SCOLA Travel Journal: Week Four

You would think that after three weeks of traveling to three different countries would leave me tired and yearning for home, but traveling with the comfort and convenience of SCOLA On the Street Videos, my travels have only left me wanting more! In the past three weeks I have traveled to the Philippines, Peru, and Nepal. The time has come for me to log on to SCOLA and decide where I would like to go next!

To scope out my surroundings, I first like to log on to People and Places. The online photo gallery has over 29,000 original photos from SCOLA friends and providers from around the world! I scroll through the photos and land on scenic views from Band-e Amir National Park in Afghanistan. Looks like I have found my fourth destination…

Before I begin my travels, I want to know what’s going on in Afghanistan…are there any current events I should know about? I first log on to SCOLA Foreign Text, a global newsstand of newspapers, magazines, and books. Foreign Text has over 1,400 resources from Afghanistan, so I peruse some of the recurring newspapers such as Barkhleek Weekly and Sarnavesht Daily to catch up on Afghanistan’s current affairs.

PP-AF-Band-e Amir Natural Lakes

Band-e Amir Natural Lakes

Next, I head on over to World TV Online, where I tune in to SCOLA Channel Six for news from the Middle East. Did you know you can view evening and nightly newscasts in Dari and Pashto every day of the week? I check those out too, and watch some past news broadcasts just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Finally, I am ready for my visit to Afghanistan!

I log on to SCOLA On the Street Videos to begin my journey. With a collection of over 340 videos from Afghanistan this should be quite the adventure! My first stop in Afghanistan is to experience an overview of Afghanistan, including information on Afghanistan’s native plants and animals, food and cuisine, cultures, and traditions and much more.

My second stop is Jame Mosque, the largest and most prominent mosque in Herat City. The tour guide Mohamad tells me about the architecture, art, the location of the mosque, and the people that gather there. He tells me Muslims gather at the Mosque every Friday to pray, and the mosque is open other days of the week as well for anyone who would like to enter and pray. The Mosque is considered very important to the Afghan people, even in the time of the Taliban regime which hated art and architecture.

Next, I go speak with another native Afghan about work and labor in his country. He says that there are major difference between the types of work done in villages and in cities, adding that there are more work opportunities in the cities than in the suburbs. He goes on to talk about work opportunities in the areas of agriculture, business, construction and so on. He also talks about terms and conditions of work in Afghanistan. He provides me with a lot of detailed and interesting information from a firsthand perspective of an Afghan laborer.

The long tour through the large mosque has made me hungry, so next I stop to learn about local produce, such as tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. I learn how the produce is grown and why they are good for my body.

During my time in Afghanistan I was able to take many photos, so my last stop in the country was a tutorial in Dari over Photoshop. I want to be able to edit my photos and this was also the perfect opportunity to brush up on my Dari. On the Street Videos offers many technical and instructional videos in foreign languages and I was able to easily follow along with the Photoshop tutorial. My pictures have been retouched, I have added another country to my adventures, and I am ready to go home and plan where I will go next…

Do you have a suggestion on what country I should travel to next? Let me know in the comment section below!

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Homesick? Visit SCOLA.org

In a world where long-term or permanent relocation to find the next best job, education or lifestyle is the norm, many might find that they feel out of the loop on their friends and families social lives, their countries current events and cultural celebrations and holidays. Thankfully, communication methods such as texting, e-mail and Facebook make it easy for families and friends to stay in touch and keep those away from home in the loop.  With advancements in technology it should be just as easy for those people to keep up on their home countries current news topics and cultural celebrations…and with SCOLA it is!

SCOLA prides itself on routinely receiving current authentic resources from all around the world. We want those away from home to still be able to start their day with the front page of their cities newspaper, and end their day hearing the evening news in their native language.  Foreign Text holds publications such as newspapers, magazines, and books from around the world that aren’t available anywhere else online. World TV Online routinely receives news, entertainment and other varied programming from a variety of countries around the world that SCOLA subscribers can stream live or download.

A SCOLA friend and provider recently said about SCOLA that readers can look at the website and say “It is my webpage”, familiar, interesting and easy to read.” He was especially impressed with a special project SCOLA is doing this month called 28 Days of Love, which inspired him to write the following poem:

Spring , A Season for Love

February breeze

stirs the love string of the universe

The earth awakens, stretches his body and

Desires to make love to the sky

Spring rain

falls silently with the previous spring’s memory.

Moist, sweet and happy rain

the thirsty wheat smiles,

the white-haired peasant

through the long(tabacco) pipe,

unburdens himself of a long winter’s anxiety

Spring sun

Taking off the winter muslin

Kisses the winter jasmine

And hugs the willow trees

The flowers yellow and

The twigs green

It is a season for love

The twittering sound from above

Announcing the couple swallow’s back home

“everybody is fine?”

The birds sit side by side,

telling the hostess a winter missing story.

The boy and the girl

Taking off winter coats

Run into spring fields

“You are one end and

I am  the other

No matter how high you are flying

You are sure to come back”

The kite rope pulls the promise of love

SCOLA thanks our friend for the kind words and the beautiful poem. We are always happy to hear from our friends, providers and subscribers interested in our work and mission! We hope that many of you can visit SCOLA.org and feel happiness and at home the way this person does!

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