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Mother's Day Quarantine At Home Edition

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, May 08, 2020

Happy Mother’s Day from Quarantine!




This year we’re celebrating Mom’s Day a little differently than normal, but we can make it work! Just because we’re in quarantine, doesn’t mean we can't celebrate and appreciate our special mothers! Here are some ideas for celebrating in these uncertain and strange times! 




Make and Send a Card

Instead of buying a greeting card, make your own! Hand write a heartfelt message to send to Mom in the mail. Include a poem or quote! Be creative and old fashioned instead of just sending a simple email! Click here, here and here for some inspiration. 




Have a Family Zoom Call

If you can’t be with your Mom on this day, make sure to give her a call! Reunite the whole family on Zoom and catch up! 




Cook for Mom

Breakfast in Bed? Picnic lunch on the lawn? Restaurant dinner from home? Give her a menu of options or just surprise your Mom with your culinary skills. Give her a day off of cooking for once and let her relax! Treat your Mom by pretending you’re at the restaurant you wish you could go to today (but can't because of covid-19) and cook up some fancy meals! For some inspirations, click here, here and here.


Bake Something for Mom

Who doesn’t love a homemade dessert? Try baking a cake, cupcakes or cookies! If you don’t usually bake, you have time to learn a new skill. Even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly, I’m sure she’ll appreciate the effort. For some recipes, click here, here and here.


Order a Gift 

Want to buy her something, but can’t give it to her in person? Order a gift online to have it delivered to her home! Choose the traditional chocolate, flowers and jewelry or branch out with a unique gift. Click here and here for a list of ideas.




Spa Day at Home

Treat your Mom to an at home day of luxury! If you’re wishing you could go to the salon to get your nails done, do them from home! Try making your own face mask!


Make sure to take time to appreciate your Mom and tell her you love her today!


Cinco de Mayo at Home Edition

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, May 04, 2020

How to Celebrate Cinco De Mayo From Quarantine!




Sitting at home in quarantine wishing you could head over to your favorite Mexican restaurant tomorrow to celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Unfortunately we are celebrating this year’s Cinco de Mayo a little differently than normal due to the coronavirus. Here are some ways to celebrate from home!



Learn how to cook authentic Mexican recipes for dinner!

Ever wanted to try to recreate your favorite Mexican dishes? Today, you have time to make them from scratch! Head to the kitchen for some spicy fajitas and quesadillas! Maybe some homemade salsa, guacamole or queso to go alongside chips. You could try making a side of refried beans and rice to go with enchiladas, nachos or a chile relleno. If you’re feeling adventurous, Mexican bread and handmade tortillas! What about some empanadas and tamales? Or of course, just a classic dinner of burritos and tacos! And don’t forget dessert! How about some flan, churros, tres leches or sopapillas?! Yum! For recipes, click here, here and here to explore. The options are endless! ¡Provecho!



Have a Cinco de Mayo Zoom Fiesta!

Call your friends, turn up some music and dance together! While your dinner is cooking, take some time to catch up with friends and family. If you would normally celebrate this holiday with others, we can thank technology for connecting us virtually! Bonus: download a Cinco de Mayo zoom background to increase the festivity like the image above!



Support your local Mexican restaurants! 

Local businesses are struggling and could use your help! Order take out food to celebrate, especially if you’re too lazy to cook! Most places are currently delivering, which makes it even more convenient!



If the weather is warm, have a picnic!

Head to your backyard and have dinner outside! Spending time outdoors is important, especially during this difficult time. It's beneficial to your mental health! Celebrate outside with your family and neighbors, make sure to sit a safe distance away from others! Crank up some Mexican music and make the best of the day! If you leave your home make sure to bring your mask (you could even make a festive one!). 

Learn about the history of Cinco de Mayo.

Do you know why we celebrate this holiday? It’s not Mexican Independence Day! This day is in honor of the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla against the French on May 5, 1862. To learn more, click here.


Please keep practicing social distancing, we are all in this together. Stay safe and celebrate at home! Happy Cinco de Mayo Home Edition!


