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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!


Super Bowl Sunday 2020!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Saturday, February 01, 2020

Happy Superbowl Sunday!


Tune in Sunday, February 2nd at 6:30pm Eastern Standard Time to FOX to watch the 54th Super Bowl! This year, the San Francisco 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Garden, Florida. Demi Lovato will sing the National Anthem while Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will perform the Halftime Show! 




We all know that Americans love game day snacks and football parties, especially on Super Bowl Sunday! Approximately 1.3 million pounds of chicken wings, 88 million pounds of cheese, 10 million pounds of ribs and 3.8 million pounds of popcorn are eaten on game day every year! Domino’s reports that they sell about 2 million pizzas alone on Super Bowl Sunday! That’s insane! More statistics can be found here! For tasty Super Bowl recipes, click here and here!




The Super Bowl is known for their ads and some people only tune in to the biggest televised event of the year to watch the ads! Last year, a 30 second advertisement cost $5.25 million which is about $175,000 for every second. Over 114.4 million viewers watched Super Bowl XLIX, which makes it the most watched television broadcast in the history of the United States. Learn more about Super Bowl commercials here.


For more ways to tune in, click here!


Happy Chinese Lunar New Year!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, January 23, 2020

Happy Chinese Lunar New Year!




2020 is the Year of the Rat! This year’s Chinese New Year begins on January 25th and ends on February 4th. This time is called the Spring Festival. The Lantern Festival Festival follows from February 5th to the 8th. Keep reading to learn more about the most important Chinese holiday!




During Chinese New Year, dumplings are eaten in order to “send away” the past and welcome in the new year. A coin is placed to a random dumpling and the person to receive it will have good luck in the upcoming year. Noodles are another staple dish to eat during this special time. It is believed that the longer the noodle, the longer one’s life will be and it is forbidden to chew or cut the noodles. To celebrate the approach of spring, spring rolls are enjoyed in many variations. Certain ingredients in meals represent different symbolic meanings in the Chinese culture. For example, duck symbolizes loyalty, lobster represents endless money, eggs equal a healthy and large family, shrimp is for wealth, tofu means happiness for the family and fish stands for surplus. In addition, seaweed represents wealth, lotus seeds are considered the key to a healthy family, grapefruit symbolizes hope and bamboo shoots mean longevity.  




For dessert, simple rice and sponge cakes are served after dinner which symbolize success. Turnip cake (made of radishes) are enjoyed for breakfast or on the 7th day of the Spring Festival. Flowers are a common ingredient in Chinese desserts such as in Jujube Flower Cakes which stand for wishes coming true or blessings for children. Friendship and success are represented by the “may flower” petals used in the Osmanthus Jelly dessert. Rice balls filled with bean paste are traditionally eaten as the first breakfast of the year in the South while in the North, people shape them like peaches to symbolize longevity. 




Children receive red envelopes with money from their elders in order to have a good year full of fortune and blessings. Red is an important color in Chinese culture as it represents fortune and happiness. To protect themselves from demons and monsters, people hang red decorations and poems outside their houses. Fun fact: it is bad luck to say negative words, sweep, break glass, use sharp objects, fight or give forbidden gifts such as clocks during the Spring Festival. For more information about Chinese New Year traditions, food and myths, click here.




For the Lantern Festival, people write down their wishes and release the lantern up to the sky, with the hope that their wishes will come true in the upcoming year. 





Here in Boston, the Chinese New Year Parade will be held on February 2nd, starting at 11am in Chinatown. There will be dragon dances, martial arts, drummers, lion dances, firecrackers and more! For the full list of details about the celebration, click here.

  


In addition to the Parade, the Museum of Fine Arts offers FREE admission to the museum from 10am - 5pm on February 1st to attend the New Year Celebration. There will be performances, dancers, activities and traditions. For more information, click here


Global Immersions wishes you a happy and healthy Chinese Lunar New Year!


Martin Luther King Junior Day (MLK)

Global Immersions Recruiting - Saturday, January 18, 2020

Happy Martin Luther King Junior Day!


