• Asia,  China,  Culture,  Diversity,  Food,  How To,  International

    My First Jiaozi

      I watched as the water in the black iron pot boiled vigorously, the coals underneath it glowing brightly. A teaspoon of salt followed by a pinch of sugar was added to the violently bubbling water. Then, as the water gurgled, numerous dumplings, some made by me and the others by my grandmother, were hustled in. Vinegar with crystalline green garlic was poured into five porcelain bowls. The sweet and sour scent of vinegar lingered in my nostrils. I was hungry! With my eyes fixed on the pot, time passed slowly… Finally, in Mandarin, my grandmother cried out from the kitchen, “Kai Fanla!” ¹ One by one, plates of piping hot…

  • Art,  Asia,  China,  Diversity,  drawings,  photography,  Travel

    Palace of the Heavens

    I gaped at the Temple of City Gods towering over me and felt something in my chest—that bursting, cathartic feeling, as if the floodgates of my soul had been released and the contents were spilling over. Sunlight glinted off the grooves of the curved rooftops and illuminated the striking combination of red and gold receding into the skyline. All these diverse aspects of architectural brilliance, working in harmony to invoke the rawest of my emotions, impacted the way I viewed my surroundings forever. Sure, buildings serve the basic function of shelter, but what are other ways of construction—new and interesting ways—that haven’t been done before? Breathing life into brick and…

  • Asia,  China,  History,  International,  Nature,  photography,  Travel

    The Stone Forest of Kunming, China

    Located in Shilin county, Yunnan Province, the Stone Forest is one of the most spectacular attractions one can see in the world. Known as “the best of the world’s wonders,” it is exceptionally eye-catching and a must-see attraction whilst visiting China. I was so excited to be able to visit this captivating site last month. Entering the Stone Forest, I was fascinated by an extensive lake that stretched 3 kilometers long and 300 meters wide. The lake, argent-silver in color and shaped like a perfectly flat disc of metal, shimmered under the scorching sun. The trees that encompassed the lake had birds flitting from bough to bough, incessantly chirping. Forest…

  • Culture,  History,  Nature,  Social Justice,  Travel

    Visiting an Indian Reservation in South Dakota

    In July 2017, I had the opportunity of a lifetime! It all started July 19 at 5:30 AM, when I boarded a flight that would bring me to South Dakota’s Lakota Indian Reservation in Lower Brule. Shortly after arriving in Omaha, Nebraska, I, along with 27 other students, drove six hours to arrive at this reservation. As we approached the reservation, I saw pure destitution. There were abandoned, burned-down houses. The service trip was filled with arduous manual labor, yet it incorporated an educational aspect as well. This was eye-opening because I had a chance to learn so much about the Native American culture, and more specifically, the Lakotas. I…

  • Animals,  Art,  Asia,  Culture,  Diversity,  Food,  History,  India,  International,  Latin-American,  Nature,  Travel

    Gallery 2018

    [Winter 2018] “The Godfather,” a Catalina Macaw at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Ohio. Photo by Rebecca Oet, 15, Ohio. The Floating Market How do you buy your fresh fruit and vegetables? Does your family drive to the supermarket? Or do you go to a farmer’s market and buy produce directly from the people who grew the food? Do you stop at a roadside stand and buy fresh veggies from a family? How about a floating flotilla of boats coming to dock in your town laden with fresh fruits and vegetables from Venezuela? Curacao is an island nation of 150,000 people 48 miles off the coast of Venezuela. Originally, people settled here…

  • Culture,  Diversity,  International,  Latin-American,  Travel

    The Floating Market in Curacao

    The Floating Market How do you buy your fresh fruit and vegetables? Does your family drive to the supermarket? Or do you go to a farmer’s market and buy produce directly from the people who grew the food? Do you stop at a roadside stand and buy fresh veggies from a family? How about a floating flotilla of boats coming to dock in your town laden with fresh fruits and vegetables from Venezuela? Curacao is an island nation of 150,000 people 48 miles off the coast of Venezuela. Originally, people settled here to farm, growing beans and other food; but now there are hardly any farms left. Mangoes grow wild…