St. Patrick's Day

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, March 10, 2020

St. Patrick’s Day



Did you know that Saint Patrick wasn’t even Irish? And that he wore blue, not green? Or that his name was originally “Maewyn Succat”? Make sure to wear green on March, 17th because Irish folklore claims that leprechauns pinch anyone not wearing green! Legend has it the red-headed fairies also appear at the end of a rainbow with a pot of gold! How did this green holiday come to be today?



Saint Patrick was actually born in Britain and taken to Ireland at 16 as a slave. He introduced Christianity to the Irish people and used the shamrock (3 leaf clover) as a metaphor to explain the Holy Trinity. Although he died on March, 17th, 461, his legacy was passed on through generations in Ireland and around the world. The first celebration in the United States was in Boston in 1737, while the first parade was in New York City in 1762. For more history, click here.


As of 2016, there were over 32 million people with Irish ancestry in the United States, which is 7 times more than the population of 4.8 million total people in Ireland. Over 10% of U.S. citizens are Irish, while 1/5 Massachusetts citizens have Irish ancestry. Middlesex County in Massachusetts has over 348,978 Irish Americans, which has the greatest Irish populated county in the country. Norfolk County, Massachusetts, has about 203,285 citizens with Irish ancestry. For more facts, click here and here.



Many countries around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by illuminating their landmarks with green and have parades. The Sydney Opera House in Australia as well as Christ the Redeemer in Brazil are lit with green lights. In England, the tallest ferris wheel in Europe, the London Eye, is lit with green lights. In New York City, the Empire State Building and in Paris, France the Eiffel Tower and the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy also change their lights to green. The Chicago River and Vilnia River in Lithuania are two rivers that are dyed green for the holiday. Even the Pyramids at Giza and the Sphinx in Egypt are lit with green!  For more, click here.



On this holiday, corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and soda bread are the main meal. For traditional recipes, click here and for festive green recipes, click here


Thanksgiving Favorite Foods

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, November 22, 2019

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and besides getting together with family and expressing gratitude, one of the big features of the holiday is the amazing and abundant foods!  It’s a display of all our favorite fall foods, coupled with some special dishes that are reserved for Thanksgiving itself. 

One of the most iconic Thanksgiving foods, and the one we always save a little extra room for, is pie!  While most people think of pumpkin pie when they think of Thanksgiving, a study done by GE looked at the preferences of 1,550 people around the U.S., and found some differing opinions in their favorite post-dinner treat.  As shown in the map below, while the prevailing favorite was pumpkin, the Northeast seems to actually favor apple pie and in the South pecan is the most popular pie for the season.


In a separate poll taken about the overall favorites across the U.S., pumpkin pie again takes the lead with 36% of the country choosing this as their ideal Thanksgiving pie.  Apple and pecan seem to be tied for 2nd most popular, with percentages around 15%, and sweet potato pie came in fourth with 10% of the vote.


A regional difference is also seen with the rest of Thanksgiving dinner as well, with favored side dishes varying largely in popularity by region.  Bostonians might not necessarily think of mac and cheese as a traditional Thanksgiving side, but in the South, 35% of people have it on their menu!   And squash makes an appearance in 56% of New Englander’s Thanksgiving feasts, as compared to only 18% of the nation overall.



While these seem to be the most traditional Thanksgiving foods in the U.S., every family embraces the Thanksgiving meal in their own way, and may have pieces of their own culture to add. Thanksgiving is really a time of coming together and welcoming, so we hope whatever side dishes, desserts, and main courses are your favorites, that you enjoy the time spent with family and loved ones!

Sources: Delish, Food and Wine, Lonely Planet, FiveThirtyEight





August 2019 Festivals

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, August 09, 2019

African Festival of Boston




Saturday, August 10th from 10am - 7pm at the Boston Commons Park join the African Festival of Boston. This event is FREE and open to the public! Learn about African heritage through music, dancing and fun! For more information click here

India Day Festival


Saturday, August 17th from 3 - 8pm go to City Hall Plaza to attend the India Day Festival! This FREE event features Indian music, food and dance to celebrate Indian Independence Day. Enjoy and learn about Indian culture at this festival. Click here for more information.