January 20th, 2020, is a federal holiday to celebrate and honor Martin Luther King Junior. Although his birthday is January 15th, MLK Day is always observed on the third Monday of January. President Ronald Reagan signed a bill in 1983 to officiate the day, while it was initially presented to Congress in 1960. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was first celebrated three years later in 1986 and we still continue to commemorate him today. 




Martin Luther King Jr. grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and received a quality education. He faced racism as a child which led him to advocate for equality for his whole life. At the young age of 15, Dr. King attended Morehouse College and graduated with a bachelor in sociology. He went on to Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania to obtain a bachelor in Divinity and then a PhD in theology from Boston University. He married Coretta Scott, had 4 children and was a minister at a local church in Montgomery, Alabama. Rosa Parks was arrested because she refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger, which began the Montgomery Bus Boycott. King lead the Montgomery Improvement Association in attempts to desegregate the transit system. He supported sit-ins, protests and gave speeches to promote equality and speak out against racism. The “I Have a Dream” speech is most well known from the Washington March on August 28th, 1963. This lead to the Civil Rights Act being established a year later, which made discrimination officially illegal. He won a Nobel Peace Prize due to his activism in the Civil Rights Movement. King organized 1,500 people for the Selma March in 1965 which was met with extreme violence from authorities. The Voting Rights Act was established after this event caught the nation’s attention. He was assassinated on April 4th, 1968. 




Quotes: 


“Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'” - the March on Washington


“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”


We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”


“The time is always right to do what’s right.”


"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."


"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that."


"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."



Martin Luther King Jr. played an important role in desegregation, equality and the Civil Rights Movement. Known for his peaceful protests, inspiring speeches and preachings, Dr. King’s legacy will live on forever.


Sources:

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Martin-Luther-King-Jr/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/01/16/mlk-day-martin-luther-king-jr-holiday-monday/2838025001/

http://drmartinlutherking.net/


New Year's in Boston

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, December 30, 2019


What a year 2019 has been. It's crazy to think that not only is the new year approaching, but the next decade! If you're spending New Year's in Boston and don't have plans yet, be sure to check out some of these FREE events! Plus, the MBTA will be FREE on New Year's Eve from 8pm - 2am. 

First Night


On Tuesday, December 31st at Copley Square, there will be live performances, fireworks and more! Musical guests will play all afternoon as well as puppet shows, drumming and improv. Illuminated ice sculptures will be on display such as a replica of the Mayflower in honor of Plymouth's 400 year anniversary! For more information and a full lineup of performers, click here.   

Fireworks on the Harbor


Ring in the New Year from either the East Boston Harborwalk, Christopher Columbus Park in the North End, or Fan Pier in the Seaport District to view the spectacular firework display over the Boston Harbor! This is the 40th year of the firework tradition in celebrating New Year's! The show will begin at 12am and for more details click here

Frog Pond Skating Spectacular 


At 6pm at the Boston Common Frog Pond, watch the show presented by the Skating Club of Boston. This year the show features the incredible Mirai Nagasu, the first American woman to land a triple axel at the Olympics. As a two time Olympian, she won a bronze medal at the 2018 Olympics and is a seven-time U.S. national medalist. There will be a firework display by the Mugar Family on the Boston Common at 7pm after the skating. For more information, click here. 

For a full list of New Year's activities, click here. 

Global Immersions wishes you a safe, fun and exciting New Year's! Best of luck in 2020! Tag us on Instagram @globalimmersions and use #homestayboston! 

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





Halloween In Boston

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, October 28, 2019

October is here and that means that that the Halloween festivities are in full force!  There is not only a flurry of events going on in and around Boston, but there are so many fun things that you can do in your own home.  For visitors coming from abroad, it is possible that they may have experienced Halloween or something similar in their country, as the origins of Halloween are based in Celtic and European traditions.  In other places, like Mexico, there is a different holiday to celebrate the dead, called Dia de los Muertos.  With so much spooky activity going on this month, we thought we would hone in on Halloween in Boston - both in the city and at home!

