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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Behind the Scenes: Meet William

This month, with the help of SCOLA provider EBAI William NKONGHO, our followers were able to visit Cameroon through our Country of the Month. William sent in original material from his home country ranging from information about locally grown produce to an instructional video for a traditional recipe for snails.

William is from Manyu Division, Mbinjong Village, in southwest Cameroon. He was born in a small town called Tiko and is currently married with three children. In his home country, William is certified in Security and Safety and Firefighting Techniques. He is also currently undergoing training to be a Sound Engineer.

William began working with SCOLA in June 2008. William believes SCOLA‘s duty is incomparable. He prays that God will continue to inspire our providers and subscribers to go to other countries and discover many more cultures.

We want to thank William, and all of our providers for their continuous work on our services and special projects. Check out the material William sent us this month on our social media pages, and then visit SCOLA.org to see more authentic resources straight from Cameroon.

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SCOLA Travel Journal: Week Three

Where will SCOLA take me next? The Philippines and Peru, the two countries I have traveled to so far with SCOLA, will be hard to beat. However, I know there are many other places to experience, so I log on to http://www.SCOLA.org to see what else it has in store for me.

Once again my first stop is People and Places. I enjoyed the warm weather in the Philippines and Peru, but now I think it is time for a change. I type in ‘snow’ into the convenient search bar in People and Places and scroll through the results. The one place that keeps catching my eye is Nepal. The majestic, snow capped peak of Mount Everest is captivating! While I know I would never have the courage to climb the famous mountain, the surrounding scenery and climate are just what I am looking for.

Summer recently ended and I am busy with classes, but I can conveniently use SCOLA Mobile Apps wherever I am! I use my phone to play over 200 broadcasts from Nepal on International Radio, close my eyes, and relax as I imagine myself driving through Nepal listening to the radio. I now feel ready to take on Nepal as I have experienced the beauty of their landscapes, and immersed myself in their culture with over 60 cultural radio broadcasts.

Shaking with anticipation I log on to On the Street Videos and begin my adventure. My first stop in Nepal is a visit with a local family about education in their country. Since I myself just started classes again, it makes me curious to see if other people in the world have resumed classes, what courses they study, and what they think about their country’s education system. I am able to talk with SCOLA provider Sharmila about the education system in Nepal, and experience what daily life is like for two young school boys.

I am on vacation though, so I can’t spend all my time thinking about school! Next, I discover the Nepal Tourism Board for some tips on exploring this beautiful country. As I explore temples and experience the rich Buddhist culture of Kathmandu Valley, I think about how lucky I am to be able to explore the world with SCOLA On the Street Videos. I know I must spread the word about the adventure SCOLA brings and make everyone aware of the opportunities they have to access a free trial! Visit www.scola.org today for yours!

I conclude my travels through Nepal with an experience in Panni Culture and a Children’s Recital. Though my journey in this country was short, it was a wonderful experience that I will not soon forget! I can’t wait to see where my travels take me next!

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

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Behind the Scenes: Meet Marina

In June, SCOLA followers traveled to Belarus with our provider Marina for our Country of the Month. Marina shared traditional Belarusian recipes and a word of the month, and taught us about the climate of her home country.it's me

Marina was born on May 16, 1983, in Minsk, Belarus. From 1989 to 2000, Marina studied at school № 137 in Minsk. From 2000 till 2006, she studied at Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts in the Department of Cultural Studies. From 2006 till 2009, Marina worked at the Institute of Problems of Culture as a Junior Researcher. Meanwhile, she also taught herself about video and editing and soon after became a videographer. Marina started working with SCOLA in 2012 and hopes to continue working with us for many years to come. The material she provided for our Country of the Month is just one of the many projects she has helped us work on. She also sends in material for other SCOLA services, including Savoir-Vivre, which will soon be available for SCOLA subscribers.

When Marina is not working on materials for SCOLA she enjoys traveling, cycling, watching movies and attending concerts and open air festivals. Along with our followers, we would like to thank Marina for all the wonderful and informative information she shared for our June Country of the Month!

Want to learn more about Belarus? Contact us today for your free trial and gain access to over 2,000 resources from Belarus on www.scola.org.

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Behind the Scenes: An Introduction to Belarus

Welcome to Belarus, our June Country of the Month!

During June, SCOLA followers can look forward to learning about the language, climate, and cuisine of Belarus, but first we would like to share some information with you about the people who make up this wonderful country. Belarus is a country of many diverse nationalities, and today our provider Marina from Belarus gives us insight into the population of Belarus, its diverse ethnic groups, and the languages you might hear when visiting.

“According to the 2009 census, more than 130 nationalities are represented in the Belarusian territory. Among them the most represented are Belarusians, Russians, Poles, and Ukrainians. Armenians, Tatars, and Lithuanians amount to less than 1%.The number of Turkmen, Chinese, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, and Arabs is increasing.

“Throughout the history of Belarus the majority of rural population were Belarusians, in the northwest of the country there were many Poles, and in the east there were Russians, including the ‘Old Believers’. Nowadays, cities and towns are inhabited with diverse ethnic groups, though Belarusians remain the majority (more than 80%).

“Belarusian and Russian are the official languages ​​in Belarus. Thirty-four percent of Belarusians say they are fluent in Belarusian, about 6% of Belarusians say they use the Belarusian language constantly, and almost 74% speak Russian.”

Want to learn more about our Country of the Month? Visit http://www.scola.org today and contact us for your free trial!

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Behind the Scenes: Meet James

In May, SCOLA traveled to the African country of Malawi for our Country of the Month. SCOLA is lucky to have people from around the world provide us with the material to share with you on www.scola.org and on our social media pages. This month, our provider is native Malawian James Chaponda.

James wDSC00054as born on April 24th in Malawi. Years later, James married his lovely wife, Tikondane, and had one child. James has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering with a major in Telecommunications from the University of Malawi-Polytechnic.

James started working with SCOLA in September 2012 and enjoys the task of providing content each month. James also works at Malawi Telecommunications Limited as a Transmission Engineer. James says “I love working with SCOLA to teach the people of the world different languages, especially Chewa from Malawi. Many people don’t know where Malawi is and what kind of language(s) we speak. Other countries are more well-known because of things like wars and disasters. I would like to encourage people of the world to start learning the Chewa language because it is spoken in various central African countries.”

James looks forward to working with SCOLA for the rest of his life, and would like to thank his wife for her encouragement and help in coming up with different resources and programs for SCOLA subscribers to enjoy. James would also like to thank the management and staff at SCOLA for their warm reception when he visited SCOLA in 2012.

SCOLA would like to thank James for the interesting and educational information he sent for the Country of the Month and for the material he sends for our services on www.scola.org.

So…May is over but you didn’t learn enough about Malawi? Be sure to check out www.scola.org for over 400 audio, image, text and video resources from Malawi, and then check us out online for our next Country of the Month!

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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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