Writer's Block is a quarterly publication of Online English Stage 1-2. Funded by the Government of Saskatchewan.


All about me

Author: Wilma M.
Level: 7
Instructor: Zareen R.
Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photo

When I started this online English class in 2017, I thought I would not be able to do it for too long, but here I am in 2020, I am still taking these classes and continuing to learn!

When I started, I told myself that I am going to try my best for three months. I had my first lesson with my teacher and she gave me homework at the end of class. I was nervous because I did not know what to do. I panicked and asked my husband and the kids for help and they helped me a little bit. But, eventually, I had to calm myself and try it again. Slowly, I started doing my homework regularly and understanding my work. I could see myself improving little by little.

Taking these classes helped me find another job. I remember, at one point, I needed to work two jobs. I was successful in finding a second job because I spoke English well. The hiring manager complimented me on my English and told me to continue doing what I was doing to improve my English and that it would help me later.

After a few months, I was laid off and had to start looking for a job again. This time, it was hard to find a full time job due to the COVID situation especially in the restaurant industry in a small city like Humboldt. Still, I kept looking for job in our local Saskjobs, asking my old friends if they knew of any. Later, I found out about an opportunity in a care home setting. However, for that, I had to go for some training and pass all the requirements. Again, I convinced myself to try and guess what-I tried and I did it! All my experiences in the past few years have thought me to have faith and confidence in myself and keep trying because I have learned that hard work pays off at the end!

I am happy with myself now. I feel better because my English is better than before and this has created new job opportunities for me. I hope that after COVID is over, I will be able to get a better job based on experience and language skills.



A Friendly Place to Live

Author: Joy S.
Level: 6
Instructor: Ashley J.
Photo Credit: Ludmila Ruzickova / 123RF Stock Photo

Fresh green countryside of Southern Alberta, province of Canada, beatiful morning in canadian farmland, foothills of Canadian Rockies

The grand prairies are an attraction in Canada because the land is so wide.  In fact, it covers 3 provinces!  Saskatchewan has a lot to offer and it can be argued that it is one of the best Canadian provinces to live in.  First of all, it has many friendly small cities.  Also, winters in Saskatchewan are very snowy and beautiful. Moreover, Saskatchewan has lots of great lakes to enjoy.  

Saskatchewan has many friendly small cities with Saskatoon and Regina as the biggest cities in the area. There are recreational activities in every community and people could make fun out of it. For instance, Yorkton has a sunflower show every third week of September. People from everywhere can visit and buy the fresh produce from the farmers.

In addition, snowy winters in the province are one of the best attractions to anyone who wants to enjoy the season. A lot of activities like snowboarding and skiing are available on selective hills in some towns in Saskatchewan. Meanwhile, ski-dooing is a famous hobby for a lot of young adults within the winter time.   

Furthermore, there is a lot of different lakes in many towns. For example, one of the unique lakes is in Manitou beach.   This lake is like the Dead Sea and is where anyone can swim and float!  You can also rent a kayak and explore the beauty of each scenery. There is also fishing in the summer and ice fishing in the winter for those who like to go to the lake all year round.

To sum up, if you want to live in a comfortable and beautiful scenery, Saskatchewan is a great province to stay. The small communities are all friendly and helpful. During the winter there are many different activities to do in snowy weather. Finally, the lakes are wonderful to have fun together with family and friends. So, I think you should include Saskatchewan on your list before choosing a place to live!


What do you like about living in Canada?

Author: Wang W.
Level: 6
Instructor: Jacqueline A.
Photo Credit: Brian Lasenby / 123RF Stock Photo

Overlooking a lake surrounded by brilliant fall foliage - Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

I have been in Canada for nearly 2 years. Canada is a country that is famous for its comparatively vaster area with less people, its charming nature scenery as well as its friendly people.

First of all, the total number of inhabitants in Canada is 37.59 million which is the same as only one province in China. What a pleasure it is to drive without being blocked in traffic! Except in the downtown area of a large city, such as BC, Ontario, Quebec and Calgary, you wouldn't be bothered by suffering in heavy traffic. There is no crowd when you go grocery shopping on the weekend, also there is no noise in public areas so people can do their own chores silently. I love to stay here, in this sparsely populated country.

