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VOA慢速英语2010年-Christmas 2010 in America: Three Stori

时间:2011-01-03 06:02来源:互联网 提供网友:hp2786   字体: [ ]
    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)

FAITH LAPIDUS: Welcome to THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English. I’m Faith Lapidus.

This week on our program we hear from some Americans about Christmas past, present and future.

(MUSIC)

FAITH LAPIDUS: Jeffrey Davis remembers Christmas two years ago at his former home in Arlington, Virginia, outside Washington.

JEFFREY DAVIS: “We had a great Christmas tree -- nice presents, with family, friends, loved ones, people you want to be around because it only happens once a year. And that’s when everybody actually gathers to be amongst1 one another. Relatives you haven’t seen all year, on Christmas.”

Mr. Davis is fifty years old. He has a friendly personality and a big smile, except that he recently fell and broke four teeth and a leg.

Jeffrey Davis and his wife, Sharon, are living on the streets. They became homeless two years ago. He says it was not the economy or the problems in the housing2 market that put them there.

Sharon and Jeffrey Davis at a shelter in Arlington, Virginia. They are currently3 homeless, but hope that will soon change.

JEFFREY DAVIS: “Actually I got sick. I’m a very bad diabetic. I’m on eight hundred units of insulin a day. I developed diabetes4 really bad and I couldn’t work. So that's what put me in the situation that I’m in now. Prior5 to that, I was working, self-sufficient, everything was fine. Until I got sick.”

Mr. Davis says he lost his job as a restaurant chef after he got sick.

JEFFREY DAVIS: “I was actually sleeping outside. I went without my insulin for like four or five months at one time because I couldn't afford to buy it and I didn’t have any insurance.”

But a local group came to his aid. The Arlington Street People’s Assistance6 Network is also known as A-SPAN. It began in nineteen ninety-one. It works7 to get people off the streets and into permanent housing.

At night, A-SPAN case workers search local woods, streets, parks and other places for people in need of shelter.

That is how the Street Outreach Staff met Jeffrey and Sharon Davis. Over time A-SPAN workers gained the couple’s trust. The Davises began to stop by the group's shelter for food and other assistance.

The staff also helped connect Mr. Davis with the right county8 services so he could get his insulin. And when the weather is cold -- as it is now -- the couple can spend the night in a shelter.

A-SPAN also works with other groups. This time of year, they try to make the holiday season brighter for homeless people like the Davises.

A-SPAN holds a party for the people it serves. The group provides transportation to the event. This year's party is Monday, December twentieth, in a room at a church near the shelter.

A-SPAN employee Sarah Morse says about one hundred twenty-five clients9 are expected to attend. She says there will be food, gifts and music.

SARAH MORSE: “Last year, one of our staff members actually brought his own guitar and amplifier and led us in several rounds of song, Christmas songs and holiday songs. And that was really fun. We hope to have some lively music again this year.”

Sarah Morse says another popular event is the party raffle10. When clients arrive, they each get a ticket with a number. After the meal, winning numbers are called. Prizes include things like gift cards, duffel bags to hold belongings11, and hair cuts.

Ms. Morse says the Arlington Street People's Assistance Network also teams with businesses and groups for other holiday events.

SARAH MORSE: “So, for example, on Christmas morning, a local pancake house is hosting a Christmas morning breakfast. Then we also have a group in Arlington called the Arlington Interfaith Council12, and they provide a Christmas dinner every year. These things are really great because they happen right on the holidays, right on Christmas Day.”

Jeffrey and Sharon Davis hope to go to the holiday events. But they hope for a much bigger gift in January.

The couple is in the process to receive a special housing grant13 from Arlington County. If all goes as planned, they could be in a home of their own again next month.

JEFFREY DAVIS: “And that would be a great Christmas present. So, we’re praying and hoping everything falls into place.”

And, as he tells reporter Caty Weaver14, if those prayers are answered, he knows exactly what he would do next December.

JEFFREY DAVIS: "For next Christmas, I’m coming back and volunteer for A-SPAN and give back some of what they gave me. I think that’s only right, I think that’s only fair. If I give back something just as well as they gave me, it’ll be a great Christmas.”

REPORTER: “And a little tree in the new home?”

JEFFREY DAVIS: “A tree in the new home, some gifts under the tree. Some family members can come to where I lay my head and enjoy my home as well.”

(MUSIC)

Sharing Christmas with family and friends is traditional. It is especially important to the Cerqueira family. Maria and Abel moved from Portugal twenty-five years ago and raised their two children in the United States. But they left much family behind in Portugal, and still feel a strong connection to their homeland.