Fort Point Festival

Sunday, August 18th from 12 - 5pm head to Thomson Place and Stillings Street for the Fort Point Festival! This street party is FREE with music, games, dancing, food and yoga! Hear a Prince tribute band, play cornhole and pose at the photobooth! This is the festival’s 2nd year and it’s going to be bigger than last year! Click here for more information.

Illuminate the Harbor Fireworks Celebration

Thursday, August 29th from 8:30 - 9pm enjoy fireworks at the 7th annual Illuminate the Harbor Fireworks Celebration. Fireworks can be seen from Christopher Columbus Park in the North End, Piers Park in East Boston and Fan Pier in the Seaport District. This FREE event celebrates summer, the city and the community. There will be live music at Christopher Columbus Park starting at 6:30pm. For more details, click here.

Boston Jazz Festival

Friday, August 30th and Saturday, the 31st check out the Boston Jazz Festival at Maritime Park in the Seaport! This event is FREE and full of live performers starting at 12pm! There’s plenty of food, music and fun to enjoy as this is their 9th year of the festival. Jazz originates in the United States with African American roots and this festival showcases everything from the classic to contemporary. For more information click here.

Explore Boston: Neighborhoods North

Global Immersions Recruiting - Sunday, August 04, 2019

In our Explore Boston series: Neighborhoods we will highlight and explore some of the neighborhoods and towns where our hosts call home.
Towns located north of the city are some of the most beautiful and historical of New England. Explore colonial lifestyles, beautiful waterfronts, and amazing cuisine. This blog takes us to the following neighborhoods: Winthrop, Everett, East Boston, and Charlestown.


Winthrop:

Located just north of Boston, Winthrop is another typical New England town. Winthrop was originally settled in 1630 by English Puritans. The town was named after John Winthrop who was the second governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Today the town is almost 20,000 people! If you have the chance to visit Winthrop, make sure to visit the Deer Island Harborwalk. There are miles of trail to explore with views overlooking Boston and the Harbor Islands, landing airplanes, and the ocean. From Winthrop, you can also see Nix’s Mate which is an island in the Boston Harbor where pirates would hang enemies as a warning to sailors. Check our list of favorite Winthrop restaurants here.



Everett:

Located in Middlesex County, Everett is a small city located just north of the city of Boston founded in 1870. Full of history, Everett is named after a former president of Harvard University, Edward Everett, who also served as the United States Secretary of State in 1853. The small city has two claims to fame. First, Everett is the home city of the Leavitt Corporation, known for their Teddie brand peanut butter! Second, for those who are fans of Grey’s Anatomy, Everett is the home town of Ellen Pompeo who plays Meredith on the TV show. Everett is also well known for its nightlife with its locally owned pubs and breweries. The town also borders the water if you are looking for views of the Mystic River! On rainy days, make sure to check out SkyZone Trampoline Park located on Norman Street. Your friends and family will love it. Finally, if you have time for a bite to eat, make sure to stop by Texas Roadhouse and Abbondanza as you explore the city!



Fondly referred to as Eastie, the town of East Boston has personality, character, and deep cultural roots. Historically, East Boston was a shipbuilding town and home to immigrants from around the globe including Irish, Russians Jews, Italians, and later many Latinos. The Kennedy family even lived in East Boston for some time! Eastie has the advantage of being close to the city while having its own vibrant culture. First and foremost, East Boston is home to Logan International Airport accommodating quick and easy travel. Eastie is also home to some of the most beautiful waterfronts of Greater Boston where you can find stunning views of the city skyline. Piers Park is also a treasured wonder of Eastie where you can explore around the greenery as well as the sailing yard. If you have time to walk around town, make sure to visit Belle Isle Marsh and Constitution (Shay’s) Beach to fill your natural scenery fix! Last but not least, East Boston is home to some of the best and most diverse restaurants in the City. Angela’s Cafe, Mi Pueblito, Rino’s Place, and Santarpio’s are known local favorites. For a complete list of recommended restaurants, click here.

