Tous les articles par bibimotheau

About food: For me, food is what connects people. I love to eat and above all, I love to cook for the people who are dear to me. Foods are my best memories, my best moments, and my best hopes. For me, cooking is like traveling through the senses. You experience texture, colors, flavors, aroma, even sound. But the best of all is sharing that experience with others because eating well brings happiness. The type of food I like cooking? I like to improvise and combine whatever I have in my kitchen. I also like cooking from cookbooks and prepare more elaborate dinners when my friends come over. Set a nice table (guess what my favorites stores are?) and play with colors, shapes, space, and light. This is what I want to share with you, and I hope by starting this blog that you will also share your experience of cooking and eating. About me: I am French and I live in Nicaragua. When I moved here I discovered new flavors and how to combine them to create tasty, and simple recipes. It took me some time because at first I didn’t know the local ingredients. I also used to spend a lot of money buying imported foods and trying to cook as I used to back in France. I soon had to admit that the chocolate mousse would never be the same, the cream based dishes too rich under tropical temperatures, the homemade mayonnaise or Chantilly too difficult to beat when it’s 33 degrees outside. The meat cuts were different, the selection of fish at the supermarket very limited, and there were vegetables and fruits I had never seen before. With the years passing by, I have found the right places to buy my foods (local markets to find vegetables, fruits, spices, fish), lots of taste/test recipes, fun, imagination and passion, I am now happy with my cooking. Most of the recipes in my blog are my own but we are all inspired by others and in my case, my inspiration comes from my mother, my friends, my son, my cookbooks and more recently blogs and U Tube. I try to use local and seasonal foods the most (except for olive oil, which I cannot substitute for anything else) and I usually start from scratch making my own sauces, bread, preserves and dairy products. I appreciate every recipe you try, every comment you leave and any tips (places to find local products for example). Sharing food is also sharing experience and in the end sharing the good life! From my sunny kitchen to yours, Brigitte Motheau. PS: My “About me” is in English, but I’m French and live in Nicaragua. So I have a dilemma. Feel free to post your comments in French and Spanish too. That was also one of my questions before starting this blog: “which language shall I use?” I feel obviously better at my native language, but I want to reach a larger community and this is why I’m writing in English. Living in Nicaragua, I feel I should write in Spanish too. (although English is commonly used here too). I want this blog to be multilingual, multicultural, a melting pot of savory inspiration.



You are going to study many documents over the school year. The same document can illustrate several notions according to the theme or topic it covers. For example, the notion of progress includes various themes, such as social progress, medical progress, technological progress etc. It is important for you to determine which theme it tackles in order to formulate your question.

On peut résumer ce paragraphe sous forme de schéma

Notion →thème →problématique →documents (1/2/3) →your answer

Ainsi n´attends pas la fin de l´année scolaire pour sélectionner tes documents. Pour t´aider à préparer l´épreuve d´expression orale je te recommande de faire un tableau récapitulatif dès maintenant. Ce tableau t´aidera à visualiser tous les documents étudiés en classe et à les classer par notion. Tu sais qu´un document peut illustrer plusieurs notions.

Exemple: Une vidéo que nous avons étudié  en classe et qui traite de l´avortement sélectif (Gendercide) en Inde  (documentaire BBC Ïndia´s missing girls) peut illustrer les notions de pouvoir (the power of the press to inform, raise awareness, and make people act), et aussi la notion de progrès (gender equality in modern-day India).

IMPORTANT: Tu n´as que 5´pour présenter la notion, ta problématique,  les documents qui l´illustrent, et apporter une réponse ou une opinion sur le sujet. Il est donc important que TU NE CHOISISSES PAS TES THÈMES ET  DOCUMENTS AU HASARD. Prends un thème qui t´intéresse, dont tu as envie de parler parce que tu connais particulièrement bien le sujet et/ou tu te sens concerné  par lui. Il sera important d´étudier un maximum de documents en classe qui couvrent plusieurs thèmes à l´intérieur de la même notion. Tu pourras aussi inclure un document personnel que tu apprécies particulièrement et dont tu as envie de parler. Ainsi la notion de pouvoir peut être abordée  sous de multiples angles. Pouvoirs (for example, The hegemony of the British Empire, power symbols) et contre-pouvoirs (Women, minorities, Black power, power of the art, power of the press (the 4th power) etc.  Propose des thèmes qui t´intéressent en relation avec la notion, voire présente un document en classe et exerce toi  avec tes camarades au jeu des questions/réponses autour de ce document. Why did you choose this document? what issue does it raise?

Le tableau t´aidera à sélectionner les thèmes qui t´intéressent et les documents qui vont avec.

MAINTENANT LE TABLEAU….. (C´est Patricia Lick, professeur d´espagnol au lycée français du Salvador qui m´a donné l´idée du tableau)


4 colonnes :






Write the name of the document in front of the notion it illustrates. The same document can illustrate various notions. Then identify its theme, its key concepts, and the questions it raises. 
Idea of Progress

Define the notion here

BBC Documentary Ïndia´s missing girls social progress


 women empowerment

women´s rights


Is gender equality a fact in modern-day India?