Maria and Abel Cerqueira, visiting their hometown in northern Portugal earlier this year

The Cerqueiras will spend Christmas in New Jersey15 with Maria's brother and his family. But they also plan to celebrate with family members in Portugal. How? With an Internet video call on Skype.

MARIA CERQUEIRA: “You talk like you are together, you know? Even if you can’t touch, you can see the person. It is very nice, you know?”

The Cerqueiras say many Christmas traditions are the same in Portugal and America. Many people have a tree, sing songs and exchange gifts. Some people open their presents on Christmas Eve, some wait until Christmas morning.

But one difference is the food. Americans commonly eat ham or turkey at Christmas. Maria Cerqueira describes a traditional Christmas Eve meal in northern Portugal.

MARIA CERQUEIRA: “It’s codfish, with potatoes, carrots, kale. And we have octopus16 salad, also with vinegar and olive17 oil and onion. We cook the octopus also. Also we boil it and then we cut [it] in little pieces. We make a salad.”

The codfish is also boiled and salted and covered in olive oil.

Abel Cerqueira says the Portuguese18 also have a traditional drink at Christmastime. It starts with a red wine from northern Portugal.

ABEL CERQUEIRA: “In Portuguese it’s called 'vinho verde.'”

Vinho verde -- meaning green wine. A red wine called green wine? The green is more about the ripeness, or lack of ripeness, of the grapes used to make the wine.

Vinho verde is not a sweet wine. But the Portuguese make it sweet on Christmas. Abel Cerqueira says they heat the wine on the stove. Then they mix in sugar. The wine is enjoyed during and after the meal.

The Cerqueiras left some traditions behind when they left Portugal. For instance19, Abel says gifts were never wrapped in paper when he was growing up. When you woke up Christmas morning, he says, you found your presents completely open under the tree -- no boxes, bags or paper.

Also, Abel and Maria say Portuguese children try to play a trick on Santa Claus. The night before Christmas, they place their oldest, poorest looking shoes near the chimney20. They think that Santa will give children with poor shoes more presents and better presents.

But not the two Cerqueira children. They leave their shoes in their rooms and receive their presents wrapped under the Christmas tree. The couple says they started doing that part of Christmas the way they saw their American friends do it.

(MUSIC)

Betty and Bill Blando are retired21. They live in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. This year they tried what could become a new tradition for them at Christmastime. They took a one-day bus trip to Washington.

We met up with them at the United States Botanic Garden on the grounds of the Capitol building. Betty Blando described their visit as a "triple22 header."

BETTY BLANDO: “We went to the White House for the Christmas tour. Then we went to Ford’s Theater for 'A Christmas Carol,' which is fantastic. Now, here.”

BILL BLANDO: “This is the cherry on top of the sundae.”

Bill Blando was excited by the model train exhibit23 at the Botanic Garden. The exhibit has been a part of the winter holidays each year since two thousand four.

This year’s theme is "holiday getaway." Designers and landscape architects created models of some of the world’s greatest structures. The trains pass by the Great Wall of China, an Egyptian pyramid, Paris' Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal in India -- thirteen structures in all. All of these landmarks24 are sitting among hills and caves and bridges.

A holiday train exhibit at the US Botanic Garden in Washington includes a model of an ancient temple in Tikal, Guatemala

We asked the Blandos if they had any idea how trains came to be a Christmas tradition in America.

BILL BLANDO: “Well, I know as a kid I always wanted one underneath25 the Christmas tree because every little boy likes trains. Other than that, no, I don’t know.”

Betty Blando also wondered. So we did some research.

One reason people may connect Christmas with trains is because many people traveled home for the holidays by train. Some still do. But there was a true Christmas train -- a passenger train that began service in South Carolina on December twenty-fifth, eighteen thirty. It represented the first regularly scheduled passenger-train service in the United States. That train may help explain why today toy trains run around Christmas trees in many homes across America.

(MUSIC)

So that is a taste of Christmas in the Washington area. But what about elsewhere26? Our reporter Caty Weaver considered what the holiday might be like in Noel, Michigan. But instead she called a local food and gift store in a town in southern Michigan called Hell27. Christmas in Hell sounded more interesting.

(SOUND: Phone ringing)

KAREN: “Hell in a Handbasket. Yes, hell has frozen28 over. This is Karen. How can I help you?”

That is Karen Haigh, an employee of a store called Hell in a Handbasket. Hell had indeed frozen over -- Ms. Haigh said it was minus-seven Celsius29. And it felt even colder because of the wind.