Next is it's natural beauty. Canada has four distinct seasons in which the winter is relatively a little longer. The mountains, lakes and islands show different colours in a year. In the spring, the grass and leaves become light green, then dark green; In the summer and winter, the most attractive season here , there are various of blooming flowers and colourful fruits standing against the green ,yellow leaves and grass. In the winter, white becomes the main rhythm which is full of fairy tale colour. I live in Saskatoon where you can see blue skies and white clouds a large majority of the year. I was astonished the first time when I was glaring at large mushroom clouds spotted in the clear blue sky. During the spring, summer and fall, you can drive directly out of the city and you will find large stretches of farm land and vineyards, which make your mind refreshed and joyful.

Saskatoon is a small city, but people here are so friendly that your neighbours and other strangers you meet always smile and greet you. They also help others voluntarily. On a holiday last winter, my car carelessly was sucked into an icy puddle. The drivers behind me all got out to help me pull my car out. They took off their coats and used their own appliances. I have heard a lot of these kinds of stories here. Such nice people!

I miss my home after I came to Canada, but I will admit nature's beauty and friendly people in Canada make me love to live here!


Coming to Canada

Author: Hyun Ju (Joy) L.
Level: 3
Instructor: Kara M.
Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photo

air canada plane

I came to Canada December 2018. I remember clearly when I arrived in Saskatoon airport. I and my kids were scare and very cold. In the beginning, there were so many difficulties like get a rent, car, job and mainly language etc. Everything was new to me. Now it's 3rd year in SK to me. Thankfully I met good people through community church and work. They helped me lots to be adjust here. Still my life in Canada is not easy and uncertain but I try to challenge, learn little by little. I feel thanks for living in Canada and hopefully my life get better in the future.





Sweet Holiday Memories

Author: Iryna K.
Level: 7
Instructor: Ashley J.
Photo Credit: Marian Vejcik / 123RF Stock Photo

christmas lights

All celebrations are very beautiful and keep some particular charm on their specific day. For example, Christmas makes people feel that on Christmas night all dreams will come true for sure.   Easter makes people believe that the next day will be better than the previous.  Birthdays make us feel that we are loved and needed and Thanksgiving Day gives us a chance to say thank you for everything that we have. However, unfortunately we were not allowed to be close with our friends or family on those beautiful celebrations this year because of COVID-19, but we are grateful to have technology that allows us to communicate through the Internet.

For all my life, I had only one favourite celebration and it was Christmas day and there are a lot of different reasons why it is my favourite day. On this beautiful day my whole family is home, we put under the tree some presents and we make wishes in the middle of the night.

My favourite holiday is Christmas because of its secretly charming evening night with family and close friends.   There are many reasons why friends and family are far apart during the year because of life situations such as, studying, working or even volunteering.  During this holiday many families and close friends come to visit you from far away.  These family members could include a beautiful mother with some wrinkles on her face and a warm smile who makes a delicious supper and includes your favourite dish. A happy father who puts the tree out and tries to decorate in his own way, but everyone in the family gives him advice instead of helping and after everybody laughs. House decorations, Christmas trees, family memories, life struggles, plans, everything will be discussed only on this one day. 

For me it is obvious that everybody will have their gifts under the tree. Some of the gifts won't be perfectly wrapped but no one cares about it because it doesn't matter what is inside of the box but the attention and love that went into giving the present. After everyone opens their gifts, they give each other hugs and thanks for yesterday's supper.

It is incredible and unbelievable but only on Christmas night all wishes will come true in the coming year. Belief, hard work and ambitions helps all dreams come true at the most unpredictable moment.  There are a lot of beautiful holidays in the year, but my favourite one always has been and always will be Christmas. Only Christmas makes all dreams come true and have family together.

Nowadays technology helps people stay together no matter what happens in the world and Covid-19 is an example of it. Different social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter let us call or text to our family members at any time. It is very important to be with people whom you love to stay in touch, wish them Happy birthday, Easter, Christmas and other celebrations even if it is through technology!




