Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Egg Dyeing

On Wednesday, March 28, Loyola Intensive English Program (LIEP) students spent an hour dyeing Easter eggs!

Below we see eggs in preparation.
James Zhang of China dyes an egg.
CoCo Zhao of China dyes an egg.
An orange egg with yellow lettering 
An egg with a face
The dyed eggs are displayed for all to see.
Eggs are set out to dry.
We arrange our egg display.
Eggs to admire!
And now we show off our individual eggs!
CoCo Zhao of China has won a chocolate Easter bunny for the best egg!
Each of us has an egg to show off!

Dear World at Loyola

Several Loyola Intensive English Program (LIEP) students participated in the "Dear World at Loyola"  body art project on Wednesday, March 21. This project is the creation of Robert X. Fogarty, who photographs people with a message for the world written on parts of their body, usually their arms and hands. Fogarty publishes these messages at his "Dear World" website.

Below are Fogarty's photos of LIEP students, displaying their messages for the world.

Fahad Almutairi of Kuwait

Inajara Da Costa Nunes of Brazil

Alhousseyni Gallo of Senegal

Ying Liao of China

Alicia Lucidi of France

Ahn Nguyen of Vietnam

Helena Posada of Nicaragua

Nicole Rios of Nicaragua

Serena Wang of China

A very special CONGRATULATIONS to Serena Wang, who spoke about her experience as a traveler and student in the United States at a Dear World gathering for members of the Loyola University New Orleans community on Thursday evening, March 24.

A big THANK YOU to Serena Wang for speaking so movingly of her experience, to all the LIEP students who participated in the Dear World project, to LIEP Instructor Christina Indovina for arranging LIEP's participation, and to Robert X. Fogarty for his creative artistry.

Saint Joseph's Day

Monday, March 19 was Saint Joseph's Day, a very important day for people of Sicilian descent in New Orleans. Many years ago, Sicily suffered from a severe drought and famine. Sicilians prayed to their patron, Saint Joseph, and finally the long-awaited rain came to bring life to the crops and relief to the people. In gratitude to Saint Joseph, Siciians prepared an altar to honor their patron saint and to display the bountiful harvest, of which they distributed a large share to the poor and needy. This became an annual tradition, which was brought to the United States with Sicilian immigrants.

Today, Sicilian Americans in New Orleans prepare colorful altars with statues, holy pictures, candles, and elaborately decorated breads, pastries, and other foods. Some families open their homes for people to view their altars, pray, honor Saint Joseph, receive something to eat, and perhaps make a donation for the poor.

Loyola Intensive English Program (LIEP) students and instructors visited two Saint Joseph altars in homes in uptown New Orleans, where we received a warm welcome, heard the story of Saint Joseph and the Sicilian famine, and admired the beautiful altar. We each received a bag containing a Saint Joseph prayer card, some Italian cookies, and a fava bean. We learned that the fava bean, usually used as food for cattle, was the only plant that grew during the famine and kept the people alive. Today it is considered a lucky bean, and whoever carries it will have good luck.

Below are photos from our visit to the Saint Joseph altars.

The Italian flag marks a home where a Saint Joseph altar is displayed
View of a Saint Joseph altar in an uptown New Orleans home
Another view of a Saint Joseph altar in an uptown New Orleans home
Nicole Rios of Nicaragua holds the gift bag she received with a Saint Joseph prayer card,
several Italian cookies, and a lucky fava bean.
Upon our return, LIEP Instructor Christina Indovina had an additional treat for us. She had assembled  all the ingredients for us to learn to make the traditional Italian fig cookies called cuccidati. Below are photos of our cuccidati making.
Ying Liao of China, Felix Garmendia of Venezuela, and LIEP Instructor Christina Indovina
mix ingredients.
The dough is rolled out, eventually to form a rectangle.
The fig stuffing is added and rolled up in the dough.
The cuccidati are carefully cut.
Alicia Lucidi of France prepares to take a baking sheet of cuccidati to the oven.
Alhousseyni Gallo of Senegal waits for the cuccidati to bake.
The cuccidati are ready to eat!
CoCo Zhao of China enjoys one of our just-baked cuccidati!