Over the course of our time in Costa Rica, I felt and realized that the experiences and moments I remembered the most, were those in which the OCADU group, those in El Cocal, and I, grew. Three separate experiences throughout this course drove and influenced this piece, all holding different senses of growth; growth of awareness, growth of self, and growth as a designer. These experiences called into question if I had done anything to change notions or outcomes for me or those around me, as well as making me reflect on my work as a designer and my perspectives as a human; some of the answers to these questions and reflections were grim to say the least, but I chose and continue to view them all as a parts in my development.
Taking a conceptual approach to this project, in a sense, I want this piece to be an overarching theme to my life, and a physical reminder to myself as a being, of the growth witnessed, experienced, and the growth that I will continue to go through.
The sculpture itself will consist of wooden dowels of varying sizes placed sporadically in a spiral going upwards, starting off small at the bottom, growing more dynamically acting as both a literal and conceptual representation of physical and self growth. The spiral is by no means perfect, some dowels falling lower or higher relatively, to epitomize both the struggles, and successes of both growth and growing. I chose to use wooden dowels, not only as ode to the vernacular architecture of Costa Rica, but also because are a very versatile art medium; they can be cut into different sizes and range in thicknesses yet retain their same structure, which would ultimately remind myself to stay true to this newfound purpose and to not change my goals of betterment.
For the Waste Management and Pilot teams, our day started early at 7:00 am to sort a sample size of garbage in El Cocal as part of an informal case study to figure out the averages of waste, and recyclables. Although the weather was cloudy and rain-filled, we did our best to stay in high spirits while sorting all kinds of waste, as we knew that this was for the betterment of more than just ourselves. The small waste trial truly did give us a better understanding of where the community was at, and even revealed their willingness to try sorting their garbage.
After the trial, we headed back to the hostel where the collective of us decided to either rest, finish up Project 2, or continue researching. By 1:00 pm we were picked up by a taxi and a minibus driven by our tour guide Juan, who really sold the tour; his positive attitude, quick-wit, humor, and love for his profession, really showed through the tour and made the experience all the more enjoyable, — besides the delicious cacao. The tour provided us with deeper insight to the history and legacy of cacao and coffee plants in all forms, such as roasted and grinded cacao, cacao tea, and my personal favourite, the cacao liquor.
After the tour, we were again left to our own devices until 7:30 pm when we ate breakfast foods for dinner; a spread of French toast, pork and turkey breakfast sausages, and cassava hash browns to name a few. Since it was my birthday, (Happy 20th Birthday to me!) I was greeted with two delicious birthday cakes to end off the night. Thank you all for the well wishes throughout the day and for the surprise by the end. I’ve had a day full of unexpected surprises and experiences which I’ll hold with me for a long time. Thank you!
Day 8 started bright and early for some, or hours later for others, as we were split into two groups—the group who got cooking lessons in Cocal, and the group that stayed to get a head start on the brainstorming process, or admittedly, to catch up on some much needed sleep. While the cooking group was wrapping up all the hard work, the second group had just started their departure from the hostel en route to Cocal for lunch. The travel to Cocal was longer than usual due to low tides, but nonetheless we made it to the dock where we witnessed (to some degree) what the holding site looked and smelled like full, and on a pick up day. The walk to Eneyda’s was accompanied by small amounts of rain, but it was nothing to which we weren’t already accustomed.
Once we reached Eneyda’s, we were greeted by the rest of our group, and by the sight and smell of food, sitting down to eat and converse amongst ourselves, or to Eneyda’s granddaughter Rachel (pronounced Raa-chel) who provided us with humor, cuteness, and makeshift Spanish lessons.
The delicious meal (Thanks again guys!) ended and so we headed back to the hostel for a little free time and relaxation until we met up in groups again to loosely finalize our ideations, which bleed into and after our dinner of burritos, the day ending with our finishing touches of a pitch to leaders of the community amongst sounds of rainfall.