But apparently30 not too cold for Christmas shoppers. Karen Haigh said several had been in so far that day. Candles and t-shirts from Hell are always popular. But she says there is another popular Christmas item that can only be made in Hell -- Hell, Michigan.

KAREN HAIGH: “We’re an official U.S. post office. And we stamp all of our post cards, ‘Been through Hell’ and we burn actually them before they go out. Every piece of mail gets burned.”

REPORTER: “Do people ever ask for their Christmas cards to go through the post office in Hell?”

KAREN HAIGH: “I’ve actually done over three hundred Christmas cards this week.”

(MUSIC)

FAITH LAPIDUS: Our program was written and produced by Caty Weaver. I’m Faith Lapidus. Join us again next week for THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 amongst ELsyC     
prep.在…之中,在...之间(=among)
参考例句:
  • He was sitting amongst a group of children,telling them a story.他正坐在一群孩子中间讲故事。
  • You must settle the matter amongst yourselves.你们必须彼此商量,自行解决这些问题。
2 housing YqzzxS     
n.房屋,住宅;住房建筑;外壳,外罩
参考例句:
  • Do you think our housing sales will turn around during this year?你认为今年我们的住宅销路会好转吗?
  • The housing sales have been turning down since the summer.入夏以来,房屋的销售量日趋减少。
3 currently SvMzI2     
adv.通常地,普遍地,当前
参考例句:
  • Currently it is not possible to reconcile this conflicting evidence.当前还未有可能去解释这一矛盾的例证。
  • Our contracts are currently under review.我们的合同正在复查。
4 diabetes uPnzu     
n.糖尿病
参考例句:
  • In case of diabetes, physicians advise against the use of sugar.对于糖尿病患者,医生告诫他们不要吃糖。
  • Diabetes is caused by a fault in the insulin production of the body.糖尿病是由体內胰岛素分泌失调引起的。
5 prior kQGxA     
adj.更重要的,较早的,在先的;adv.居先;n.小修道院院长;大修道院副院长
参考例句:
  • The duty to protect my sister is prior to all others.保护我的妹妹是我最重要的责任。
  • I took up one-year prior course in German in this college.我在这所大学读了一年的德语预科。
6 assistance CO8yr     
n.援助,帮助
参考例句:
  • She called and called but no one came to her assistance.她叫了又叫,但没有人来帮。
  • He will get the great possible assistance.他将获得尽可能大的帮助。
7 works ieuzIh     
n.作品,著作;工厂,活动部件,机件
参考例句:
  • We expect writers to produce more and better works.我们期望作家们写出更多更好的作品。
  • The novel is regarded as one of the classic works.这篇小说被公认为是最优秀的作品之一。
8 county kO0zE     
n.县,郡
参考例句:
  • When the good news reached there,the whole county rejoiced.喜讯传到那里时,全县的人都欢欣鼓舞起来。
  • In that year county after county fell to the enemy.那一年一个又一个的县城沦入敌人手中。
9 clients fac04ca68a48af91f0290001604a2463     
n.顾客( client的名词复数 );当事人;诉讼委托人;[计算机]客户端
参考例句:
  • a lawyer with many famous clients 拥有许多著名委托人的律师
  • She understood the importance of establishing a close rapport with clients. 她懂得与客户建立密切和谐的关系的重要性。
10 raffle xAHzs     
n.废物,垃圾,抽奖售卖;v.以抽彩出售
参考例句:
  • The money was raised by the sale of raffle tickets.这笔款子是通过出售购物彩券筹集的。
  • He won a car in the raffle.他在兑奖售物活动中赢得了一辆汽车。
11 belongings oy6zMv     
n.私人物品,私人财物
参考例句:
  • I put a few personal belongings in a bag.我把几件私人物品装进包中。
  • Your personal belongings are not dutiable.个人物品不用纳税。
12 council ooZz9     
n.理事会,委员会,议事机构
参考例句:
  • The town council passed a law forbidding the distribution of handbills.市议会通过法律,禁止散发传单。
  • The city council has declared for improving the public bus system.市议会宣布同意改进公共汽车系统。
13 grant afvxA     
vt.同意给予,授予,承认;n.拨款;补助款
参考例句:
  • If you grant my request, you will earn my thanks.如果你答应我的要求,就会得到我的感谢。
