The domestic Costa Rican carrier Nature Air was declared the first carbon neutral airline in the world. Since 2004, Nature Air has developed an aggressive conservation program at the Osa Peninsula –world-renowned for its natural resources– oriented at compensating the whole gas emissions of its entire fleet. This effort was acknowledged at the World Environment Conference held in Oslo, Norway, in May. Environmentalists hail Nature Air as an example to follow if we are to preserve the planet for coming generations.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Our little town, Táriba, are in Los Andes, in the South West of Venezuela. Capital of
Church of "Nuestra Señora de la Consolación"
The first european in this land was Alonso Perez de Tolosa, and one hundred men, in 1547. We call this episode “The enter of Táriba in the history”, but they don´t stop here, they go away. That year lives here perhaps three or four hundred indians, we prefer call him “aborígenes” (aboriginals), and the first spanish man who build a house in this place was Alonso Alvarez de Zamora, in 1563.
"Alonso Pérez de Tolosa in Táriba", by Uribe Quiroga
Every year in August open the fair’s season. Thousand of visitors comes to Táriba, at Bullfighting, Parade, Sports, Dancings, Shopping, Religious ceremonies, and traditionals activities.
Friday, June 29, 2007
July is the big vacation time in Denmark. Most Danes do have 6 weeks of annual vacations, whereas 3 normally are in the summer time. Though the summer is short and very nice, many people prefer travelling to other countries. That leaves the streets rather deserted, and the beautiful gardens that many Danes use a lot of time on, are left to birds, cats and other animals.This picture shows how a normal Danish outskirt street looks like: The houses surrounded by 'walls' of hedges. Behind those, you'll find neatly gardens. And as you can see, noone in the streets. The ones that are not on vacation, probably will be at work.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
The biggest river in the country, Shire River takes its waters from the beautiful Lake Malawi to the popular Zambezi River which finally goes into Indian Ocean.
There are many beautiful features:
Mvuu - hippos in view along the river
Take me, a (supposed) professional: if I worked in government, I would just about afford to pay for my transport to and from work, and not have too much left over for things like food and rent. (As you know, I’m not working). When I left Zimbabwe (three months ago I went travelling, lucky me someone bought me a ticket) bread was $850 (shocking in itself); when I got back here three weeks ago, it cost $30,000 (yes, per loaf). Now it costs $45,000. The government has just asked retailers to cut their prices, so of course goods have disappeared off the shelves. Yesterday was walking about town, looking for apple cider vinegar (for a cake I make), went downtown and there were informal (and illegal) traders selling stuff like cooking oil, sugar, toothpaste etc… They don’t sit and sell; they are always on their feet, watching for possible raids (because they of course don’t have licences). The black market is absolutely flourishing here, and most people with access to cash have resigned themselves to buying things on the black market, although the prices are shocking. The price of fuel per litre is pegged against the US dollar, and the last rate was 1USD is equivalent to ZD$300,000. Imagine what that does to prices in a landlocked country…. Inflation is currently about 5,000 %, but some people say it will top 1,500,000 by year end..
My rent was increased from ZD$200,000 to $2,700,000… The breadwinner in my family earns $400,000.. ha, ha. And yet we are actually upper middle class here... You see streams of people walking to and from work, hardly anyone uses public transport anymore… And as for pensioners, honestly their plight is absolutely desperate. My grandfather’s pension is probably about $5,000 per month (doesn’t even buy bread). Most are just hanging in there… Many are starving.
sorry, no picture at the moment, may add it later...
Happen last night, on June the 22nd and it felt pretty good. This night only, the cultural embassies in Bucharest stood open all night long and had special shows and programs. There were traditional foods and drinks from the countries represented by each institute. For example, the Spanish Cultural Institute served its guests with sangria, the Polish with bigos, the Czech with beer and so on, while they could enjoy live jazz and blues concerts, short movies, theater plays, dancing shows, art exhibitions and many more.
At first I went to the Spanish Institute, to see an open air projection of the movie Cría Cuervos (1975), directed by Carlos Saura. There were a lot of people so we sat directly on the ground, near some flowers. It felt very good, especially because lately the weather was very hot in Bucharest and we’ve com to appreciate every little green plant and breeze.
