The BEST Guacamole Recipe!

I love sharing great recipes! Impress everyone at parties and barbeques this summer with the best guacamole recipe (a crowd-pleaser that won’t break the bank).

Ingredients:
3-4 ripe avocados
Half a red onion diced
Whole tomato chopped
Pinch of salt
Squeeze of lemon juice
Sweet chilli sauce (1 Tbsp)

Instructions:

  • Scoop the avocados into a bowl and mash with a fork until quite smooth.
  • Add in the pinch of salt, squeeze of lemon juice, and tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce (the secret ingredient that makes this recipe so amazing!). Once you’ve added these three items in , have a taste and see if more of any of them are required.
  • Dice a red onion finely and add to the bowl.
  • Roughly chop a tomato into small pieces and add in.
  • Have a final taste test, and serve with  corn chips, or even over potato wedges!

Enjoy!

Top Events of UCSA Orientation 2015

UCSA orientation events 2015.

UCSA orientation events 2015.

Here’s the lowdown on UCSA Orientation events for all of you freshers and anyone else who missed the memo…

UCSA Orientation is pretty much a two week long party/summer blow out that starts on the 16th of Feb and goes through till the 1st of March. The best thing about these events for me as a first year was the amount of new people I met! There’s something for everyone, so I’ve made a list of my top 6  events to give you some ideas:

  1. Colour My Toga– The iconic toga party is a must do for first years.  Once you’ve worn a sheet in the middle of Ilam Fields you’ll feel like you’re right in the midst of your uni experience! This year the theme is to wear a toga in the colour of your university department. So head to your nearest Fabric Vision or ask your granny for some old sheets and you’ll be good to go! Remember extra safety pins are vital… you’ll thank me later.
  2. Under the Big Top– If you want to watch some side splitting comedy then this event is for you! The UCSA comedy shows I’ve been to have always been a great laugh, mainly due to the hilarious comedian and audience interaction (as you can always rely on uni students to put their foot in their mouth). This year the show will be hosted by Paul Ego from 7 Days, which sets you up for a night of hilarity!
  3. Ori Market– To chill out during the week take a wander through the Orientation Market. The stalls usually include a mix of student-type things such as banking and flatting, food, clubs, and free stuff. Seriously, I went as a first year and I filled a whole bag up with free stuff. I scored enough free pens to last me the whole year, and enough energy drinks to stop my heart! Check it out if anything I’ve mentioned has enticed you…
  4. Mardi Gras– I’m just going to go out on a limb and say that I think this might possibly be the greatest Orientation event that the UCSA has ever created. This year will be its second appearance on the line-up and I can’t wait. Last year there were lights, beads, costumes, great music and even fire. It has to be seen to be believed. Ooh so mysterious…learn a new party trick before you go so that you can impress people for beads!
  5. Clubs Day– This is a standard orientation event which you won’t want miss. At clubs day you can sign up to a variety of different university clubs including: social clubs, sporting clubs, art clubs and volunteer clubs. Through the clubs at university you can explore your interests, learn new skills, meet people and have a more fulfilling university experience overall.
  6. Summerstein– This is the last major event of UCSA’s Orientation. It’s a chance to unwind and spend a day relaxing in the sun with your friends.  Last year some of The Edge DJ’s, including Guy Williams, even turned up to enjoy the day. This year the UCSA has promised water cannons and a giant slip n slide, so I honestly can’t wait!  Also look out for beach volleyball, backyard cricket and cocktails.

There’s also a bunch of official University of Canterbury Orientation activities that are exclusive to new students. Keep your eyes peeled for more Insider’s Guide Knowledge on Orientation…

UC Pols Hons graduate pursues her passion for charity work

Hannah Rhodes, UC POLS Hons student

Hannah Rhodes, UC POLS Hons student

Hannah Rhodes is the kind of person that finds joy in helping others. It seems to come naturally to her. I first met Hannah in 2014. She was in the POLS Honours students’ room, which was next door to my COMS Honours students’ room in Locke. One day, I was in the common room fretting about an upcoming assignment. I had to come up with 3 different innovative media projects to pitch to the class. As I sat there racking my brain for ideas, Hannah started suggesting some off the cuff ideas for me while casually preparing her lunch. In my frazzled state, I so appreciated her input. Her ideas got the ball rolling for me, so to speak, and soon enough I had more than enough ideas for the assignment. That’s Hannah – a good sort – willing to help anyone out.

So naturally, after completing her Honours year in Political Science she continued her passion for helping others, but with much more worthy recipients than just a distressed student. Hannah got involved with Linda Cruse – UC senior fellow, entrepreneur and humanitarian aid worker – whom she had approached after hearing her speak at university about her international aid. With the help of the UC Innovators programme, which awarded Hannah a summer scholarship, as well as some self-funding, she was able to travel to the Philippines with Linda to help small communities rebuild their lives post-typhoon in the forgotten area of Carles.

For two weeks, Hannah stayed in the community hall, sleeping on the floor. The conditions were very hot and humid. She says she “definitely got used to working in sweat. We probably got up at about six in the morning and then went to bed at about eight or nine at night” – working out in the heat of the day for most of that time. The facilities were very basic – a squat toilet with a bucket for flushing – and another bucket for showering.

During her stay Hannah taught basic hygiene to school children and helped set up small businesses such as community gardens and a chicken project. These sustainable projects are life-changing as the families are able to sell the produce and eggs, providing a daily income for basic goods and children’s school fees. The way they talked about their new projects was a highlight for Hannah. “They’re so excited and they feel like they’re growing and independent. They have ownership of it and they’re proud of it”.

On the last day of Hannah’s trip a Christmas party was held to celebrate the season. According to the psychological recovery model – an important element of Linda’s aid work – it is important that there is “always a party, or music…or something that brings the community together”. So the Christmas party was the perfect event for the community after such terrible loss and trauma brought on by the typhoon. “There was food, and for them, they never eat meat cause it’s too expensive, so we got two big pigs and they had pork, and to them it was amazing.” The children also sung and gave performances, “and they gave us little cards – it was pretty special.”

Having returned from the Philippines, Hannah’s focus is now to assist Linda in registering her charity called Be the Change. The year is also likely to bring more trips to the Philippines to further develop the business projects they sponsored and to ensure the charity is as effective as possible. 2015 will be a significant year in the development of the charity, with plans to increase student involvement to bring a more youthful energy and make it more of a social movement, “so whenever they travel or whenever they get involved in something, they think about how that can be a force for good.”

At the end of our interview and in perfect summary to this blog post at the beginning of a new year when we’re all feeling reflective, Hannah provided some insightful perspective. “Although they have nothing, they’re the happiest, most optimistic people in the world. The things that get us down in the western world, it just seems so ridiculous. And the way they [media] always portray people in really poor countries as being really sad. It’s just not like that. You’ve got to give them dignity. They’re just as human as us – we probably have a lot more to learn from them than they have from us sometimes.”

If you’d like to learn more about the work done by Linda and Hannah in the Philippines, see these recent media releases:

http://www.comsdev.canterbury.ac.nz/rss/news/?feed=news&articleId=1542

http://www.comsdev.canterbury.ac.nz/rss/news/?feed=news&articleId=1562

Also, here’s Hannah talking about her time in the Philippines and the focus of ‘Be the Change’ in 2015 (YouTube).

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