  • He requested that the premier grant him an internview.他要求那位总理接见他一次。
14 weaver LgWwd     
n.织布工;编织者
参考例句:
  • She was a fast weaver and the cloth was very good.她织布织得很快,而且布的质量很好。
  • The eager weaver did not notice my confusion.热心的纺织工人没有注意到我的狼狈相。
15 jersey Lp5zzo     
n.运动衫
参考例句:
  • He wears a cotton jersey when he plays football.他穿运动衫踢足球。
  • They were dressed alike in blue jersey and knickers.他们穿着一致,都是蓝色的运动衫和灯笼短裤。
16 octopus f5EzQ     
n.章鱼
参考例句:
  • He experienced nausea after eating octopus.吃了章鱼后他感到恶心。
  • One octopus has eight tentacles.一条章鱼有八根触角。
17 olive yI2x1     
n.橄榄,橄榄树,橄榄色;adj.黄绿色的,黄褐色的,橄榄色的
参考例句:
  • Have you eaten a kind of fruit called olive?你吃过橄榄这种水果吗?
  • She likes olive because It'symbolizes peace.她喜欢橄榄色因为它象征着和平。
18 Portuguese alRzLs     
n.葡萄牙人;葡萄牙语
参考例句:
  • They styled their house in the Portuguese manner.他们仿照葡萄牙的风格设计自己的房子。
  • Her family is Portuguese in origin.她的家族是葡萄牙血统。
19 instance 66oxM     
n.例,例证,实例
参考例句:
  • Can you quote me a recent instance?你能给我举一个最近的例子吗?
  • He's a greedy boy,yesterday,for instance,he ate all our biscuits!他是个贪吃的孩子――比如,他昨天把我们的饼干都吃了!
20 chimney zVoyu     
n.烟囱,烟筒;玻璃罩
参考例句:
  • The chimney blew out a cloud of black smoke.烟囱里喷出一团黑烟。
  • His father is a chimney sweeper.他的父亲是一位扫烟囱的工人。
21 retired Njhzyv     
adj.隐退的,退休的,退役的
参考例句:
  • The old man retired to the country for rest.这位老人下乡休息去了。
  • Many retired people take up gardening as a hobby.许多退休的人都以从事园艺为嗜好。
22 triple Dp0yu     
n.三倍之数,三个一组;adj.三倍的
参考例句:
  • Twelve is the triple of four.十二是四的三倍数。
  • He received triple wages for all his extra work.由于额外的工作他领取了三倍的工资。
23 exhibit 2mNxl     
vt.展览,展出,陈列;n.展览品;陈列品
参考例句:
  • Next week those goods will exhibit in that shop. 下个星期,这些货物将在那家商店展出。
  • The economy continued to exhibit signs of decline in September.9月份,经济继续呈现出衰退的迹象。
24 landmarks 746a744ae0fc201cc2f97ab777d21b8c     
n.陆标( landmark的名词复数 );目标;(标志重要阶段的)里程碑 ~ (in sth);有历史意义的建筑物(或遗址)
参考例句:
  • The book stands out as one of the notable landmarks in the progress of modern science. 这部著作是现代科学发展史上著名的里程碑之一。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • The baby was one of the big landmarks in our relationship. 孩子的出世是我们俩关系中的一个重要转折点。 来自辞典例句
25 underneath VKRz2     
adj.在...下面,在...底下;adv.在下面
参考例句:
  • Working underneath the car is always a messy job.在汽车底下工作是件脏活。
  • She wore a coat with a dress underneath.她穿着一件大衣,里面套着一条连衣裙。
26 elsewhere Zq8xS     
adv.在别处,到别处
参考例句:
  • Our favourite restaurant was full so we had to go elsewhere.我们最喜欢去的那家饭店客满了,因此不得不改去别处。
  • I have half a mind to move elsewhere.我有点想搬到别处去。
27 hell Tduzg     
n.地狱,阴间;用以咒骂或表示愤怒,不满
参考例句:
  • It's a hell of a hike from Sydney to Perth.从悉尼到珀斯的徒步旅行简直苦死了。
  • The boss really gave me hell today.老板今天着实数落了我一通。
28 frozen 2sVz6q     
adj.冻结的,冰冻的
参考例句:
  • He was frozen to death on a snowing night.在一个风雪的晚上,他被冻死了。
  • The weather is cold and the ground is frozen.天寒地冻。
29 Celsius AXRzl     
adj.摄氏温度计的,摄氏的
参考例句:
  • The temperature tonight will fall to seven degrees Celsius.今晚气温将下降到七摄氏度。
  • The maximum temperature in July may be 36 degrees Celsius.七月份最高温度可能达到36摄氏度。
30 apparently tMmyQ     
adv.显然地;表面上,似乎
参考例句:
  • An apparently blind alley leads suddenly into an open space.山穷水尽,豁然开朗。
  • He was apparently much surprised at the news.他对那个消息显然感到十分惊异。
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