Charlestown is located between the Mystic and Charles Rivers, which means beautiful waterfront views and fresh cool breezes. Established in the 1600s, Charlestown is one of America’s most historical and traditional towns. Its roots are deeply intertwined with the American Revolution. Today, the community is close-knit and family friendly, making it a perfect place to explore for a few days! When you visit, make sure to start your adventure on the Freedom Trail as it weaves through the history of the town. Also on your list is the USS Constitution Museum and the Charlestown Navy Yard to learn more about our country’s naval history. Charlestown is also home to Bunker Hill Monument where you can enjoy the beautiful green scenery while recognizing the famous battle. While walking around the town center, make sure to explore both Main Street and City Square for all of your dining and shopping needs! Also, stop in Warren Tavern, Massachusetts' oldest bar, where even George Washington dined after its opening in 1780. If you are looking for other great local cuisine, refer to our list here.

Explore Boston: Neighborhoods South

Global Immersions Recruiting - Saturday, July 20, 2019

Aside from Boston’s most touristy neighborhoods, there are great suburbs to explore! In our Explore Boston series: Neighborhoods we will highlight and explore some of the neighborhoods and towns where our hosts call home. This blog takes us to the following neighborhoods: Hyde Park, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain and Mattapan.


Hyde Park:

Hyde Park is commonly named “A Small Town in the City.” The town has its own charm to offer. If you have the chance to explore around Hyde Park, make sure to head to Cleary Square for food stops, storefronts, and historical landmarks. In the square you will find the Vertullo Building. Built in 1868, the Vertullo Building is a must-see in Hyde Park as it is the only surviving wooden commercial building in the area! Nearby you will find Everett Square Theatre. Built in 1915, the theatre was originally used as an artistic space for theatre, musical, and other live performances. The town is now working to restore and renovate the historical building. If you are looking for outdoor activities away from city life, Hyde Park is also close to Blue Hills and Stony Brook Reservation where you can enjoy beautiful New England foliage and scenery. Finally, if you are looking for a bite to eat in HP, check out Ron’s Ice Cream (for both your bowling and ice cream needs) as well as Tutto Italiano, and the Fairmount Grille. Click here for a list of other recommended restaurants nearby.



Mattapan:

The neighborhood of Mattapan is located between Dorchester, Milton, and Hyde Park. The neighborhood was originally a predominantly Jewish neighborhood and since the 1980s has gained large Haitian, African, and Caribbean populations making for diverse people, food, and culture! If you have the chance to walk around, the first place on your list should be Mattapan Square! This marks the center of the town where Blue Hill Avenue, River Street, and Cummins highway intersect. Here you will find the most commercial (not residential) part of the neighborhood with shops and small businesses. If you continue down Blue Hill Avenue, you will find many “Triple-Decker” homes which are quintessential to Mattapan amongst other Victorian and brick style houses. The neighborhood is also well known for the historic Mattapan Trolley. This antique train, although slower at times, serves as a connector to the Red Line at Ashmont. For a Boston neighborhood, Mattapan is filled with more green spaces than most including the Harambee Park, the Franklin Park Zoo, the Boston Nature and Wildlife Sanctuary, the Clark Cooper Community Gardens, and Forest Hill cemetery. Mattapan is also home to one of the Boston Public Library branches! Lastly, here are some of Mattapan’s favorite restaurants.



Roslindale:

Fondly referred to as Rozzie, Roslindale is a beautiful quaint suburb in southern Boston surrounded by hills and dales between Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury. The neighborhood was officially annexed by Boston in 1873. The most famous place to visit in Roslindale is Roslindale Village where you will find shops, stores, and restaurants! Here are some of our favorite places to eat including Romano’s Pizzeria and Taqueria, Fornax Bread Company, and Redd’s in Rozzie. If you are looking for some natural scenery, make sure to explore the neighboring south end of Arnold Arboretum or Adam’s Park for Roslindale community events. From June until November, there is also a Roslindale Farmer’s Market on Saturdays for all to enjoy.


