Weekly Photo Challenge: Mariachi Culture

At the end of the Februrary 2013 SIT TESOL course at Centro Espiral Mana, our dear Mary Scholl surprised us with this fun gift. :)

Mexican traditional folk music sang by Costa Ricans in Costa Rica, for a group of teachers from all over the world? I think this stands the test of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture.

A song for Chile

Here they are singing a song for our Chilean friends. They had a song for almost all the countries represented at the Costa Rican centre that day: Chile, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico (of course), Guatemala, Panama, Peru and even the USA. I think Poland and Canada were the only ones they weren’t prepared for. Maybe next year!

"Where are you from?" "Canada." "Where in Canada?"  "Nova Scotia." "Hmmm...I don't know a song from Nova Scotia."
“Where are you from?”
“Where in Canada?”
“Nova Scotia.”
“Hmmm…I don’t know a song from Nova Scotia.”

Frogs, Butterflies and Waterfalls in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

During my first week here I had the chance to observe Costa Rican nature up close and personal thanks to Juan Alberto Palma Chaves, a highly recommended  nature guide working out of La Fortuna. He is also a dear friend and family member of Centro Espiral Mana. We visited ECOCENTRO DANAUS and La Fortuna Waterfall, and magic ensued. Thank you Beto!

Saulnierville, Nova Scotia’s 13 Hour Lightning Show

Yesterday (August 2, 2011), Nova Scotia was hit with an unprecedented thunder and lightning storm. Still recovering from jet lag from my trip to Nova Scotia from South Korea, I woke up at 3am to the sound of rumbling, and to flashes of light in the night sky. This lasted until 4pm that afternoon in Saulnierville, NS. This was a special gift from nature for a Nova Scotia visitor.

(I edited  the previous post due to a crucial misspelling :P Lesson learned. I apologize for the repeat post.)

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Solo Cicada Song

With such an ear-piercing melody, you would think that the cicada would be quite the social creature. You might also think this if you ever caught a glimpse of its boogieing behind. It definitely knows how to shakes its rump. On the contrary, the South Korean cicada isn’t much for company. As soon as it senses someone else intruding on its party of one, that butt stops grooving and the volume is turned down to zero. See for yourself in this stealth video I was able to capture.

Twilight Dragonflies

After years of trying to capture the ethereal beauty of dragonflies in flight, I believe I finally caught it this evening. I hope this video brings you much calm and peace.


Tiny Flower Dancing in the Sun

When I came upon this lone bright pink flower, sprouted from the muted gray matter of the earth, I was immediately inspired to take a photo, but I kept having a hard time capturing the beauty that I saw. That is when I realized that not only was I inspired by the flower, but that I was also mesmerized by the sun’s visual cadence.

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Bong-soong-ah (봉숭아) Korean Nail Dye

To decorate their nails, Korean women used to crush up petals and leaves from the bong-soong-ah (봉숭아) flower (or bong-seon-hwa (봉 선 화), create a paste with water, apply it and then wrap their nails with a protective cover. In the recent past, they tied each nail with plastic wrap to keep the paste from staining everything as the slept through the night. This is how long it took for the color to come out. Now we can buy a pre-crushed powder that dries onto the nail in 30 minutes. Ahhh, progress.

In this video, my mother-in-law applies my first ever coating of bong-soong-ah.

Rollin’ Pollen

As I was taking a walk on the road near my house this spring, this fluffy little ball of pollen kept rolling along my path. I guess it just really wanted to be the star of its own movie. Thank you for playing your role so well tiny pollen!

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One of These Just Ain’t Like the Others

Visit a South Korean parking lot and pay attention to the color choices. Notice how Koreans typically don’t like to be seen as the odd-one-out. Also notice how an honorary Korean sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s just easier to find your car that way :P