About eleven o’clock we left at the Czech Institute where we were supposed to see horror short movies and a horror art exhibition. I was quite disappointed of it, there were only some twisted dolls with all kinds of stuff around them, painted and with their members or hair cut, trying to look scary. I saw three short movies there, and a video clip. I can’t say I liked the movies, but…maybe because I’m not an expert I didn’t understand them. They were just exhibiting a lot of violence, which they tried to criticize in this way, but it was nothing scary, creepy or fun about it (in my opinion of course). We got kind of bored so we started roaming on the streets again, in the, happily, cool night air, watching some bugs running on a building and the stray cats and dogs chasing each other.
We got to the Hungarian Institute where I think they had the best program from what I’ve seen. We arrived there in the middle of a Hungarian blues concert, performed by a band called Rackajam. I simply loved them, but again, I can’t say this is an objective opinion, as I enjoy this kind of music a lot.
And then, about two a.m. we left home, because we were very tired. There was still a lot to see, and I’m still upset for not getting to see the short movies at the Romanian Cultural Institute (Romanian short movies are pretty cool). However, I enjoyed it a lot, and I think it would be a great idea to repeat this experience.
With regards to Myanmar Food, we have one well known saying that "Of all fruit, mango is the best, of all meat it's pork, and of all leaves it's lahpet".
Lahpet and Laphet ohk are one set as very significant role in our Mandalay to offer as snacks to guests whom be invited or not. Sometimes, it may be just for the family and we used to eat it while we watching Television program after News broadcasting around 9:00 P.M together drinking with yei-nway jan (plain/crude hot water) or lahpet-yei jan (plain/crude tea) Have you ever been try to eat this? Lahpet (pickled tea) is served in another way as Lahpet thohk or pickled tea leaf salad. It is an exclusive snack of Myanmar Nationals. Its taste is delicious and linger in the mouth. Once you have tasted it you would crave for more. It is an unforgettable snack for those who have had once.
Now I would like to share about preparation of Lahpet thohk or pickled tea leaf salad.
First clean the pickled tea leaves with some water twice or thrice and squeeze it to discard the bitter juice. Then put the tea leaves on a plate and mix thoroughly with peanut oil and fish sauce, and keep to one side. Peel, wash and slice garlic thinly. Then wash and halve tomatoes before taking out seeds and slice thinly. Wash cabbage before chopping very thinly. Remove stalks from chillies and wash them. When the ingredients are ready, put the pickled tea leaves(laphet),cripsy fried lab-lab beans, some fish sauce, thinly sliced tomatoes and cabbage and edible peanut oil on a wide plate and mix together properly. For those who like a hot and sour taste squeeze drops of lime and thinly sliced fresh chillies when blending to make the salad. When taste of the laphet thohk meets your requirement, prepare in a plate. After that sprinkle dried shrimps and garlic on the salad before putting green chillies. Now a plate of traditional Myanmar pickled tea leaf salad is ready to be served.
Many would have lahpet together with plain white rice, again a student favorite.
Fine pickled tea leaves= 80g
Fried lab-lab beans = 80g
Fried garlic = 40g
Fried peanut = 80g
Roasted sesame seeds = 40g
Dried shrimps(not salted)= 40g
Garlic(large cloves) = 10cloves
Fresh chillies = 10
Tomatoes(moderate size)= 3
Cabbage = 160g
Myanmar fish sauce(sweet)= small amount
Pure edible peanut oil = 80g
Sources: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and Lu Thar Kyaw
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I've been trying to come up with different ways to write this without coming off as too annoyed. I've lived on this island since birth and have been totally baffled at the number of instances where our rugged little mass has been mistaken for the Dominican Republic, that is, if even recognized as part of the map at all. I can't tell you how often my postal mail has been sent to the Dominica Republic in error, which I'm sure countless of my Dominican counterparts have experienced at least once. In light of this I've opted to make this piece about the different things that distinguish this lovely Caribbean island from the rest of the world.
The Commonwealth of Dominica, commonly known as Dominica is largely covered by rain forest and is home to the world's second largest boiling lake. The island is currently headed by the youngest prime minister in the world. Roosevelt Skerrit was born in 1972 and has held the seat for the past three (3) years). We've been noted for having the oldest living person in the world (at one point) in Elizabeth Israel aka Ma Pampo, who was the daughter of a slave and we are one of the last remaining Caribbean islands still inhabited by the native Kalinago People.