Author: Hafizul I.
Level: 7
Instructor: Raghad (Rachel) A.
Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photo

3d covid virus

Nowadays a new respiratory disease called COVID-19 is spreading across the world. I heard about other viruses like Ebola and MERS before but these kinds of viruses were not global, however the Coronavirus is a completely new virus and has caused a global pandemic.

Coronavirus will affect our life in many ways. First, how it spreads and what happens when we get the Coronavirus. I think ten months ago reports surfaced out of China that a case in the central city of Wuhan was a new type of Coronavirus but (WHO) noticed there were no reports of novel Coronavirus outside Wuhan, after that this virus spread out all over the world. Countries in Europe were affected and then it reached America and Canada. The (WHO) has not found the Coronavirus vaccine until now but have started the process of developing one.

Canada's labour market lost more than 1.5 million jobs in August because of the Coronavirus federal government report. When Canada's government decided all provinces would be locked-down I was working in a small company my company's owner shut off their business and I lost my job. Everything was good but suddenly it stopped due to corona pandemic. Parks, restaurants, hotels shut down. All methods of transportation like buses, trains, airplanes and taxis were closed.

My son is 12 years old, he likes going to school and using the time at school to do school work. When his school closed, he missed his friends. After a few weeks he adjusted to the situation and he liked to spend time with family. Over all this virus completely changed our life.
This virus spreads from one person to another, as there is no specific treatment for this disease caused by the novel coronavirus. People should understand the basic information about how the coronavirus spreads, that's why we are following social distancing, hand washing, wearing a mask and not going outside if not necessary. Stay home and stay safe!




Author: Hatim M.
Level: 5
Instructor: Kara M.
Photo Credit: rawpixel / 123RF Stock Photo

Culture Ethnicity Diversity Nation People Concept

Even if I didn't have enough time to assimilate all your culture but I think I can pick up some points. I think I'll talk about differences between the systems.

The big difference between our two countries here in Canada is that everything is well structured, by law and everyone knows what he owes and what he has. Your legislation is strict, if you have the right to one thing you will have it . I think because the founding fathers believed men born equal and need to have the same chances in this country. Maybe because your country is a new country and that it was easy to build a new society with well bases.

For my country and I really love it and I like how that's work  that's maybe because I was born there and I adapt myself to this environment. There we can easily find a solution to escape from any problem with police or public administration by corruption. But that's because in our legislation there's a lot of holes where people use it to play with the system. 

And those who cause us all our problems and that's why I bring my kids to a place where they can be equal to others in front the law , and education and health , maybe that's for you is just one right but for many people on  this earth is a dream.

Hoping I give some reasons why a lot of people choose to come to Canada even if they are rich they can feel free here.

Finally, it is not easy to come here because when you come to Canada you should start from the bottom and forget all your achievements.



My Life Before and After Having Kids

Author: Liping J.
Level: 4
Instructor: Mona G.
Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photo

babys hand

Everyone has their own lifestyle and makes their own life choices. Having kids was a big turning point for me. When I was single, I could go anywhere I wanted very easily. I lived at home, where my mom always had food prepared for me and always helped me wash my dirty clothes. Since I didn't need to worry about those things, I always had a lot of free time to do my favourite things.

Now that I have kids of my own, I am busy everyday because they are still very young.  My oldest (a daughter) is only 10 years old. Sometimes, when I go shopping, I try to leave them at home because they always ask for toys. Now I am following in my mom's footsteps. My job is never-ending.  I am busy everyday.  I work everyday and then, after I come back home from work, I still need to do the housework. Sometimes, when I feel tired my children comfort me.

As I watch my children growing up, I see how sweet they are. I don't hear the noise they make as frustrating, but rather it is them making me laugh a lot. They are my sweethearts. Watching them grow up healthy is my biggest motivation. I enjoy my time with them in the present because when they get to the age of 18, they will move to university and live in different places, so I enjoy every moment with the kids. I am very proud of my kids.

This is the story of my life before and after having kids and I don't regret a thing!



