SCOLA Travel Journal: Week Seventeen

I made it home safe and sound from my visit in Colombia, and I am ready for my next international adventure with On the Street Videos. No jet lag for me! I haven’t been to Africa in a few weeks, so my next stop is Burundi! This journey is going to be a challenge though, since a variety of different languages are spoken in Burundi, including French and Kirundi! Good thing I have Language Lessons under Language Training Materials to help me practice!

Language Lessons are introductory level language lessons and other activities featuring text, videos, quizzes and vocabulary lists are also available. With over 20 lessons straight from Burundi, I am ready to go in no time at all!

PP-BI-House by a FieldI have one more place to visit on SCOLA.org before I start my journey- World TV Online. I check out Channel 5, which plays various programs from Africa 24 hours a day 7 days a week! The programs include news, children’s programs, talk shows, and more. Today I check out the news from Bujumbura to catch up on current events in Burundi. Now I feel prepared for my adventure!

I head on over to On the Street Videos to begin my journey through Africa. My first stop in Burundi is to check out some games local children are playing. Everyone here is speaking Swahili, but that’s okay, I remember enough from my visit to Uganda with On the Street Videos from a few weeks ago.

Next I chat with another local named Irankunda Narcisse. He shows me how he is building a new house. The house construction requires building materials such as bricks, cement, and soil. We explore the construction he has completed so far, and he informs me that at this point the techniques used for construction were local techniques and much improvement is required.

Before leaving Burundi I chat with another local man, Apolosa. We explore the River Kalimbenge where water pollution is the main topic all around. The government has deployed a number of police to guard the water, however many people still perform activities that pollute the water such as cleaning their clothes, motorcycles and cars.

My trip to Burundi was interesting and informative, learning about local construction techniques, and exploring social issues like water pollution. I even had time to throw in some fun with the local children and refresh my Swahili skills! I’d call this trip a great success!

Want to join me on my travels? Visit www.scola.org today and access your free trial!

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SCOLA Travel Journal: Week Six

It’s my sixth week traveling the world and you must be wondering…am I tired and homesick yet? No! My adventures have all been through SCOLA On the Street Videos- it allows me to travel around the globe from the comfort of my own home, at my own convenience! On the Street Videos is the perfect solution for people who want to travel the world, experience other cultures, and discover new lifestyles without the negative effects of traveling- homesickness, jet lag, and not enough funds to get you from one place to the next. Plus, you get the added perks of experiencing the world and learning new languages with SCOLA’s other great services like People and Places, Insta-Class, and so much more! Hearing about all the perks of international travel with SCOLA, I know you are wondering where I traveled to after Indonesia.
I was ready to take on a new continent, so my primary search on SCOLA was through People and Places to find a country in Africa! Colorful photos of communities, families, and landscapes in Uganda were the first to catch my eye. I’m excited to begin my journey, but I know my first task must be to learn about Uganda’s native language so I can interact with the locals and navigate with ease around the country.

My next stop before my adventure is Spoken Word. Spoken Word allows me to have convenient conversations with native speakers from around the world! The service allows me to bypass time zones and avoid long distance phone charges by leaving video messages for any of their native speakers. I leave a message for David from Uganda who speaks both Luganda and Swahili! I first send him some private messages because I am unsure about my pronunciation, once I get more confident we have some public conversations so other Spoken Word users can see and respond to our posts. David helps me with my pronunciation, words I need to know, and common mistakes language learners make in Luganda and Swahili.
David has prepared me for my trip, so I excitedly log on to On the Street Videos. My first stop in Uganda is to receive some computer training from a local resident. I figure I may have to brush up on my Swahili while I am here, which I could do with a few quick lessons in Insta-Class! Plus, the computer lessons helped me pick up a few new vocabulary words in Swahili. Once I was done with the computer lessons I felt confident that I could log on to SCOLA.org without any problems if I needed help with Swahili, so I was off to my next adventure in Uganda.

My next stop was to visit a local market. My guide at the local market taught me so much about produce in Uganda, and the products being sold at the market. Hearing about the sellers at the market got me thinking about other work people in Uganda might do, so next I talked with a local man about business, and what was needed to be successful in this country. I also had a discussion with another local man about jobs and employment in Uganda.

My conversations with the locals, my trip to the market, and my computer lessons gave me insight into daily life in Uganda, and social issues that natives face. Uganda was a wonderful destination for my first trip to the large continent of Africa, and I look forward to my return!

For now though, the only thing on my mind is where should I go next? Travel the world with me today when you log on to www.SCOLA.org for your free trial!

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The Warm Heart of Africa

If you’re following us online you have seen we are currently on an adventure in Malawi for our May Country of the Month! James, our provider from Malawi sends SCOLA a lot of material for our services, and most recently he has sent us the material for the Country of the Month. James shares the following with you about his home country of Malawi:

Malawi is located in southern Africa. It takes pride in the fact they are often referred to as the “warm heart of Africa” because of the hospitality that its people show and that it has never shown civil unrest or went to war with any other country. The country is measured at approximately 118,000 square kilometers, with a population of about 16 million. The country has four major cities, Mzuzu in the northern region, Lilongwe in the central region, Zomba in the Eastern region and Blantyre, a commercial city, in the Southern region of Malawi.

Blantyre is called the commercial city because of the industrial sites it has, and the companies there. Blantyre is a busy city and after Lilongwe is the second largest. Blantyre has a large number of people with white collar jobs, so it is no wonder many colleges including a constituent college of the University of Malawi- The Polytechnic call Blantyre home. Along with the colleges and offices, you will also find small shops and established businesses in Blantyre.

Malawi is a landlocked country, surrounded by Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania. Although Malawi is landlocked, the country has a number of pleasing features for people to enjoy. Some of the geographical features include the famous Mulanje mountain, game reserves and national parks, and most of all, the lakes.

One lake people enjoy visiting is Lake Malawi. Lake Malawi is the biggest lake in the country at 365 miles long and 52 miles wide. Fishing at the lake is a source of income to the locals who reside near it. Lake Malawi is characterized by a species of fish called Chambo. Chambo cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Besides the chambo, the lake also has very beautiful beaches with holiday resorts and lodges. Tourists find Lake Malawi very attractive.

Although Malawi is small it has over over nine ethnic groups, namely Chewa, Lomwe, Yao, Tumbuka and Sena.The names of the ethnic groups in Malawi actually reflects the kind of language people speak. For example, Sena people speak Sena. The biggest tribe in Malawi is Chewa, representing 32% of Malawians. Since Chewa is the biggest tribe, the national language is Chewa and it is the language taught in schools.

Chewa people are popular nation wide and internationally because of their culture. The chewa people are known for the gule wamkulu dance. The gule wamkulu was once performed for the queen of England. Chewa functions are always characterised by the gule wamkulu. The dancers wear musks and do not identify themselves because it is widely believed that they are beasts and in their vernacular language they are called “Virombo” or “ Nyau”. The beasts are many, just as their a lot of beasts or wild animals in the bush, which explains why the virombo are often changed.

Welcome to Malawi the “warm heart of Africa”. Enjoy.

Do you have a country you would like to learn more about and see featured as our Country of the Month? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow us online to join in on our travels to our next Country of the Month: Belarus!

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