SCOLA Travel Journal: Week Five

Fall has almost arrived here at SCOLA and the weather is getting cooler, I’m ready to go somewhere warm on vacation! I log on to People and Places and start searching when the colorful landscapes of Indonesia catch my eye. I’m ready to get out of my sweatshirts and long pants and into some shorts and sandals!

One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new country is converse with the locals, so before heading to On the Street Videos to travel to Indonesia, I make a pit stop at Insta-Class. Insta-Class is ready to use, multi-media language lessons produced exclusively for SCOLA by experts from around the world! The service has over 420 lessons for Indonesia that are easy for independent learners like myself to use. I log on and quickly brush up on my Indonesian. Soon I feel confident that I will be able to converse with the locals on my upcoming adventure.

My hands shake in anticipation as I log on to On the Street Videos to begin my journey. My first stop is Bali. Choosing a destination from People and Places was tough, and learning a new language on Insta-Class wore me out, so my first quest is to learn how to make a traditional Balinese dinner. The SCOLA provider gave detailed instructions that were easy to follow, thanks to the practice I received on Insta-Class! Once I eat dinner I have the energy to explore the rest of what On the Street Videos and Indonesia have to offer.

Since I was already in Bali I decided to do a quick tour. I had an excellent tour guide that showed me some of the best beaches and shops Bali had to offer. I learned a lot about Bali and was able to enjoy the warm weather I had been craving, so next up was my favorite activity: conversing with the locals!

Through SCOLA I was able to meet with a Balinese man to talk with him to learn about his daily lifestyle and work. This gave me further insight to Indonesia’s culture than any typical vacation ever could.

On the Street Videos not only allows you to explore and experience places, it also allows you to discover the locals and their lifestyles, including community and family, work and recreation, and so much more. I’m very lucky to have the service available to me, and you could too by logging on to www.scola.org for your free trial!

SCOLA Travel Journal: Week Two

So my adventure in the Philippines is over, I am anxious to start my next journey…but I have no idea where to go! The services on SCOLA.org helped me decide the perfect destination last time, so back online I go!

I log on to People and Places and start flipping through the online photo gallery of over 29,000 original photos. So many amazing places catch my eye and it’s hard to focus on choosing just one country when there are so many to see! I’ve never been to South America, and the beautiful landscape of Peru is drawing me in. I’ve been needing to brush up on my Spanish so I figured Peru would be a great second destination!

Speaking of brushing up on my Spanish, I should figure out how to say a few key phrases like “Do you speak English?” and “I’m lost!”. Although I am busy preparing for my trip in the days leading up to my flight, I conveniently can log on to SCOLA’s mobile applications no matter where I am! I use my phone to practice my Spanish with Insta-Class, ready-to-use multi-media language lessons produced exclusively for SCOLA! I also log on to Spoken Word and chat with native speaker Julye…she lives in Peru and is able to tell me all about her country’s culture, and corrects me when I pronounce hola as hole-a instead of o-la! Julye responded to all of my video posts within 24 hours and most importantly was able to save me from a lot of embarrassment…

I now feel confident in my Spanish skills and knowledge of Peruvian culture, so I was ready to begin my second international adventure with SCOLA On the Street Videos.

My first stop in Peru is to go see my friend Julye that I met on Spoken Word. Today is her birthday! “Hola!” I greet her when she answers her front door and we both laugh. I join along as Julye’s family and friends celebrate her birthday with food, soft drinks, gifts, singing, and cake. She gets many wonderful gifts such as a necklace, picture frames, a teddy bear and flowers.

The birthday celebrations wore me out, so I went to sleep excited and anxious for the rest of adventures Peru had to bring.

The rest of the week proved just as fun as the first days celebrations and included many exciting experiences and discoveries. I was able to visit Senor de los Milagros (The Lord of the Miracles, for those of you who have not been studying your Spanish on scola.org). Senor de los Milagros is an image of Christ painted on an adobe wall at the main altar of the Shrine of The Nazarene of Lima. Many Peruvians visit The Lord of Miracles in during a procession in October and gives blessings to the faithful.

I left Peru with new friends thanks to Julye and new knowledge of Peru and it’s religious culture thanks to Senor de los Milagros, but I can’t forget to mention what else I left Peru with…and that is a very full belly! While in Peru I went on a tour of the largest food fair in Latin America- Mistura. Mistura gave me a profound appreciation of traditional Peruvian products such as quinoa, coffee, maca, cocoa, corn, and so much more…I would go on but my stomach is starting to growl just thinking about it! Mistura also featured folk dances from popular regions of Peru.

I left Peru longing to return someday soon, but also anxious to begin my next international adventure with SCOLA On the Street Videos.

Check back next week to travel along to the third destination on my journey with SCOLA!