There are no shortage of fun fall and Halloween activities to participate in with your visitor, without having to even leave the house.  One tradition a lot of our hosts love to engage in is carving pumpkins together.  You can get the pumpkin at a pumpkin patch or just at your local supermarket (which would have a pumpkin carving kit as well).  Just lay down the newspaper and carve away!

Another great Halloween activity for those who really want to embrace the holiday is decorating the house. Whether it is spider webs on the bushes, spooky lights up the walkway, a ghost in the tree, or even more, it is a great way to make the house look and feel festive.

Lastly, one of the most arguably important Halloween activities is picking out your costume! Some people like to go out to a thrift store or a special Halloween pop up store to see what treasures they can find there, while others look in their wardrobe to try to find any costumes they may have left over from prior year.  

If you want to get out and experience what Halloween in the city, there are lots of options available to you!  Here’s just a short list of the many events happening in Boston, and you can also click here for Boston's Ultimate Halloween Guide:


Boston is also close to one of the towns that contains supernatural attractions year-round - Salem, Massachusetts! Known for the Salem Witch Trials, this town is a hot-bed for psychics, mediums, magic, and, in October, the "Haunted Happenings" festival.  Taking place throughout the entire month of October, this festival includes a Psychic Fair & Witches Market and the Ghosts & Legends Trolley, along with all the year-round attractions like the Salem Witch Museum and the Witch Mansion haunted house.

Every family has different traditions for the day itself.  Some people go to Halloween parties, some like to hand out candy to kids from the neighborhood, and some are actually going out trick-or-treating with their little ones.  Either way, it is a chance to dress up and make a night of it!  Happy Halloween!

Sources: History.com, Haunted Happenings






Explore Boston: Neighborhood Series

Global Immersions Recruiting - Sunday, October 20, 2019

This week in our Neighborhoods Series, we’re highlighting Arlington, Cambridge and Somerville. Closer to Boston, these cities have lots of fantastic restaurants, some colleges, and historical events and landmarks. And, of course, there’s never a shortage of activities to engage in - from museums to biking paths. We’ll start with the city furthest from Boston (Arlington) and move our way in!


Arlington

Located at the end of the Red Line, Arlington has more of a suburban feel, but definitely has a lot to do.  Home to the Jason Russell House (see picture above), this city, bordering Lexington, was a key player in the Revolutionary War. Originally a more rural community rooted in agriculture, Arlington eventually developed into a heavily populated suburb of Boston.  The Smith Museum, located right next to the Jason Russell House, has exhibits that show the development of the town from prehistoric times to present day. If you want to really experience the patriots march, you can walk or bike along the Minuteman Bike Path from Alewife to Lexington. Present day Arlington contains some gems of the Boston area in terms of food and activities. With a diverse range of restaurants, from Argentinian cuisine at Tango to authentic and delicious sushi at Toraya, they’ve got some good fancy eats as well as their fair-share of casual American fare and pizza parlors.  And if you’re looking to follow dinner with a movie, Arlington has a couple options, from more current movies at the Capitol Theatre to special musical performances and movie festival flicks at the RegentTheatre.  If you want to enjoy some dessert, Arlington has many options, from the mouth-watering cookies at Cookie Time to the rich ice cream at Abilyn’s Frozen Bakery.  And for your late night fix, The ScoopN Scootery is open and serving ice cream sundaes until 2 am!


Somerville

Getting closer to Boston, and further along the Red Line, Somerville has more of a city feel and has major centers for restaurants and boutiques in Davis, Porter, and Union Square. There are also a number of smaller squares, including Magoun, Inman, and Ball Square.  Somerville also houses Tufts University, so there are a lot of college-age residents in the area along with young families, immigrants, and long-time residents Being so highly and diversely populated, there is a huge variety of events, community groups, and things to enjoy. In Davis Square alone, there’s the over-100-year-old SomervilleTheatre which shows both contemporary films and also has special showings of classics like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, along with bowling and pizza at Sacco’sBowl Haven and Flatbreads, and live music at The Burren.  Not only that, but there’s a number of clothing stores, bars, and other amazing restaurants like Redbones BBQ and Tenoch Mexican and to enjoy. And while Somerville has a lot of older infrastructure, there is a lot of newly developing sections, like Assembly Row shopping center, which has restaurants, tons of shops, and a movie theater. There is always somewhere to be or something to do for any interest- whether it’s enjoying the view from Prospect Hill (see picture above) or going out one of the many festivals, concerts, or markets. 