A Relentless Snowstorm

Author: Roksolana D.
Level: 5
Instructor: Mona G.
Photo Credit: radub85 / 123RF Stock Photo

cars in snow

A couple of weeks ago, Saskatoon and the surrounding area, were hit hard by an unforgiving fall snowstorm. As predicted by Environment Canada, the city saw about 10 to 15 centimetres of snow from Saturday night to Sunday morning and about another 20 -30 cm between Sunday afternoon and into Monday morning.

According to Saskatoon StarPhoenix, "In the city on Sunday, winds gusted up to 80 kilometres an hour and created snow drifts 30 to 40 centimetres high. Other areas of the province were also hit with freezing rain, snow and strong winds that created hazardous or impossible driving conditions." 

Driving wasn't recommended over the weekend but, because of work, I had to drive on Saturday. In the morning, nothing looked that bad; it wasn't snowing at all, so I thought I could do it. By the time I had to go back home, there was heavy snow and a very strong wind that picked up the snow and blew it around. The visibility was so poor that I could only see one car ahead of me and nothing else. During some parts of my journey, it was hard to figure out where the road was. Once I hit the highway the worst part began. I was only able to drive 50 km per hour, the highway had only one lane which sometimes had snow drifts on it, and the wind was so strong that I could not stop imagining it pushing my car off the road.  There was only one car ahead of me and I tried to keep up so that I would not be left alone.  I had a strong temptation just to pull over and wait for somebody to pick me up. I realized that if I drove even a little bit off of the track that I was driving on, there would be no way back, because my car would quickly get stuck in the deep snow until probably the next day. Also, I didn't want my husband to drive all the way there and leave my children at home alone. I didn't have any other option but to keep going so I was my own Sandra Bullock in my own "Bird Box."

It was the longest 30 km ride in my life. I was very anxious and scared, but I made it home, only to get stuck on my driveway. My husband and kids helped me clear a path to the garage and, after that, all of us had a very busy evening. My husband helped to dig out another car that was stuck by our house, my kids spent hours in our backyard jumping into piles of snow, and I had a nice cup of tea, and watched a movie.


Advice about Home Ownership in Canada

Author: Ingrid R.
Level: 6
Instructor: Adrienne R.
Photo Credit: grazvydas / 123RF Stock Photo

house and keys

I need to give you some advice about owning a home, compared to renting. There are advantages to owning a house in Canada and disadvantages.  In my experience, being an owner of a house has not been a good idea because we bought our house as newcomers and had no information.

Owning a house is a good investment long term.  It can be good if you own it with someone else so you can both pay the bills and the mortgage.  If you have pets and want to have your own laundry, then owning a house is better than living in an apartment.  It also gives you more privacy with your kids.  You can also invite your family to live in your home and you can rent it out to make extra money. 

Financially, renting an apartment is cheaper than paying a mortgage. You can save your money.  Also, if you decide to move from your city to find work in a new place, renting is better because you can leave quickly.  If you find that your home is in an unsafe area, it is better to be renting so you can move whenever you are ready.

In conclusion, you have to make your own choices.  For me, it is better to rent because I might re-locate.   Choose carefully and welcome to Canada my new friends.


Advice and information related to health and wellness

Author: Rouzia Z.
Level: 4
Instructor: Tanya B.
Photo Credit: Varin Rattanaburi / 123RF Stock Photo

sport woman touch on hand watch health application

It is a famous proverb that "health is wealth".  Health is very important for a happy and successful life. Achieving good health is not easy today because we live in a crowded and polluted environment. Good health is the key to happiness. It is the secret of every happy life.  If a person is happy and healthy, he or she can laugh, smile, and sleep well. For good health, we must eat food that has all the nutrition which our body requires. A balanced diet has a very important role in making our body strong. We must eat more fruit and vegetables and avoid junk food. We should exercise regularly to make our body fit and mind happy.  All these things are necessary for good health and a peaceful life.  Stay healthy, think positive and enjoy every moment of your life!



Author: Mariana K.
Level: 7
Instructor: Tanya B.
Photo Credit: prykhodov / 123RF Stock Photo

girl sitting at the computer and makes online shopping in a white room

Online shopping has been a common way of buying things for several years. Young people are more likely to use online resources, but Covid-19 has changed that trend. More and more people of all ages are shopping online because they don't want to be in public more often than necessary.

