Monday, March 14, 2011

"Dogs Don't Bite" by Igor Shimolin

It was 11 years ago. Do you know of a country in which women don’t love? I arrived in the USA from Russia 11 years ago. This is my story about how dogs don’t bite, and women don’t love.

It happened one morning after one week living in America. I've liked to run all my life, and it’s very good for your health. I put on my running suit and left from my apartment. During this time, we lived 2 blocks from Golden Gate Park. The weather was so beautiful because, as I know now, we have spring all the time in the city.

After running for fifteen minutes, I was in the field which is very close to the Polo Stadium. I could see many people that liked to run like me but also people with many dogs. They walk dogs and play with them. Now I know that they were not only owners, but also people who walk dogs as a job.

In one moment I saw that maybe 7 dogs ran up to me. I have experience in my country. These dogs want to bite me. I know precisely that I shouldn't run. I need to stand straight and look as large as possible. I did that and began to look at dogs tremblingly. The largest dog ran up to me first and began to lick my hands, and everybody around smiled. At that time I didn't know how to say “Hi” and “Thanks” all the time; however, I was not bitten.

I remember only that after that I was back home and called my friend. He listened to me and then told to me a phrase which I have remembered ever since, "Igor, America it is the country where dogs don't bite, flowers don't smell, women don't love".

Now I know more and more about this great country and can answer him. It’s not true. In this county dogs bite, flowers smell, women love but they do that differently.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"My Story" by Ewelina Pazdziemy

Au Pair Logo

My name is Ewelina, and I come from Poland. I am 19 years old. I used to live in a village in the southern part of Poland. I love my country and the people there. I am proud that I am Polish. I guess that my childhood was nice but a little bit difficult. Before I came to the U.S, I lived with my family of five: My Mom, Dad, brother, my grandma, and I. When I was a kid, I always wanted to do everything by myself. My mom told me many times that I was really a stubborn person, and she did not have any of her strength to change it. I was a quiet but a difficult kid. My brother used to experience the consequences instead of me, although I should have had them.

A view of Krakow Castle, Krakow, Southern Poland
Southern Poland Photos
This photo of Southern Poland is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

At school the teachers gave me a lot of time out. In primary school, I made a friendship with a girl who was born in New York. Her parents were Polish. She was bi-lingual. She spoke English and Polish fluently. She was great. We sat at the same desk for 6 years! When some of these years went by, I told her I noticed that sometimes I do something in exactly the same way she does and vice versa. I loved to observe her ‘American style’. I have always loved the American accent and sometimes when she spoke in English, I listened to her carefully. I know that America has so many accents that for me it is interesting. Today my friend Jessica and I do not keep in touch. That makes me a little bit sad, but I hope that we'll meet somewhere in U.S or where I am living now.

I know that just after being a student in high school, I have to come to California. Through those three years I just was thinking about California and how much I could do there. At that time, I did not have any idea how to come to America. I did not have money. Luckily one day when I had an English class at my friend’s place, she told me about program called Au Pair. I could live with an American family, take of her kids, and study English in an American college. This was good option for me. Now I am happy because I am in California and I live with a wonderful family. I am taking care of one kid, Sydney. I am lucky that I can live in San Francisco and see so many subcultures that for me is amazing as I am involved in one of them. Now I am making so many plans for the future.

A Village in Southern Poland

"A Holiday in My Country, Eritrea" by Meseret Asmlash

A holiday in my country, Eritrea

I’m from Eritrea which is in the horn of East Africa. We have a religious holiday called “Meskel” which means “cross”. The holiday is about how our ancestors find the holy cross. It is in September.

Early in the morning, we get up and dress up in our traditional clothes (which I like most) and go to church. In the church there is a mass, which lasts for about three hours. After the mass the priest gives a sermon about the holiday. After we are done with the mass and the preaching, we eat some food which had been prepared the day before. We eat our traditional food like injera , hembasha and stew made from chicken and meat.

After we eat, we march downtown. While we are marching the choir sings spiritual songs and leads us downtown. In the downtown area, there is a big bonfire which looks like pyramid. At the top of the bonfire there is a "cross". Then the priest gives another sermon. The choir presents a special song and drama. After that the priest lights the bonfire and everybody sings around the bonfire. Then after the ceremony ends, we visit our family and relatives and make a coffee ceremony in our families house.

I really like this holiday because it tells me how our ancestors struggle to bring the holy cross away from their enemy. Also it makes us worship our God in a special day.

Friday, March 11, 2011

“My Story” by Carolina Velasquez

Pine Trees and Banana Trees in Honduras

My name is Carolina Velasquez. I was born in Honduras,and I grew up in small urban town that was beautiful, with hot weather and a lot of pine trees. The biggest town just has a small elementary school, and one preschool, a middle school, a high school, and a health center. I remember playing with my relatives and friends in the evening. They were great moments. I have seven siblings. When I had to move to the capital,I was sad at first, but later I felt comfortable, and I enjoyed the city. I lived in my aunt's house. I went to college and got my GED. After that, I got a job in a bank as a teller. I worked there for eight months and then decided to come to the U.S.A. I ended up in San Francisco. I have lived here seven years and now I can come to school to improve my English. Every day I come to school to learn and practice. I would like to speak clearly and correct my mistakes, but it is taking me a lot of time. I wish some day my dream will come true, and I will feel confident in my ability to speak English.

"Changing Our Lifestyle and Eating Habits" by Lesther Nunez

"Junk Food Aisle"

The way you live effects the way you eat. Sometimes when people change their lifestyle, they change their eating habits too. For many years, people don’t worry about themselves. They don’t pay attention to the fact that junk food is not healthy. Long time ago people from Greece used to say “healthy mind and a healthy body.”

This is expression has become a true reality in nowadays. For instance , our children are suffering in many ways. First, every time they eat candies, sodas and many kinds of chips, they are hurting their body. For a while they don’t like those things, but then they love them too much and they become addicted. Their addiction sometimes leads to serious illnes. For example, my daughter used to trick me. She does well in her studying and then orders me to reward her work. I asked her what she wanted. She responded by saying she wanted me to buy some candies for her. During past years, I always wondered what little details through time will affect my daughter. One night, she woke up with a lot pain. She was suffering. She felt something in her stomach that was bothering her. When I saw her face , she was panicked. “Please, Dad, would you take me to the hospital?” Right away I got dressed, and drove my car little faster than I used to . I took her to the emergency room then the doctor told me that she needs surgery right away. He said that she had a stone, something that required immediate attention. The injury in her stomach can affect the entire body and brain. I remembered when the nurse came with a bunches of paper work that I need to signed in order the hospital policy the doctor can do his duties. It was a risk. I never thought that my daughter’s life can be in dangerous situation only because I couldn’t advise her before and I felt guilty about that.

Another example, bad habits can take a life away. My uncle Luis who died 3 years ago also, he paid the price. I used to eat any kind of food out. I used to go with him to some different restaurants. He bought food outside on the street. He rarely ate at home. He didn’t like to do exercises. He liked to watch to TV a lot. He didn’t smoke but he loved to eat. He never visited a doctor, but one day he started to feel pain By the time that happened he couldn’ t get up from bed. Finally, a doctor checked on him and told us that my uncle had a cancer, and he had only few days to live. The news impacted our life forever. It was terrible, I still remember my uncle face before he died.

In conclusion, it is good to eat good vegetables and different kind of minerals and proteins for our body. We should practice exercise like yoga, run in the park or just go to the gym. We should have a balanced diet. We need to be careful about what we give to our children. The education and habits must start in our home. We should get information from magazines, internet, libraries, or any other resources. If we practice good habits we may live longer and be healthy.