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…. for a bucket of water. Project Hopeful Awassa

Me cayó como un balde de agua Fría! Is an expression in Spanish that denotes surprise.  I suppose a bucket of cold water poured on your head definitely sparks surprise.  And that is what it has been the Ice Bucket challenge – A campaign that started to raise awareness about ALS, and support former baseball player, Pete Frates’ cause, has been a huge and successful SURPRISE.  There are three factors that are important to consider in this campaign: the challenge, the givers and the bucket of water. 

About the challenge.- If I had to say something after living in the States for more than ten years, it would be that Americans -no matter the race, status or social class- take challenges and make things happen.  Americans are not just dreamers, but doers.  That is where the expression “getting the american dream comes from”.  Americans just do it.  They just make it happen!

About Americans.-  Most Americans are givers.  Whether quietly or on social media.  Americans are always helping the needy  It is part of the culture, it is part of their nature.  It is part of the system, since donations are tax deductible.

About the Water.-  There has been a lot of talking about this issue.  Jason Ruiz for the Long Beach Post drafted a quick breakdown of how much potable water is being used in the challenge:

To put the waste this campaign has caused into simple terms, let’s just assume everyone is using a five gallon bucket. Now multiply that number by the more than 1.2 million videos shared on Facebook since June 1. Based on that assumption (5 x 1,200,000), over 6 million gallons of water have been poured out in the name of Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The average American household uses 320 gallons per day, which means that based on this estimation, nearly 19,000 homes’ daily water usage has been wasted. And that’s not even taking into account that videos posted online often depict multiple people, sometimes even entire sororities or fraternities, taking part in the ice bucket challenge, often using more than one bucket per video.

I confess, I was amazed by how much water was and is being used in this challenge.  Just one bucket at a time.

Think in all the people in need of water around the world.  If all the people would pay for the amount of water they are using to support the challenge, perhaps many people in Africa could be blessed with wells.  Would it not be like killing two birds with one stone?  The ones that took the challenge, would be giving awareness about ALS and giving a slight contribution to a water well project.  And the ones that did not take the challenge could write a check to ALS and still bring awareness and help such an important cause.

In my case this is what I am doing, I am going to take a virtual challenge.

Virtual water bucket challenge

And support my friends from project helpful Awassa in Ethiopia.  Just take virtual challenge and donate to this project.

Here is a video about the impact that a well can do in this African community.

Click here if you want to be challenged and give your donations.

 

 

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Teaching a second language through culture

We received a bundle of clothes for the girls from a dear cousin.  As we were going through the bag, my daughter said, “Look, Malambo pants!”.   I stopped and thought, “What is she talking about?”  She was talking about this yellow pants that are very loose on the legs and that look a bit as a skirt.

 

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She was remembering that when we studied Argentina, we talked about Malambo and La Zamba!  She remembered El Argentinian Gaucho that stomps and dances to the Malambo rhythm.  We studied Argentina at least a year ago, and she still remembers Malambo and Gauchos.

gaucho

How fun is to travel to places without going anywhere!.  How fun is to study Spanish through cultural experiences!.  Did you know that immersion now a days can be a done deal thanks to the internet?

I have three questions for you

  • How do you teach other cultures to your kids?
  • How do you immerse your kids in other cultures?
  • How do you teach them the second language?
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Designing a garden with your children

I really did not do a  bucket list this Summer, my goal was to try to have fun without spending a lot of money. Our awesome library helped me to reach my goal. They offered many activities to almost no cost.  One of the activities was Design your own Fairy Garden.

My first thought after reading the workshop was: “I am not sure if my kids are really going to enjoy it”.  The truth is that they really do not care much about fairies, except when they loose their teeth.  And in that case they even write to the tooth fairy and Raton Perez to make sure they take the time to stop by.  Anyway, I signed them up. And you know what?  They loved it! It was not about fairies at all, it was about the garden.

They were able to create a Mini Garden.  It was the perfect opportunity to learn about:

  • Gardens and  its elements,
  • Plants,
  • Design their very own garden
  • Plant their own garden
  • Maintain their own garden
  • and of course,  review their Spanish vocabulary.

I think everybody can do it!  For the project you will need,

  • A plastic box with holes drilled in. So you can water your garden and let your plants live
  • Potting soil, or just plain soil
  • Real plants to transplant or plastic ones
  • Rocks,
  • Molch
  • Sticks
  • Marbles,
  • Tiny toys for details for your project.