I have been an online shopper for a few years, because it was more convenient for me. It is a quick and easy way of buying things right from my home. My favourite part of online shopping is the large selection of products offered online. I can easily find everything I need, compare prices and any product features. Many websites provide free delivery and easy returns or refunds in case you need it. Shopping online is completely safe, online stores provide privacy protection. 

Another useful feature is access to customer feedback, I like to know the opinion of customers about the goods and services they received. When you search for a product online, you get suggestions on similar or additional things for what you need, I like this option, and sometimes it makes me buy something else. If you need more information about the product, you can easily contact the seller via phone call, email or Live Chat (the latter is my favourite way).

I also like to buy gifts online for the reasons given above and some Websites pack your gifts in gift bags, add a postcard with any suggestions or wishes you want to write on it, and deliver it to the front door. What could be better, especially with the pandemic?

I know there are a few downsides to online shopping, but if you shop at reliable websites, you can avoid problems. Nevertheless, you could get bad service at any regular store and might need to come back there to return or replace your item. For me personally, it's much easier to go to the post office and just send it back. Yes, you pay the shipping fee when you return something, but you also pay for gas when you go to the store to do so.

As an online shopper, I was satisfied with the products and services I received, and I can recommend this way of shopping. So I wish you good shopping, stay safe and be positive in this period of uncertainty! The best is yet to come!




Author: Reeta R.
Level: 7
Instructor: Kara M.
Photo Credit: dolgachov / 123RF Stock Photo

business, information, people and mass media concept - close up of male hands with newspaper, muffin and coffee cup on table

In my free time I like to watch tv and listen music, reading newspapers and exercise. First of all, when I feel board, I turn on the tv and watch programs for half an hour. These programs are in my first language not in English but sometimes I watch English too. I like it and it shows every day a new episode half an hour. Sometimes, I listen to music because I have a huge collection of different music.

Also, I read newspapers in my free time. We get newspapers twice a week and it's free of cost. We get lots of information through the newspaper. I can know what is happening all over the world through the newspaper. Newspaper gives us news about politics, economy, education and games etc. Sometimes, it gives information about events which one is celebrating in your city. 

Next, I do exercise whenever I have free time. Exercise makes me fit all day. I made a routine half an hour doing exercise everyday. Physical exercise helps my muscles and nerves work probably. It keeps my mind fresh and helps me breathe more deeply. Simply I can say that everyone should protect health by doing exercise. In easy words, I will say "health is wealth"

In conclusion, hobbies are a good way to relax. We can do free times. Watching tv and music makes me happy in my free time. I can get all kinds of information through the newspaper. Physical exercise makes me feel healthy all day. These are just some of the activities I like to do in my free time.


Worm Farming

Author: Andrii D.
Level: 5
Instructor: Adrienne R.
Photo Credit: Krisana Antharith / 123RF Stock Photo

An earthworm on a soil in hands of man

Most of the farms in Canada do not have healthy soil. When farmers use chemicals on the soil, the natural bacteria dies.   On my farm I want to have the best soil. 

Creating a worm farm is the first step in planting an organic garden.

Worms help us to make very good soil for our farm. When we first receive the worms and put them in a pile of  compost. 
The soil must be prepared first and it needs to have a PH level of 6.5 – 7.5.

This soil must be loose, moderately wet and with the temperature should be 18 - 25 degrees Celsius. Then we put the worms into the compost mixture.  We use straw, kitchen waste, and put everything in a pail with the worms. It is important that the worms have enough air to live.

There must also not be too much water in the pail or the worms will die.  

We then put the compost, mixed with water and the worms into the garden.  The garden must have mulch in it.  We mix it all together.

The mulch mixed with the worms, together with the compost and some water makes the soil very healthy.  It is  now full of natural minerals from the worm farm. 

The farm can then be very good for planting.  The worms will eventually work on the whole garden.  It is important to keep them at the right temperature and add mulch if it is cold.  The temperature must be just right.

If we help the soil a little bit with the worms, it will be great for the farm and create healthy food.



