Behind the Scenes: Meet Helen

In April, SCOLA traveled to Namibia for our Country of the Month. We explored an open market to discover how Kapana, a traditional Namibian dish is made, and experienced Namibia through the eyes of locals with our Photos of the Week. Some of you may be wondering who led us on our Namibian adventure…

SCOLA provider Helen is 39 years old and was born in the town of Rehoboth, 89 km from the capital city of Windhoek. She is a start up business owner and sells ice cream.

Helen started working for SCOLA in 2013 when she was contacted by the media to see if she would be interested. She says that at first she was skeptical, thinking maybe it was a scam, but then she got a camera from SCOLA and knew it was real. Helen first started working with SCOLA for the money, but says that later on she really started to enjoy herself making On the Street Videos and sharing her home country of Namibia with the rest of the world.

Along with the Country of the Month, Helen has also been sending in some interesting material for SCOLA’s new service, Savoir-Vivre! Visit a music store in Namibia and travel the streets of and other foreign lands as you discover other cultures and experience new lifestyles. Log on for free today at www.scola.org!

Want to see where we travel to in May? Follow along online!

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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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