Jamaica Plain:

Jamaica Plain, or JP, is a neighborhood filled with artists, activists, young professionals, and families. The most popular spot to check out is Centre Street. There you will find the neighborhood’s locally owned shops and restaurants known for the best thrift shopping and delicious food. Some of our favorite restaurants in the area include Tres Gatos, Ten Tables, Doyle’s Cafe (for Tuesday night trivia), and JP Licks. Make sure to walk through City Feed and Supply, Jamaica Plain’s very own local market, to purchase organic food and community goods. If you are a thrift shopper, 40 South Street will be up your alley! For those interested in art, make sure to walk to the MFA or Isabella Stewart Gardner. Finally, if you are looking for parks and nature walks, JP is just for you. Part of Boston’s Emerald Necklace, visitors can enjoy the views of Jamaica Pond, Arnold Arboretum, and Forest Hill Cemetery. There is something for everyone to enjoy!


Upcoming Boston Food Festivals

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, July 10, 2019



Are you a pizza lover? From 12pm - 8pm on Saturday July 13 and Sunday July 14 head to the Boston Pizza Festival at Boston City Hall Plaza. Be prepared for live music, pizza acrobats, pizza tossing stations and more entertainment. With 30 pizzerias, there are endless amounts of options including vegan and gluten free options! Tickets are on sale and only $15 for an excellent experience of taste testing handmade pizzas! Click here for more information.




Donut Fest is coming on Sunday, July 28 from 11am - 6pm at Underground Ink Block. You’ll find 10 different donut vendors, food & ice cream trucks, live music, giveaways, Instagram backdrops, and much more entertainment! There are donuts for everyone, with even gluten free and vegan options available. Tickets start at only $12 for this delicious donut filled event! Click here for more information.



Craving a plate full of fresh, local seafood? Check out the Boston Seafood Festival from 11 am - 6pm on Sunday, August 4 at the Boston Fish Pier. This is their 8th year of sharing spectacular seafood with the Boston area. The festival features live chef demos, a fish cutting contest, “Battle of the Shuckers”, outstanding food from over 15 vendors, and much more! Tickets are only $15 for a day filled with sensational seafood. Click here for more information.


Explore Boston: Chinatown and Dim Sum

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, May 28, 2019


Like all neighborhoods in Boston, Chinatown has a fascinating history built on the foundations of hard working immigrants and fervent culture. The South Cove, where Boston Chinatown now resides, was originally built in the 1840s on top of a landfill to establish railroads and row houses. Close to the industrial sector, the neighborhood became a hotspot for new immigrants such as the Irish, the Germans, and the Jews. However, by 1870, there was a flood of young male Chinese immigrants. The majority of Chinese immigrants set up laundry shops and lived in their workplace alone. As a result of the Chinese Exclusion Act, families of the workers were unable to come to America. Thus the men would work all day and send their earnings back home to China to support their families there. As more and more Chinese immigrants continued to flood into the community, the neighborhood was officially recognized as Chinatown by the 1880s.



The community continued to grow into the beginnings of the 20th century. Laundry shops were still the most common workplace, followed by restaurants, nightclubs, and the opium trade. Many Chinese-Americans volunteered and fueled the war efforts, eventually resulting in the abolition of the Chinese Exclusion Act. By the mid-20th century, spirits were high as Chinatown began to fill with women, children, and families. In 1965, the Immigration Reform Act was put into place which eradicated previous immigration quotas. Once again Chinatown experienced more growth as more Chinese came, including families and university-educated intellectuals from cities like Hong Kong. During this influx of residents, social organizations such as the Chinese American Civic Association and the South Cove Community Health Center were established and expanded to serve the growing population.



By the 1990s, many young Chinese scholars took refuge in the neighborhood under the Chinese Student Protection Act following the Tiananmen Square massacre. Most educated individuals end up in high tech industries while working class individuals often work in the Chinatown restaurant industries forming the backbone foundation of the local economy. Today, Chinatown is one of the must see neighborhoods in Boston with its delicious food, infamous festivals, and vibrant culture.