Banh Tet

Author: Nhung L.
Level: 5
Instructor: Raghad (Rachel) A.
Photo Credit: hanoiphotography / 123RF Stock Photo

Making (wrapping) Chung Cake

New Year is the biggest holiday in Vietnam. We prepare some special food to celebrate together. "Banh Tet" is a special food that we must have on this holiday. In addition to that we also make cold rolls and spring rolls.

I would like to tell you about "Banh Tet":

 The ingredients are: sticky rice, pork meat, fat meat, black mushroom, Knox powder gelatin, fish sauce, sugar.

  • How we make it?

First, we soak 1 kg stick rice in cool water for one night and then let it dry and put it on a banana leaf. Next, cut 1/2 kg  pork  and a piece of  pork fat, add some black mushrooms, black pepper, fish sauce, sugar, and Knox powder, and mix together. Then put all of them inside the sticky rice. After that, cover with a banana leaf and make some holes in it. Put them inside a hot pot and cook overnight for over 8 hours. Finally, after everything is cooked well, take it out of the banana leaf and then cut it into slices and eat it with fish sauce.

I also make this recipe in Canada with my friends to celebrate New Year.

There are many recipes and videos on how to make Banh Tet online these days. You should try it!


Beef and Onion Recipe

Author: Furong Z.
Level: 6
Instructor: Mona G.
Photo Credit: gkrphoto / 123RF Stock Photo

Preparing beef stew - wooden background

I would like to share a recipe for beef with onion. I have recommended it to many of my friends and all of them have said that the dish is yummy and easy to make.


  • Beef - 250g
  • Onion - 1
  • Canola oil - 1 tbsp
  • Black pepper - 2 tsp
  • Cornstarch - 1 tsp
  • Soy sauce - 1 tsp
  • Salt – ½ tsp


First, slice beef and put in a bowl.

Next, mix with black pepper, cornstarch and soy sauce.

Then, slice onion.

After, heat pan with oil. 

Then, fry beef until colour browns.

Next, take beef out of pan but leave oil in pan.

After that, put onion and salt in pan until onion softens.

Then, put re-add beef to pan and mix with soft onions for one minute.

Now you can enjoy the delicious food with rice or bread.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


Chicken *DG * recipe

Author: Lyngate Emy G.
Level: 7
Instructor: Raghad (Rachel) A.
Photo Credit: Mychko Alexander / 123RF Stock Photo

Poulet DG, delicious chicken and plantain dish

Christmas holidays are coming quickly. It's time for gifts, family regrouping, lots of joy and entertainment. A special occasion means special meals to impress our hosts. In my native country in Cameroon, there is a meal cooked for this kind of occasion which is called chicken *DG *.  DG in English it means General Director. My beloved mother taught me how to make this dish. It is a delicious mix of chicken, banana plantains and vegetables which will please the taste buds of your guests.


  • 8 ripe plantain bananas, cut on the bias into thick round slices
  • 8 chicken drumsticks, cut into two pieces or an all chicken as needed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of basil and parsley, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 of a green, red and yellow pepper, sliced
  • 5 tomatoes, diced
  • 300 g green beans, cut
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of water
  •  Vegetable oil for frying


Preparation: 45min Cooking: 60min

First, add salt and pepper to the chicken in a bowl and set aside.  Then heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the plantains until golden brown on both sides; set aside. While the plantains are cooking, boil the carrots and green beans together for 5 min with salt. Next, brown the chicken pieces in the same pan with leftover oil. Set aside as well. After that, you need to remove some of the oil and keep a small quantity for cooking. In this same pan, cook the onions and tomatoes, then add salt and pepper, stir for 5 minutes. Then put the chicken into the pan, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add fried bananas, carrots and green beans; stir. Finally add garlic, chopped leek and peppers, add half cup of water, cover and let flavours blend for about 20 minutes on low heat.

Serve and enjoy.


Vietnamese Sweet Corn Pudding

Author: Binh H.
Level: 4
Instructor: Raghad (Rachel) A.
Photo Credit: sutteerug / 123RF Stock Photo

Tapioca pearl corn in coconut milk, thai dessert. On wooden table. Top view.

