In 1989 I went to China. It was an enlightening experience.
Unfortunately, a world shattering event happened while I was there.
Anyone old enough to remember, can still see the image of a student standing in front of a tank in the demonstrations at Tiananmen Square, Beijing.
When my family and I were finally allowed out of China, I always declared I would go back – it was, and still is, a fascinating country.
In 2006 I got my wish. In a small room of a small apartment in Qiqihar, North China (Heilongjiang province), I lived and breathed my dream for nearly 5 months. While there I taught many students the English language. I worked sixty hour weeks and spent a lot of time in old buses travelling to schools in rural areas. A different China than I had seen as a tourist seventeen years earlier, but wonderful all the same.
I came home and settled back into my Australian life. Suddenly it was 2016 and ten years had magically past. I decided I needed to travel again.
This time I volunteered to teach English in Cambodia, so the journey of life took me into Asia once again.
Now, home again, as I have mentioned before, I am working on a very ambitious project for the Asian market. ‘Learning basic English‘ is now underway, with ‘nouns’ being the first.
There will be five books in the series, each having a book for the students, and a manual for the teacher. Hopefully with an audio book involved, too.
Australia is still sweltering in a hot summer, but there is still gardening that can be done. The plants don’t take long to burn and shrivel – soon as dead as a dodo – so … don’t forget to water the plants – they need a good drink either early in the morning, or late in the afternoon so they can make good use of the water during the sunless night.
My Zucchini plants are going great – and have been giving me so many zucchinis (courgettes) that I have to dig out my recipes to use them as much as I can. I often grate them into meat balls, slice them up for stir fries, roast them with cheese topping for dinner, but here’s another thing that can be done:-
Rice and Zucchini Slice.
½ cup brown rice
1 carrot, grated
1 zucchini, grated
1 small can corn kernels, drain, wash
¼ cup chopped chives
1 cup cheese, grated
extra grated cheese for top
¾ cup SR flour
½ cup milk.
¼ cup sweet chilli sauce
- Preheat oven to 180-200°. Grease and prepare a slice tin
- Cook rice to instructions on packet. Allow to cool.
- Combine rice, carrot, zucchini, corn, chives, cheese and flour in a large bowl.
- Whisk eggs, chilli sauce and milk together in a jug.
- Add to rice mixture and mix well.
- Spread in tin, sprinkle with extra cheese, then bake for approx 35mins, until cooked through and lightly browned.
- Stand in pan for 20mins then slice and serve hot or cold. Serves 8.
To keep this post related to the eat, dream and read theme of my blog – just remember – dreams are there to aim you through life. Some are easily achievable, and some you never manage to gain – but a positive attitude, and sheer hard work makes the journey – whatever the outcome – worth every moment. And the beauty of life? You never know what tomorrow may bring – so live each day with the utmost gratitude and joy.
P.S. – one of my children’s picture book deals with love and change – something we all hope to experience in our life: ‘Candy Cow and the Caterpillar’ _ part of my ‘Alphabet Animals of Australia’ series. This book is illustrated by Patsy Seager. I hope to be able to tell you more about her next time.
Next week, I have a guest blogger – author Wanda Luthman. She will be introducing one of her picture books for children. See you then.