More Summer Travel Ideas

Here’s another travel story from Class 3C. When you’re finished reading the story below, remember to take the quiz to test your comprehension.

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Visiting Hong Kong

Wo Qu Hu

Hong Kong used to be an English colony. The people on the Chinese mainland felt that Hong Kong was a very mysterious island. China got it back from England in 1997. Ever since 1997, I had a dream to visit Hong Kong. In 2004, one day I got the news that regular people could apply to visit Hong Kong. I was very happy and did it immediately.

In the summer of 2004, my girlfriend and I started our trip to Hong Kong. That was a beautiful day. When I first stepped into Hong Kong, I took a deep breath and closed my eyes to feel the difference. We visited the Top of the Mountain, Ocean Park, Hong Kong Bay, Hong Kang, Jiulong and some of my relatives.

The most unforgettable thing was visiting Hong Kong Ocean Park. It was the biggest ocean park in Asia. That morning, we prepared a lot of food, snacks and water. Even though it was a little heavy, it was covered by happiness. When we stepped into the park, to the right were some sculptures of big sea animals. They looked like they were swimming in the ocean and spraying water. We took out the map and decided to take the sightseeing cable car to the top, because there are a lot of amusement rides on the top. So we went to the back of the line.

The line was so long. We waited for almost one hour. It was our turn. When I got in the gondola I was very excited. But when the sightseeing cable car was moving, I was a little nervous. Because when I looked out of our car I saw we were in the sky. We were at least 60 meters up in the air. But it was a very good spot to see the sights of Hong Kong. When we arrived the top, there was an announcement that said, “The dolphin show will start in fifteen minutes.” Even though my eyes were attracted to the amusement rides, my body was pulled to the dolphin show by my girlfriend. Even though I watched the show passively, it was a very good show.

After the show, we watched polar bears, penguins, sharks, pandas and other animals. We also rode on some amusement rides too. Even though I didn’t want to leave there, it was almost 5:30 and we really felt tired and we needed to ride the bus for more than one hour back to the hotel. So we left Hong Kong Ocean Park and left Hong Kong the next morning.

Because of its mystery, because of the beautiful scenery, because of her, Hong Kong left a deep impression on me.


To read more, click here.

A Night with the Moth


Last week some of our Adult Literacy Program students went to the Housing Works Cafe and Bookstore to share their stories as part of a live event put on by the arts & literarure journal The Moth.

From their teacher, Amy Pechukas:

All students prepared stories for the event in the weeks previous.  These stories were relevant to the theme of “fathers” in some way and needed to be five minutes long. One student crafted a story about growing up poor in Ukraine and hankering after ski equipment that all her friends could afford and how her father bought her the ski equipment for her birthday as a surprise. Another student talked about how traditional Chinese fathers are not demonstrative with their wives or children and the only time he touched his father was when he would hold his hand to take him to the doctor.

All the stories were memorable and striking.  At the event, only the students who wanted to submitted their names for a random calling to tell their story.  Hilda (Ximena), Felix, and Larysa all submitted their names and Hilda (Ximena) was called to speak.  She hesitated but went up and told her story.  She spoke about how her father was a good dad and very supportive and how he had supported her in coming to the US as they could not afford for her to attend university in Ecuador.  However, sadly, now that she has come here she feels she has lost her relationship with him in a way due to the distance between them.  She got a great round of applause and taught the whole class and audience an important lesson in courage. Her English was not perfect but her poise and confidence were outstanding and her story was memorable!

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Ready for Any Emergency

Our weekend New York Rising classes here at the University Settlement Adult Literacy Program have been studying both English and how to prepare for just about any emergency. Last Saturday they shared their knowledge with their fellow ESOL students. Watch above to see what happened, and take a look at some photos below!

Awesome Adjective: Ripe

Meaning: Describing fruit that’s ready to eat.

Those mangoes are still green. They’re not ripe yet.

I know the peaches are hard, but they should be ripe in a couple of days.

Fruit that isn’t ripe usually tastes sour.


What color is a ripe banana?

A.  Yellow

B.  Green

C.  Black

To see the correct answer, click on “Continue reading”:

Read More »

Summer Travel Ideas

Class 3C here at the University Settlement Adult Literacy Program recently wrote about some memorable trips they took. Read one below or click here to read more. Maybe you can get some good tips for traveling this summer. When you’re finished reading the story below, remember to take the quiz to test your comprehension.

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Natalia Briceno

We were bored of the heat and tranquility of my city, so some of my friends and I decided go to go camping.

We all agreed to go somewhere near where we lived. We were under the floodgates of the dam “La Paloma,” a green place with many trees and a small river running down from the high Andes Mountain leading to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Due to the droughts of those years, the river had lost its strength and beauty.

So everyone prepared their camping supplies, food and water. My neighbor, one of my best friends from my childhood, prepared some sandwiches and bought fruit and water to carry. My cousin and her boyfriend also got everything for that Saturday afternoon. We were all to meet there, so we slowly began to gather our friends.

The men began to set up the tents; the women prepared the fire and meat to roast and at night perked up with a small battery-powered radio.

Illuminated by our campfire, sitting on the ground or on some old tree trunks, we realized that we were more people than we thought. Some sent word to their friends and these others. In the end we were more than fifteen people, from a group that started with seven.

The sky was spectacular! You could heard the run of the river and the night birds who wandered in the vegetation that night. And the smell of nature is always a pleasure to my senses. UUHHMM!

My grandfather Gabriel, a countryman all his life and passionate about mining, I remember him grinding stones to extract the gold. And also he had a plot where he cultivated grapes, avocados, peaches, figs, nuts, apples and others. It was beautiful especially because we were just steps from the river of Tulahen that for those years flowed generously.

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Most of the time my cousins, my brothers and I went there every summer. I remember my grandfather secretly prepared his famous concoctions of grapes, and as a little girl at that time I was prohibited to drink. “It’s only for the biggest who can taste these delicacies!” he said.

We all laughed together that night with my friends. Some of them danced, others joked. And I remember some of them swimming in the river that night.

My cousin started to call everyone and yelling “Make a row, make a row!” He was carrying in his hand a special bottle of the concoction which only my grandfather knew how to prepare. Proud of him, I told everyone it had been prepared by my dear Grandfather Gabriel a long time ago; may he rest in peace! Everyone raised their glasses and we made a toast on his behalf and we drank his famous concoction.

 What else? Don’t ask me, because I don’t remember.


To read more, click here.