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ELC Boston
ELC - English Language Center Boston
International Potluck Lunch in Boston June 25th, 2012

There are lots of dreams that can come true here at ELC. Each and every day students are able to visit places as famous as Harvard University or brag to all their friends back home that they just sang ‘Sweet Caroline’ at the top of their lungs at a Red Sox vs. Yankees game. For the ELC staff it is just a bit more rare that a long time dream comes true here in Boston. Today, however, one such dream was fulfilled for an ELC staff member.

I have worked here just over a year and have heard rumors of wonderful lunches in which students bring in dishes from all over the world and share them with everyone. I had always thought to myself, ‘What a great way to enjoy a small piece of everyone’s culture here at ELC and learn something about the world.’ Despite this, I would add “International Pot Luck Lunch” to the calendar month after month but to no avail. Students always told me that they either did not have a kitchen or the time to participate in such an activity. Meanwhile I would see photos from ELC Los Angeles’ divine meals filled with Asian delicacies, baked cheeses and what I can only guess is Spanish ham that would fill me with pure jealousy. Were LA students better chefs than here in Boston? Were they just more dedicated? Feeling rejected, these are the questions I had to ask myself.

Finally, however, things took a turn for the better here at ELC Boston. Yesterday the student services staff banded together and decided to make today’s International Potluck Lunch activity actually happen. Using our most pleading voices, some sign up sheets thrust in student’s faces and a great deal of peer pressure and blackmail, we were highly successful. 

Students from all over the world represented their countries today by bringing in the food that they know from home. Jian from China brought in vegetable and pork dumplings, Angel and Dragan from Venezuela made the traditional arepa filled with egg and ham, we even partook in some delicious chocolate and coconut treats from one of our newer Italian students. It was truly a chance for students to learn something new from all corners of the world. Chris and Sally teamed up to bring in seaweed and rice with a special Korean sauce and students dared to try Siraj’s Saudi Arabian rice and green sauce dish although it was something that they had never seen before. My personal favorite was a Spanish tortilla that Nacho made using his mother’s recipe and Melissa enjoyed a Saudi bean and pita dish best. There was most definitely something for everyone; even people with a sweet tooth could enjoy a Russian version apple pie as well as Arabic dates and tea.

So that is how it happened that this staff member’s long time dream came true. It might not have been as wonderful as visiting the Top of the Hub or seeing the Celtics play during playoffs, but to me it was pretty impressive that students took the time to bring in a small piece of something from home and share it with the rest of the students and staff here.  Perhaps we can make it happen again some time soon!

-Laura A., Student Services Coordinator