If you are able to visit Chinatown in 2019, make sure to leave time in your schedule for a Dim Sum meal! Literally translated to mean “touch the heart,” Dim Sum is a traditional Chinese meal of made of small plates of savory or sweet treats, tea, and shared with close company. Traditional dishes include varieties of tea and often steamed buns such as roasted pork buns, steamed rice dumplings, beef noodle rolls, or fried sesame balls. Each dish is served in portions meant for 3-4 people. It is recommended you order many different dishes to split amongst the table! Dim Sum has recently become popularized in the United States and other western cultures, but the best spots are still found in your local Chinatown. Here are some of the best restaurants in Boston to try Dim Sum! You will find that Dim Sum served here is similar to Chinese cuisine for brunch, while the traditional cultures in Hong Kong and the Guangdong Province may serve the meal at any time throughout the day.



Although Americanized Dim Sum is different from the traditional meal in China, there are many customs that still the same. When eating Dim Sum, here are a few tips to remember! First, make sure to take small bites and eat slowly in order to maximize the delectable homemade flavors. Similarly, in Dim Sum, the less soy sauce you use, the better, as it masks the true flavor of the dish. Second, make sure to keep your chopsticks to yourself. Although serving others may be well-intended, it is most polite to keep your own utensils to yourself to minimize germs. However, there is one exception: when receiving the kettle for tea, make sure to serve others around you before yourself! Click here to learn more Do’s and Don’ts of Dim Sum!


As always, we want to see your favorite Chinatown and Dim Sum experiences in Boston! Share with us @globalimmersions or by using #HomestayBoston.


History of Ice Cream in America

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, May 16, 2019


Ice cream has been part of the American culture since our Founding Fathers built our nation! Records by New York Merchants show that George Washington spent $200 alone on ice cream in the summer of 1790. He even had a 306 piece ice cream serving set in the home used when entertaining his guests. What’s more, Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing the first ice cream recipe to the United States after tasting the frozen treat earlier in France. He had ice boxes installed at his estate, Monticello, so that he could serve ice cream all year long! Ultimately ice cream was reserved for the elite until around 1800 when insulated ice houses were invented, which helped to popularize the treat for the masses. Even immigrants coming to Ellis Island were often given ice cream as their first taste of America!




The American ice cream industry took off in 1851 with the help of milk dealer, Jacob Fussell. From there, as technologies involving refrigeration, mechanization, automobile distribution, and pasteurization advanced, ice cream rates of production and consumption skyrocketed! Consumption rates were at an all time high at the beginning of Prohibition as the people substituted one vice for another (alcohol to ice cream) with a national consumption of 260 million gallons of ice cream in 1920! Later on after World War II, we celebrated the end of the war by eating ice cream with returning troops after the dairy product ration was lifted. That is just about as patriotic as it gets. In the 1980's in the lingerings of the Cold War, Ronald Reagan declared the month of July, National Ice Cream Month, as a way to lift the morale of the American people. Today, the average American consumes more than 45 pints of ice cream per year, which equates to around $10 billion in frozen dairy consumption both in the winters and summers. It is safe to say that ice cream and the American culture go hand in hand.



If you have ever had American ice cream, you know that we take our toppings and flavors very seriously. One of the leading American ice cream brands, Ben and Jerry’s, boasts of having more than 54 flavors currently available for consumer purchase ranging from plain vanilla to pistachio to strawberry cheesecake. And there are so many ways to eat ice cream too! We eat hard ice cream, soft serve, milkshakes, cones to choose from, ice cream trucks, ice cream parlors, and more. Many ice cream shops have topping bars that may include hot fudge, caramel, sprinkles, cookies, candies, etc. Choose your favorite combination or switch it up every time! Lucky for you, Boston has some of the best ice cream parlors in the country. Click here for our favorite places in the city for ice cream!

Which Boston ice cream place is your favorite? Share with us @globalimmersions or by using #HomestayBoston!


Sources: NPR, Boston, IDFA, Washington



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