I would like to share this recipe for Dessert (Vietnamese Sweet Corn Pudding). Many people make it when they have a celebration in my country. I copied this recipe from a website. I always use the same recipe.

  • 3 large ears corn, shucked
  • 4 cups water         
  • 2 pandan leaves, tied together and knotted (optional) 
  • 1/4 cup small tapioca pearls                                                            
  • 2 (14- ounce) cans coconut milk 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds 


  1. Stand each ear of corn up in a bowl and, holding it sturdy, run a sharp chef's knife down the length of the ear to shave off the kernels. Set the kernels aside.
  2. Combine the corn cobs, pandan leaves (optional) and 4 cups water in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place tapioca pearls in a small bowl, cover with cold water by 1/2 inch and let stand.
  4. Remove corn cobs and pandan leaves from the pot and discard.
  5. Add 2 cans coconut milk, corn kernels, 1/2 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt to the pot and stir to combine. Return to a boil and then simmer until corn is tender, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust sugar and salt, if desired.
  6. Stir tapioca pearls into the pot and simmer for 2 minutes.
  7. Serve warm or cold in bowls or glasses. Garnish with sesame seeds just before serving.




Author: Irene R.
Level: 6
Instructor: Mona G.
Photo Credit: Josep Suria / 123RF Stock Photo

people on phones

Technology is an important part of our daily lives.  First of all, it has made communication easier with our families, relatives and friends around the world by using platforms, such as Google, Facebook, Skype, Zoom and many more. These are great ways to stay in touch with them.

In addition, computer technology has brought a lot of flexibility. For example, it is much easier nowadays to advertise your business, pay your bills and search for a job online. Also, if you have an assignment, you can research the information on the internet. Nowadays, you can study online and work at home as well.

Technology has been especially useful this year during the pandemic.  It has kept people connected (and safe) and allowed people to learn so many new and interesting things online!  For example, many people have been offering exercise classes online for free, as well as baking tips and household hacks.  You can learn anything online these days, and keep yourself busy during this time, from learning a new language to taking singing lessons or learning how to play the piano!  Online shopping has increased during the pandemic with many people supporting local businesses, which has helped communities come together and stay afloat.

Learning with technology is fun and exciting; you can search for a lot of things that you are interested in. However, you should be careful not to use the computer excessively.

"To all users of technology who are willing to take a chance, make a choice, and try a new way of doing things so that we can nurture and enjoy a happy, healthy planet.—K.M."



My Summer Vacation

Author: Viktoriia H.
Level: 6
Instructor: Adrienne R.
Photo Credit: Mark / 123RF Stock Photo

Red Pontoon Boat Tied to a Dock With Two Chairs

My family and my friends had never been to Chitek Lake before, so we decided to go there one weekend this summer to see what the lake and park were like. We spent a week at this lodge near Chitek Lake and found that it was quite nice. We arrived at night. We rented a two-bedroom cabin. The cabin had a TV, air conditioning, natural gas fireplace, full bathroom with a tub and shower, fridge, stove, and all the dishes, pots, and pans.

The next day we rented a pontoon boat from them for the day and had a great time on the lake, they gave us a map of the best places to fish. We caught mostly pike. The Lake has a beautiful beach with a playground. But we could not sunbathe and swim in the lake, because the water and air were a little bit chilly.

For the rest of the time, we had many adventures. We spent a day golfing and it was so funny because none of us can play a golf. We hiked through the park. The park is on the small side but absolutely beautiful. Also, we hiked in the forest; the forest seemed to be a very nice place to walk. However, the forest nice place for ATV or a four wheeler. While we made dinner the men explored the Chitek Lake trails on an all-terrain vehicles. There were kayaks for rent but at this time it was cold and we did not want to take them out.

The cabin had an outdoor table and chairs, we had our meals in the open-air each night. Every night we also had a nice campfire. We played some games. We played cards. Our friend brought his guitar and played it. We really enjoyed a nice outdoor experience.

The grounds were very well kept and it made the peacefulness of the area that much better. We had a great time with our old friends.