via Cultura -.
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There is a unique place in town where you can find Almond Nougat made by Casa Real, also known as "Turrón Imperial de Almendras de calidad suprema". LA UNICA Food Store imports special almond nougat and specialty confectioners’ foods all year round, especially to celebrate Christmas’ Eve and the holidays at the end of the year.
LA UNICA also has a Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Restaurant which prepares Latin American favorite meals to dine-in or carry out, including Catering for Special Events.
There is a wide choice of Latin American variety foods from Cuba, México, Perú, Spain, Ecuador, Salvador, Colombia, etc. Order anything you can remember to taste from milk shakes made from mangoes, mamey, blackberry, lulo, papaya, passion fruit, guanaba to Vegan favorites like natural carrot juice or orange juice.
LA UNICA Special features Cuban Steak, Chicken, Rice, Beans, and Fried Sweet Plantains. Many Cuban fans order the favored Cuban Sandwich prepared upon request with fresh French bread stuffed with Smoked Ham, Roasted Pork, Melting Swiss Cheese, Pickles, Mustard & Mayonnaise, pressed in a hot grill for a mouthful of Cuban Sandwich panini.
Forty (40) years ago, family relatives, cousins Yolanda Wong Fen and Fernando Wong who shopped regularly at LA UNICA introduced my Father Roberto Hung and Mother to the original Cuban-American owner at LA UNICA who showcased Cuban-American food specialties like Sandwich Cubano, Guava Pastries, and Almond Nougat Imperial Torte imported from Spain. Ever since, I have remained a loyal fan and customer of LA UNICA’s unique Spanish American food specialties, since I used to work for a Travel Agency School with Fabiola along Clark Street, in the Edgewater area by LA UNICA Latin American Food Store and Restaurant…
During the decade of the 1950′s, the Turkish Sultan, the Prince, and his delegation visited the University of Oriente in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba while my Father was appointed Dean of the College of Law, Business, and Economics involved in Geological Prospecting for Mining Research. At the age of two years old, I was fortunate to be included in all of my Father’s professional, civics, academic, social events, and religious activities with my Mother and family at the University of Oriente in Santiago de Cuba. During 1959, 1960, and 1961, my parents introduced me as the first daughter formally to international diplomats, dignitaries, delegates, special guests, and visitors who met them at the University of Oriente and the University of La Habana in Cuba.
While the Turkish Sultan and the Prince’s delegation visited the eastern region of Cuba called Oriente, my Father was assigned to welcome and host the visiting guests and delegations from the United Nations, Turkey, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Europe, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Latin America, Asia, the United States, and other countries welcomed by Cuba. Naturally, I began to meet international visitors speaking in Spanish, English, English, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Scandinavian, and other languages–I became motivated and encouraged to learn how to speak other languages in addition to Spanish in Cuba.
Later on, I received a copy of the book titled, One Thousand and One Night or the Arabian Nights in Spanish for me to read about magic flying Turkish carpets and the Middle East open market in Istanbul, Turkey. Then, one night I dreamt that I was visiting the Open Market in Istanbul, Turkey. The next day, I woke up wondering how I was dreaming about travels in such faraway lands.
Several years later, in 1986, my dream became true when I met Nathan Scott Wittler, the first son of the Anglican missionary Reverend Melvin A. Wittler and Mrs. Nancy Wittler Patriquin, who were assigned to live in Istanbul, Turkey by the World Council of Churches, and share U.S. residence in West Dummerston, Brattleboro, in the State of Vermont, New England, USA. Former U.S. Navy PC-3 Nathan S. Wittler invited me to travel to Istanbul with him and meet his parents and siblings, Brian, Kent, and Heather Wittler. So, I did visit the Sultan’s Palace Topkapi, also known as the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.
Amazingly, my childhood dream came true when the Wittlers invited me to the Turkish Open Market in 1986.
Fifty-four (54) years ago, I was born the first daughter of Mr. Roberto Hung Juris Doctor and his wife Mrs. Gardenia Fong Ramos, in the historic city of Santiago de Cuba founded by Spaniards, at the private Spanish Clinic of Los Angeles known today as Mariana Grajales Hospital, near the University of Oriente where my Father worked as an attorney, professor and chairman of the department of business law and economics and my Mother taught Education courses for teachers trained in literacy education for Cuba. The Municipal City of Santiago de Cuba Town Hall where my father worked as a judge and attorney was also located near the private Spanish Clinic of Los Angeles in Santiago de Cuba, one of the first and oldest cities in the Americas, designated as a World Heritage Center by UNESCO. Since both my parents spoke Spanish, English, and French, I was encouraged to learn other languages while I was growing up and during my early visits to the University of Oriente, among my parents’ colleagues, associates, friends, and visitors who also spoke French, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, German, and other world languages.