Cambridge

Right next to Somerville, Cambridge directly borders Boston, and feels almost like an extension of the city. It is host to many prestigious colleges, like Harvard and MIT, and, like Somerville, has a wide diversity in its population.  There are so many fun places to explore for all different interests. For the cinephile, Kendall Landmark Theatre and Brattle Theatre both host a number of independent films and movie marathons, like the upcoming Saturday Morning All-You-Can-Eat-Cereal Cartoon Party at Brattle. And if you’re more interested in shopping, there are malls like the CambridgesideGalleria for more well-known stores and also lots of vintage stores, like RaspberryBeret. On a beautiful sunny day, you can drop by Paddle Boston and rent a canoe, paddleboard, or kayak to take out on the Charles River. If the weather is crummy, there are also many museums in the area to check out, including the Harvard ArtMuseums (pictured above) for art lovers, the Museum of Science for an interactive experience for the whole family, or the MIT Museum for a mix of technology and history. In terms of food, Cambridge has too many options to list! For everyone from the carnivore to the vegan, fine-dining to fast casual, and a huge cultural diversity in cuisine. You can check out this list of “33 Essential Cambridge Restaurants” to get an idea of all the options out there.


Boston Apple Picking

Global Immersions Recruiting - Sunday, September 15, 2019

Boston-Local Apple and Pumpkin Picking Hotspots

Fall is officially here, and with the changing leaves and brisk autumn weather comes so many fun seasonal activities and foods.  One great way to start off the season is to do some apple or pumpkin picking, and Boston has some amazing places within driving distance.  So grab your keys and set off to one of these local farms or orchards for an apple-picking day trip!

Dowse Orchards - Sherborn, MA (40 mins)


Located West of Boston in Sherborn, Dowse Orchards has a long family history of farmers and has been running this farm stand for 60 years.  You can go there to “pick your own” apples and they also have lots of seasonal crops to enjoy, including pumpkins! 

 Belkin Family Lookout Farm - South Natick, MA (40 mins)


Belkin Farm offers a fun activities for both kids and adults.  In addition to being able to pick your own seasonal fruits (apples, plums, pears, peaches, etc…), they have train rides and children’s face painting!

Brooksby Farm - Peabody, MA (30 mins)


Brooksby Farm boasts a TON of amazing activities for you and your family to enjoy.  Not only do they have apple picking and a pumpkin yard, but in the Fall they also have hayrides, barnyard animals, cut your own bouquet, and a farm store and bakery!

Boston Hill Farm - North Andover, MA (35 mins)


Boston Hill Farm is a 12 generation family-owned farm out in North Andover, in which “pick your own” could mean any number of their seasonal fruits.  We’re coming out of berry season, but in the fall they have both apple and pumpkin picking and have an amazing farm stand  with all sorts of yummy treats!

Connors Farm - Danvers, MA (35 mins)


Located North of the city, Connors Farm is well-worth the visit.  It’s got both pumpkin and apple picking as well as fun Fall activities like hayrides, a great farm stand, and an amazing 7-acre corn maze! 

Pakeen Farm - Canton, MA (40 mins)


Fall has truly arrived at Pakeen Farms, who are in full-swing of the season with apples, pumpkins, cider, and mini donuts.  They also have a new attraction starting this year, called “Explore the Farmyard”

If a 40-minute drive isn’t for you, there’s also many local farms in Boston that may not have the apple-picking experiences, but will give you a taste of being outside the city.  Head out to Wilson Farm in Lexington to try their amazing apple cider donuts, pop over to Allandale Farm in Brookline for a hayride starting in October, or, if you’re in the heart of the city, go to the Boston Public Market  to see all the local farms and foods they have on display there! 

And if you want to check out more farms to visit, check out the Massgrown Map to get more inspiration!

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!



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