Philanthropist provides homes for the homeless

An interesting video which can be related to myths and heroes (famous celebrities – Bono, Bill Gates, Doris Buffet, etc.. to what extent can these good Samaritans be considered heroes?) and also social progress – To what extent do these good Samaritans contribute to make the world a better place ? If progress is advance or development toward a better human condition, how has the idea of charity evolved over the years? (see charity versus philanthropy)

TRANSCRIPT OF THE VIDEO   Philanthropist provides….

Each day, thousands of people with mental illness areliving on the streets of cities and towns acrossAmerica. The U.S Department of Housing and UrbanDevelopment says one-fifth of the 610,000 homelessacross the country suffer from a mental illness. DorisBuffett is the sister of investor and billionaire WarrenBuffett. She has donated one million dollars through anon-profit organization to house homeless people withmental illness.

Doris Buffett is a philanthropist, a wealthy person whogives money to help make life better for other people. She lives in the small town of Fredericksburg, Virginia.Her recent gift of one million dollars went to a local non-profit called Micah Ecumenical Ministries. She saysshe is happy to help homeless people with mentalillness find new homes.

« I’m overwhelmingly happy that due to my brother’s brilliance, and he’s hadgood luck, we’ve all got good luck, that I can do what my heart wants me todo. And this is it, I’m determined to give away my money before I die. »

Vickie Chevrette and her brother Jerry Grimsley were among 20 people toreceive homes as part of this effort. They still remember that cold Januaryday, when they packed up their tents and stepped into a real house for thefirst time in three years.

« I couldn’t believe it. It was wonderful. It was warm. It was solid. »

« Warm. Well, we didn’t have to worry about the snow no more, or the rains,because we used to get flooded, we had to go buy a pump to pump water out from our tent sections. »

Meghan Cotter is the Director of Micah Ministries. She organized thepurchase of seven so-called « Buffett Houses. » To live in one, she says,residents must pay 300 dollars rent per month per room, or do volunteer workto make up for the part of rent they cannot pay.

« We are not just putting people into housing and providing support services, we are actually giving them reasons to get up in the morning, and come and be a part of something. And a lot of them really have a lot of value in that. »

Vickie Chevrette’s receives disability payments from the government. It paysfor the rent for their home. The home provides her with privacy and comfort.Since moving into the house, Vickie Chevrette has been mentally stable. Shenow can remember to take her medicine instead of worrying about where totake a bath. And she loves her kitchen, with its granite countertop, and newappliances.

« Everybody that comes into this kitchen says they want it. »

Although his back injury makes it hard for Jerry Grimsley to do anyhousework, he tries to mow the lawn and plant flowers in the back yard.

« Just to show we have pride in the place, and we are trying to take care of it.  And show Ms. Buffett that we are really thankful that she gave us thisopportunity.  »

Doris Buffett’s contributions have helped Micah Ministries cut the number ofhomeless in the city by 58 percent over the last five years. The philanthropistsays she is extremely happy with this project, and plans to donate even moremoney in the future.

I’m Marsha James.

Lin Yang and Enming Liu reported this story from Fredericksburg,VA. MarshaJames adapted it for Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.


Words in This Story

philanthropist – n. a wealthy person who gives money and time to help makelife better for other people

non-profit – adj. not existing or done for the purpose of making money

brilliant – adj. extremely intelligent or successful

disability  – n. a condition (such as an illness or injury) that damages or limitsa person’s physical or mental abilities homeless/2829670.html

Happiness and social progress

Happiness Is an Important Indicator of Societal Progress

Bina Agarwal, a professor of development economics and environment at the University of Manchester, is the author, most recently, of « Gender and Green Governance: The Political Economy of Women’s Presence Within and Beyond Community Forestry. »

UPDATED JULY 2, 2015, 1:30 PM  NY Times

If happiness is defined by an individual’s freedom to choose, and lead, a life he or she has reason to value, it is worth tracking it as a sign of national progress.

There was a time when most economists believed that income was a fair measure of personal well-being, and G.D.P. per capita could adequately reflect a country’s progress.

Today, few would disagree that quality-of-life assessments should be multidimensional. The United Nations Development Programme, for example, ranks countries by an annual human development index that aggregates income, life expectancy and education. But are even these factors fully adequate for measuring social well-being?

Quality-of-life assessments that account for happiness and life satisfaction go beyond what G.D.P. can show.

In 2008, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France designated a commission led by Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, both Nobel laureates, to identify which indicators best measure the economic performance and social progress of nations “beyond G.D.P.” I was a member of that commission, and we identified many factors in addition to income and wealth that determine quality of life, including health, education, environmental conditions, social connections, political voice and security.

Yet these are still objective indicators. They tell us little about a person’s own assessment of his or her well-being.

Subjective indicators, like happiness and life satisfaction, capture an important dimension of well-being that is missed by objective measures. Self-reporting also shows the importance people place on having dignity and a voice, as well as access to democratic institutions.

But there are limits to self-reporting when it comes to public policy. Poor women in India, for instance, are much more likely than men to say they are well, even when a doctor’s examination suggests otherwise. Perhaps they cannot afford to take time off work when they are ill, or they are socialized into discounting personal well-being. Reliance on subjective measures could also make governments complacent about social injustice, using the “she is poor but happy” defense.

Ultimately, we need both objective and subjective measures to accurately reflect quality of life on a global scale. And especially when it comes to framing policy, measurement and quantification, even when it comes to happiness, is important.

What’s more, if enough people feel that their happiness depends on living in an environmentally sustainable and equal world, the pursuit of happiness could even be good for the planet.