My Father’s friends were all educated and professional translators and interpreters, well versed in Castilian Spanish from Spain and its regional provinces of Galicia, Castilla, La Mancha, Catalunya, etc., as well as in English from Commonwealth including England, Hong Kong, Canada, Jamaica, and American English from the United States of America. My Father had studied at the University of Oriente, the University of La Habana, the University Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City, D.F. In addition, my Father had also visited Washington D.C. in the United States for his professional accreditation and legal research studies in Cuba, U.S.A., México, London, England in the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Belgium and Switzerland in Europe.
The famous Gregory Rabassa who translated the literary work “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian Nobel Prize author, lived and visited in La Habana and Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.
My parents’ colleagues, associates, and friends encouraged me to say words in other languages by teaching me to interpret what they were saying to me and repeating phrases from Spanish into other foreign languages. They decided that I could actually speak, read, and write Spanish well, so that I could learn other languages also to become a language interpreter and translator in English, French, Portuguese and other foreign languages. At that time, the United Nations was very popular around the world and in Cuba. In addition, the American Translators Association was established in 1958 in Virginia, U.S.A. They ought to have advised me about the risks and perils that interpreters and translators experience in their lifetime and during the course of employment, especially in the Great Lakes area by Lake Michigan Great Lakes Naval Base, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Lake Superior in the Midwest of the United States, and in the western suburbs of the Chicagoland area as far as Du Page County, Kane County, and Will County, Illinois U.S.A. Family friends from the Great Lakes Naval Base and the U.S. Navy in Virginia, encouraged both my parents to immigrate to the United States of America with their sponsorship via Catholic Charities and the Cuban-American Freedom Flights from La Habana to Miami, Florida where our families lived already. My Aunt Consuelo Fonseca and her husband Guillermo Fonseca had already established their own Cuban family lifestyle in Miami, Florida. Also my Uncle Miguel Hung, his wife Silvia “Bebita” Hung-Simons, her daughter Olivia, son Miguel, son Santiago and son Raymundo “Ray” Hung-Simons, also lived in Miami, Florida, USA. However, my parents decided to emigrate to the Midwest by the Great Lakes areas surrounding Lake Michigan, in Chicago, Illinois where my Father’s cousin Fernando Wong, his wife Yoland Wong Fen, his daughter Sueling, son Fernando, and daughter Meiling lived on Howard Street, North Shore, near Skokie, Illinois in the USA.
Forty-one (41) years ago, while my Mother was studying at Loyola University for her Master of Arts in Spanish Spanish Literature with Dr. Martinez and Dr. Luján, I was reading and translating her books from Spanish into English during her evening classes at Loyola Lewis Tower by Michigan Avenue and Chicago, Illinois USA. Also, I could read and speak from her Portuguese course records. Since I had already started learning English as A Second Language at Avondale Elementary Grammar School on the Northwest side of Chicago with Miss Pantos (Mrs. Kardos), Miss Honeywood, and Mr. Herb Hebel, I followed up with course records in Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Three years later, I enrolled in French classes at Madonna High School with Pat D’Andrea and Mrs. Francis Salvato until 1977 when I graduated from high school with English and Literature from Sister Christine, Sr. Jude, and Mrs. Barbara Davidson for High Honors in Speech, Reading, Writing, and Communications. Madonna High School shows my course records to be at the tenth (10%) per centile of the graduating alumnae for the National Honor Society and the French National Honor Society.
Thirty (30) years ago, I attended Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) where I began to work as a Student Aide at the Financial Aid Department with Mrs. Annette Cohn for the Illinois Veterans Administration Scholarship sponsored by the GI Bill, managed with Shirley Levin, Angie Pappas at the Reception Desk, Marie Liszewski, Marilyn Kuhn, George A. West, Frank Solano, Kathy Crane, and other student aides, staff, and Civil Service employees on the B-Wing of the NEIU Campus. I was assigned to work with Angie Pappas, the Secretary at the Reception Desk by the front door, in order to provide other commuter students with information about the Pell Grant and Illinois Guaranteed Loans, Illinois State Scholarships, and other financial aid assistance to study at Northeastern Illinois University in English and Spanish in person, by telephone, and via U.S. Mail. I became proficient as a bilingual speaker for community students who spoke English and Spanish at Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 North St. Louis Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60625 USA. I was interpreting and translating for the Financial Aid Department at NEIU for the next five (5) years while I studied for a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Spanish, French, Secondary Education, Journalism, Speech, Communications, Linguistics, Athletics, Dance, and other cross-disciplinary studies from 1977 through 1982.
During 1982, I met Maureen Mueller at Northeastern Illinois University, where she was also studying Spanish in the same courses for a Bachelor of Arts degree. Maureen Mueller worked at Trans-Lingual, Inc. as secretary for the professional business language and translation agency. I applied at Trans-Lingual, Inc. and was hired to teach English, Spanish, and French, as well as to translate and interpret into English, Spanish, and French after attending NEIU during the day—I was working more than one job to pay for my college education, commuting expenses, travel to Laval University at the Ville de Québec in Canada, as well as family household expenses at home.
