Month: February 2018

Language Learning!

To share the message of environmental advocacy and helping others, I need to connect with people all over this great Earth! I think one way to connect with people all over the world is to learn other languages.

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

-Nelson Mandela

This is why I hate the misconception that everyone should learn English and native English-speakers should not learn a second/foreign language! Learning the native language of others can teach you a lot about the culture and history of the people who speak the language. It also allows others to open up in ways they might not in English.

When it comes to language learning, reading books about grammar and memorizing vocabulary can only get you so far! I have decided to start posting on another wordpress blog I have created. I will hopefully start posting daily in one of my target languages.

I will be primarily focusing on German and Mandarin Chinese because I will hopefully be both in Germany and China within the next year studying abroad.

I have taken German for four years now and it has been almost four years since I last formally studied Chinese. I bet you can guess that my German is much better than my Chinese! In Chinese I am not very good at writing and have primarily focused on speaking so feedback will be beyond helpful! Then, in German I have only ever written about academic subjects like literature and history so I am practicing sounding like a person instead of a textbook so I am definitely hoping for feedback on my German as well!

Some of my friends who are also interested in language learning like Marissa will be joining me there too!

If you’re interested in checking it out, it is 🙂 And don’t worry, I will still be posting on this blog as well! I try to have well-formulated ideas before posting here, so the frequency of this blog will still stay well below daily. Nevertheless, I do check it frequently so feel free to get in contact with me!


Meatless Mondays: Gumbo!

Meatless Mondays are a great way to lower your carbon and water footprint!

Growing up near New Orleans, gumbo was always my favorite home-cooked meal.  Time to try a new meatless version for Fat Tuesday tomorrow!

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • 3 chopped stalks of celery
  • 3 cups diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen green beans
  • 3 sliced carrots (not baby carrots!)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen sliced okra
  • Spices. I suggest:
    • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
    • 1 Tbs. paprika
    • 1 Tbs. dried oregano
    • 1/3 tsp. cayenne pepper

Now, let’s get started:

  1. Stir together oil and flour in your biggest pot until smooth.  Cook over high heat until roux turns a dark caramel color (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery until vegetables are softened (about 5 minutes).
  3. Stir in all remaining ingredients.  Add salt and pepper.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until carrots are tender (about 40 minutes).
  5. Serve over rice and enjoy!

Let me know if y’all try this or what other meals I should try!