terms of work payment and working condition along with how the coffee process is done. Our tour guide is an Engineer and showed the group around the plantation. He talked about the grading of coffee and the stock exchange in New York, U.S regarding coffee prices. During their busy season, mid November to February, sometimes into March, the plantation runs 24 hours. They have machines that reduces the number of manual labours in the process. There is a hot and humidity control systems that the coffee go through.

1:00pm

Hiked up the mountains, came across trails of ants carrying miniature leaf cuttings along the way.

5:00 pm

Visited a friend and their friendly Iguana. We did some cardio workout as well and lyrical dance with her daughter to her favourite songs by her favourite pop idol.

8:00pm

Returned home for dinner. I had choyote, potatoes, fried plantains, white rice, red beans, and a side of aquacate.

Balie Tipico de Costa Rica by Llano Bonito Elementary School

First rehearsal of Costa Rican traditional dance, Balie Tipico, proudly presented by Grade 3 students from Llano Bonito Elementary School. Enjoy 🙂

Created July 2015
Beidi Zong

Music “This is my song” by Mindy Gledhill

INTERNSHIP LIFE IN LLANO BONITO

CR experience

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?

Llano Bonito, Costa Rica

I have been in Costa Rica for more than a month now, and still have three more weeks left. How time flies! I’ve done some hiking, tons of walking, and some crazy rides so far. The views are absolutely breathtaking from 360 degree. Since it’s the wet season now, fogs and drizzles will always stream in late in the afternoon. You’ll find yourself literally walking on clouds. How magical! My favourite pastime is having a cup of freshly brewed coffee, quilting at the studio, and looking at the fog engulfing the mountains, kissing my skin, tasting the cooling vapour, and inhaling the fresh air rushing through my lungs. Ah, happiness! It’s my first time making a “video” video not a photo video.

Hope you’ll enjoy!

Created July 2015

Beidi Zong

Music “Now We Are Free” by Kelly Sweet

TWELVE THINGS ON LIVING RURAL IN COSTA RICA

TWELVE THINGS ON LIVING RURAL IN COSTA RICA

This is my compilation of the small (and the grandest) things on living rural in Costa Rica.

By Sherry Ing, currently in Costa Rica

1. Oh the joy of having rain! Agua, agua!  My family household is without water again.  This happens 3-5 x a week.  The longest we went without running water is seven days,  So, thats when the rain barrel towel comes in handy.  Conserving water usage as much as possible and relying on rain water is very important here.

2. Doctor, doctor!  They are a 1 -2 hour drive away from Llano Bonito.  My homestay family drove me to three cities to find me a doctor that was in.  From San Pablo to San Marcos and finally last pitstop in Cartago where I was able to see a doctor.

3. Cover your nose and mouth, because they burn their garbage here.

4. Cold showers everyday, all day.  There are some homes with a built in electrical water heater.

5. Time for relaxation and slow your usual pace down.  Great time to read a book, hone a craft, discover your inner creativity, and spend time with family.

6.  Bring out your binoculars and magnifying glass!  You will find a camouflage lizard, baby snakes, unusual birds, and many insects of all sizes in this part of Costa Rica.  And your usual soaring eagle between hills.

7. Vroom vroom!  AV’s, motorcycle, and race cars are ways of travel in Llano Bonito.

8. Household laundries are hung outside, on trees, bushes, gates, etc.  On hot sunny days laundry dries within 1-2 hours.

9.  Books nowhere, not a library in sight.  I haven’t seen many books in the school that I work at either.

10.  Food waste can be composted right in the field of banana trees and coffee plants.

11.  Buy your grocery elsewhere because food price are high.  Some household goes to the city to buy their months worth of groceries, such as rice and beans.  The price difference is big.

12.  The bus system is scarce and infrequent.  The bus comes about two times a day at two specific times.

Journey into the Mountains, in the Mist.

A video summary of my first month stay at Llano Bonito. This two-month internship was partnered with Centennial College and PROAL.

Thank Centennial College for the funding, Olga family for their great hospitality, and all these wonderful people that I have met so far in Costa Rica. Muchas gracias 🙂

Created June 2015
Beidi Zong

Music “Beloved” by Michael Hoppé

Enjoy 😀

Plantains Patties from Backyard to Kitchen

PlantainCostaRica
Making plantain patties at my homestay family kitchen. Simple recipe: unripe plantain, oil to fry, and salt. Other condiments can be added as well for your own taste, such as hot sauce or sugar.

Plantain Patties from Backyard to Kitchen

Just the other day I was in my homestay family kitchen.  I was shown and taught how to make a snack that consisted of unripe plantains, salt, and oil.  The plantains were freshly picked by my homestay family.  As the vegetation here provide many bananas, berries, cherry tomatoes, avocado, lime, lemon, rosemary, mint, chamomile, oranges, mangoes, and other fruits as well.  Along with flowering hibiscus, roses, coffee bushes, poinsettias, and amaryllis.  The “backyards” of the homes in Llano Bonita is literally a field of banana trees, coffee plants, avocado, mangoes, lime, and lemon trees, etc.  Along the road you will find the odd tomato plant and black berries bushes.  Sometimes, I would help my host family pick them and bring them home for them to make fresh fruit juices or milkshake out of it.  What I notice is that Llano Bonito is a biodiversity within. As mentioned in one of my earlier post, Proal believes that nature and humans are in the same circle of life. Would you like to imagine a world where everyone and animals do not have to go hungry?  Imagine having a feast of plentiful fruits and vegetables growing naturally and freely for all to enjoy at a shared “backyard”.  Well, I believe Llano Bonito is the living proof of this.  And if you plant and take care of one living plant to share your harvest, what would it be?

From the mountain top of Llano Bonito,

Sherry