“Wow, this, is the sweetest, the coolest taste of this summer…”
Before the Dragon Ship Racing Holidays, my eldest niece, May came home to visit my eldest brother, she’d brought with her, ten cases of “Yu-He-Bao”, wanted the five of us, brothers, to share it. I’d just shelled one, placed it between my teeth, the sweetness, it exploded in my mouth, I’d exclaimed, “So sweet!”, and started talking to May about how her and her husband are brave in pursuit of their dreams, and the twists and turns of their lives.
May and her husband, Wei who’d originally sold stewed meats at the night markets, they’d felt that their lives of getting up early, working until late nights is too tiresome, and they couldn’t manage to take care of their young kids. Even though, their business was doing well, and it brings in a LOT of money, but, for the sake of the wellbeing of the entire family, they’d given up the stand that has a LOT of business at the night markets, started planting fruit trees on Wei’s family farm, and started living the dreams of becoming fruit farmers that they shared before they wed.
Wei graduated from an agricultural school, and was already familiar with planting, other than planting mangoes, he’d planted lychee. May said, that in order to fulfill their dreams, she and Wei had put all their hearts and souls on their plants, especially for the lychee trees. They’d treated them like treasures, bagged them, and used organic fertilizers, at the same time, in order to improve the quality, they’d watered the lychee plants with milk, that, was how they were able to produce such amazing tasting, high-quality Yu He Bao.
“The lychee is delicious, and it took a LOT of work, planting, they must be expensive then?”, I’d asked, out of curiosity. “It only looks and sound expensive, the five kilogram packs are between $350 to $750N.T.s, I’d sold them to Japan mostly.” Wei said, with a sense of pride.
With this sort of a result, it’s all because of May and Wei’s hard work for over a decade’s time, and that, just shows, that we can take our lives, into our own hands. And, from interacting with the two of them, I’d realized, that so long as we’re willing to chase our dreams, and take the steps toward our dreams, one day, our dreams will be fulfilled.
And so, this, is a success story in changing tracks, the couple had returned to the life of simplicity, to planting a fruit, and, they’d used their hearts to plant the fruit, and that, is why their produce tasted so very sweet, because the buyers can taste the hard work that’s put into the agricultural produces.
I Don’t Believe that I Just Can’t Master the English Language
The growth of a woman, translated…
Master Cheng-Yen from Tzu-Chi said, “You don’t work for a day, you don’t eat for a day”, and, she’d done what she’d preached, and had never broken this rule, no matter what.
I saw it, and, I’d used the same methods of approach to learn the English language, if I don’t study it one day, then, I’d NOT eat anything, and, because I don’t want to starve, my most important thing of the day, is honing up on my English skills, whether it be the radio, television, internet, or magazines, I can have access to English at any time; no matter the topics, no matter it was easy or difficult, I’d gobbled up anything English, to maximize my exposure to it.
The reason I’m doing this, is because I wanted to study abroad after my retirement. I originally thought, that I just had to pay for the cram school sessions, and I’ll be okay, but, as I’d gone to the cram schools, and hired me a tutor, I’d felt beaten even more. The students in the cram schools had a certain level already, and for someone who hadn’t gone to high school like me, I couldn’t understand what they are talking about.
As for my tutor, he’s a student of the National Education University, he’d told me, to NOT be afraid to ask him questions, otherwise, he wouldn’t know what to focus on to teach me. He’d bought me vocabulary and study guides for TOEFL, wanted me to go over it ahead of the lessons. So many thick textbooks, I’m barely surviving, I’d gotten nothing, I’d asked my younger sister who taught English at a middle school, she’d pointed out the obvious, “The students in Taiwan had studied English for over ten years, they couldn’t master it, and you want to master it, after studying it on your own for just one year?”
I’d finally realized, that it was a combination of nature and nurture that my English skills are so bad, if I don’t start from the very beginning, I couldn’t get myself into the game, and, learning a foreign language is an accumulation, it doesn’t happen overnight. The teacher also told me, that we must study a vocabulary word eight times, and practice it in sentences on a daily basis, that we can’t find help anywhere, we must do it ourselves.
In the three years, I can already use English answer and ask questions in class, and in essay writing, even though I couldn’t write those long essays, but, with this kind of progress, I’m already very happy about it. I just wanted to turn English into a part of my daily routines, to keep practicing, I don’t believe, that I won’t be good at it, so, my dream of studying abroad, should be happening soon.
And so, do NOT think, that you can master anything overnight, even IF you’d had previous encounters with whatever it is you’re now, taking up, because of the years of NOT using that particular skill, things are bound to become rusty, and, this person still worked hard, to learn English, because she has a goal of studying abroad.