In the Summer of 1982, I travelled to Laval University after I was awarded the French-Canadian Summer Immersion Scholarship to study during June, July, and early August while I lived in Ville de Québec on campus to immerse, acculturate, assimilate fully in the use and practice of the French language and culture by French-Canadians in Montréal, Ville de Québec, Trois Rivières, Bay de Gaspé, the Laurentian Mountains known as Les Laurentides in the Canadian province of Québec at the University of Laval, the oldest university in North America since its foundation in the 1700s. I remember travelling and singing with Québecois Suzanne Faguy and other French-Canadian co-educational college students at Laval University in Ville de Québec, Canada during the Summer of 1982. While I was studying at Northeastern Illinois University from September 1977 through 1982 with Professor Dorette Klein, I was awarded the Laval University French Summer Immersion Scholarship, Université Laval Bourse d’Eté while living in residence on campus at the Ville de Québec, Canada. In the Spring of 1981, while I was Vice-President of the French Club, while Bruno was the President, I had travelled to Montréal, Ville de Québec, Canada with Professor Dorette Klein and the French Club from Northeastern Illinois University at 5500 North St. Louis, Chicago, Illinois 60625 USA. I was also interpreting and translating from English into French.
Mid-August 1982 I was still in the Ville de Québec, Canada from where I travelled by airplane to Calgary, Alberta to meet with Benjamin “Ben” Wolf, a Northeastern Illinois University college friend who was planning to visit and camp out in the Canadian Rocky Mountains near Lake Louise and Château Louise in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
In the Fall of 1982, I was enrolled with Dr. Rosalyn O’Cherony, Dr. Bonnie Busse, and Dr. Albert Milanesi at Northeastern Illinois University for Student Teaching at Lincoln Park Middle School, Grades 6th, 7th, and 8th, as well as for Lincoln Park High School with Master Teachers Maureen Dolan and Maureen Green. I had already worked with Master Teacher Himilse Badell who taught at LaSalle Academy Magnet School for the Chicago Public Schools in Illinois USA.
By 1982, I was already speaking American English, understanding Canadian French, and of course, Spanish with Dr. Angelina Pedroso, Dr. Eduardo Pantigoso, Dr. Vicki Nájera, Dr. Rodriguez, and French with Dr. Albert Milanesi, Professor Dorette Klein, and Linguistics Professor Tom Richardson, Ph.D. and basic Portuguese at the NEIU Foreign Languages Division headed by Dr. Bruno Galassi who had been my professor for basic Italian I.
Thirty years ago I completed five (5) years of college studies at Northeastern Illinois University in December 1982 at 5500 North St. Louis Avenue and Bryn Mawr Avenue in Chicago. Unlike others, I spent another extra year in college for additional certification for Secondary Education in Illinois with Linguistics Studies in courses taught by Professor Tom Richardson, Ph.D., English, Spanish, French, Communications, Journalism, Athletics, Dance, High Honors in English, Spanish, and French. NEIU graduation in December 1982 opened the door to employment opportunities in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
In 1983 college graduates could apply for jobs posted on Chicago local newspapers and get hired.
Since I was used to working several jobs to pay for NEIU college studies and attended a Catholic private high school on the Northwest side of Chicago, I was able to pay for my own studio apartment where my Father lived, owned by Mrs. A. C. Nylen, a German-American Realtor and developer. In addition, I also helped to pay for family expenses, travel, and personal expenses after I got a teaching job at Holy Cross High School owned by the Christian Brothers and known today as a College Preparatory Academy in River Grove, Illinois USA.
In 1983, Trans-Lingual Inc. was teaching languages and providing translation and interpretings services as a company located at 8 South Michigan Avenue where Maureen worked downtown by the ‘L’ elevated Loop train stations. I worked for Trans-Lingual, Inc. teaching languages and culture to professional business associates in English, Spanish, French, as well as translating and interpreting for assignments Maureen provided since we knew each other as Northeastern Illinois University classmates and alumni.
Simultaneously, three decades ago, I started working for Groupe Europén S.A., also known as GESA Assistance, 24 hours, 7 days a week travel emergency insurance service on the third floor at 150 South Wacker Drive which used to be the Hartford Building by the Chicago River, in the South Loop by Union Station. At GESA Assistance, I was working as a Customer Service/Emergency Medical Dispatcher in the Midwest for European travellers, South Americans, Asians, and some people from Johannesburg, South Africa and other countries in the same continent.
During Spring 1983, I also enrolled for a Graduate School Fellowship offered by the President Abraham Lincoln Foundation at the University of Illinois Chicago which included Communication & Theatre Studies under Anthony Graham-White Ph.D., who used to be Department Chairman at UIC during the 1980′s. I continued Graduate School Studies with Rhetorical Criticism, Ethnography, Theatre, Japanese, Portuguese, and Medical Communications for Emergency Room Senior Patients at the University of Illinois Medical Center. In addition, Anthony Graham-White assigned for me to do Graduate Research Assistance for the Chinese-American Service League (CASL) managed and directed by Bernie Wong in Chinatown, Chicago, Illinois USA. At that time, I began to do a Master of Arts Thesis about the Chinese in Cuba, an Ethnography of a Chinese-Cuban Family: Assimilation and Acculturation in Cuba.
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