Here a few pictures of their gardens.  Aren’t they nice?

jardin 2 jardin 3 El Jardin

PS.  It does not have to be a Fairy garden, it could work also for a playmobile.

 

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A mi Bolivia

Hoy me senté con un poco de melancolía a escribir a mi Patria. Y salio un poema, sin haberlo planeado. Un poema a mi Bolivia.

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Mi amada Bolivia estás de cumpleaños.

Es triste estar lejos de tí y solo poder ver como eres celebrada.

Sin embargo es una bendición saber que fuiste liberada.

Que por el yugo Español no podrás ser tocada.

Cómo extraño la simpleza de tu gente,

la riqueza de tu cultura, tus acentos,

tus montañas, tus matices y tus colores.

Dicen por ahi que eres el microcosmos del mundo,

que a pesar de tu tamaño gozas de inmensa diversidad.

Dicen por ahí que Cambas y Kollas son todos diferentes.

Chapacos  y Guaranies, tambien lo son.

Sin embargo todos ellos laten con un sólo corazón

Que dice  … Bolivia.

Me prometí a mí misma poder volver allá

poder vivir el Sueño Boliviano.

Un sueño que vá mas allá de lo material,

un sueño que nacio en el infinito, en el corazón del Padre Celestial.

Por ahora estoy acá

haciendo Patria como se pueda,

siendo lo que aprendí en tu tierra,

no solo una buena ciudadana sino un buen ser humano.

Bolivia, como te extraño….. Bolivia.

 

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Humintas al Horno, to celebrate Bolivian week

Having a bicultural family involves a lot of passing part of each culture.  One of my favorite ways to live my Bolivian Culture is through my food.  My children have lived a bit of Bolivian life through my cooking.

This week Bolivia is celebrating 189 years of Freedom.  And of course I am celebrating it at home with History, a bit of music and Bolivian Food.

Today I made Humintas al Horno.  Humintas are sort of tamales.  They are made out of corn and cheese.  When they are wrapped in corn husks and boiled, they are called Humintas a la olla (Humintas in a pot).  And when they are baked, they are called Humintas al Horno (Baked Humintas).

It took me a while to learn how to make Humintas al Horno with the  American Corn because of its characteristics. American corn is sweeter, smaller and a bit more tender than the Bolivian Corn.  Both are delicious!  Here is a picture, so you can see a First sight difference.

cornAnd here one of my favorite Gluten Free recipes.

Ingredients

  • Kernels of 12 ears of corn,  I usually use frozen corn that I preserved during Summer.  For a full 9×9 pan a quart bag of frozen corn is good.IMG_3872
  • 1 Cup of Sugar.  If  you are using the American corn I reduce to 3/4 cups of Sugar.
  • 3 Tbsp of melted Butter
  • 1/2 cup of warm Anise tea.
  • 1 Tsp of Salt
  • 1/2 cup of Corn Starch.
  • 3 tsp of Baking powder separated. (2 for the mix, one for the egg whites)
  • 4 Yolks (3 for the mix) One for shinning the top.
  • 4 Egg whites beaten.
  • 2 cups of Shredded cheese, I prefer Mexican Farm Cheese, Mozzarella or Muinster.

Procedure

I like my corn almost mashed, so I pass the defrost kernels through my Kitchen Aid Food Processor. You IMG_3877can use a blender if you want them a bit mashed.
To the mashed corn add the Sugar, the melted butter, the warm anise tea and mix well.  Add Corn Starch, salt, 2 tsp of Baking Powder and 3 bitten yolks.  Mix well.

In a separate bowl beat the egg whites and 1 tsp of baking powder. Until is foamy.  Add the whites to the mix slowly. To this add 1 cup of shredded cheese and mix.

Pour the mix into a 9″ x 9″  baking pan previously greased and floured.  I usually use corn flour to keep the recipe 100% Gluten Free.

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With a brush spread the beaten yolk.  It will make your huminta look prettier.

Bake it in a 400 F oven for 45 minutes, covered with Aluminium Foil. Then take the cover of the pan and bake it for 15 more minutes or until is firm and golden.

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You can have it for lunch or supper, with a salad or soup.  Or for Breakfast, accompanied with Hot Coffee is so good! Kind of hits the spot.

In any case, Buen Provecho!