The sweet sounds of Cadence-lypso originated from Dominica which was refined by the dynamic Exile One. Other original sounds include Bouyon and Jing ping. In Dominica many of the older folk still speak the traditional Creole language which is sometimes handed down to the youth, so much so that we are home to the only Creole Music Festival on the planet. It is an island that has remained quite pristine. Lack of five star hotels and large highways make it easy to appreciate this natural encasement. Here the beaches are black sand and very private.
Dominicans are treated everyday to water from a lush of 365 rivers, so its needless to mention, offcourse, we make some of the best beer in the world.
On sunday I went to Brussels to the black district called " Matonge" where a street party took place this weekend. In this district almost all people who live there are africans, coming mostly from the Congo or sometimes also from Senegal.
The congo was an ancient colony of Belgium and is independent since 1960. The Congo had been bought by the Belgian King Leopold II in 1908 and given as a gift to his country. That's why so many Congolese are living here for different reasons.
The street party takes place every year and of course is very colorful ! When I arrived I could smell the odor of exotic food and spices. There were so many stands each of them with another speciality !
A lot of african women were dressed in their home costumes, long very colorful dresses with a kind of high turban on their heads folded in a certain way from a piece of fabric. Drums and congolese songs made an enormous noise, especially the drums which went through your hole body.
People sold african jewlery, shirts, statues and masks in many stands. The streets were decorated with baloons, colored flags and everybody seemed to be in a very good mood. For the evening african danses were foreseen and other shows.
It was like going on holidays, I drove to Brussels and found myself suddenly in the middle of Africa ! Exept of the heat of course !
Sunday, June 24, 2007
My next few blogs will focus on specific animals I saw on my last visit to Kruger Park and hopefully provide some interesting information on or related to them.
This is a real photo, only cropped a bit to make it a bit more impressive (the real distance relationship in the next blog!). What was for sure was that it was a very big elephant and it was close to the bakkie (SA English for Light Delivery Vehicle - this one is a half ton load vehicle)! Obviously the bakkie is no match for an elephant of this size - luckily the elephant wasn't angry. What is also interesting is that the guys in the bakkie don't seem worried - they seem to be looking the other way! or was it a larger elephant that side?
There is currently a developing problem with an overpopulation of elephants in the Kruger Park. This is creating a controversy at the moment about how it should be handled.
In the past, say 20 years ago, elephants were routinely and quietly but openly culled. There was an abattoir in Kruger Park (is still there in fact) and you could buy tinned elephants in the shops! Then the environmentalists entered the picture and the ivory trade came under the spotlight because of poaching and things are very different.
An experiment in Kenya was based on assuming that the environment would come to an equilibrium with the elephants. I understand that was a failure and enormous damage was done turning forests and bush veld, where elephants graze, into grasslands making the balance even worse. It seems that any constraint on movement (Kruger Park is 350km long and up to 65 km wide) creates an artificial system that requires management.
At the moment there are a number of ways that the problem is being addressed:
- contraception for elephants - yes that's right!
- opening the fences to adjacent reserves especially in Mocambique and Zimbabwe forming transfrontier parks
- capturing and moving elephants to other reserves
- culling is still under consideration
South Africa and other Southern African countries have after lots of arguing, been given permission to sell the ivory they have in stock. Seems to me this is the way to go - cull carefully and humanely and sell the ivory to help fund improved conservation.
Nass el Ghiwane is a musical group of
Nass el Ghiwane was formed in the late 60's by four young men from the poor district of Hay el Mohammadi in industrial Casablanca. Laarbi Batma (who came from the Chaouia region to Kariane Jdid) met Boujemaa Hagour (who came form the Tata (Morocco) region to Derb Moulay Cherif) through their mutual friend Omar Essayed. They were all performing in the theater troupe of Tayeb Essidiki. While performing the piece "Al Majdoub" for Parisian crowds in the summer of 1969, they had the idea of using traditional music as a way to express themselves onstage. They had written pieces of what would later be Essiniya, Fin Ghadi Biya Khouya, and Ouach Hna Houma Hna. Later in
Nass el Ghiwane specialized in writing colloquial poetry about topics related to the social and political climate, and arranging its music in the Moroccan tradition. So we find songs that take from a certain type of music, like the Aita (Echems Ettalaa, Elhassada, Sif el Bettar, Ghadi Fhali...), the Malhun (Han wa Chfeq, Mezzine Mdihek, Qalet...), and Gnawa (Ghir Khoudouni, Lebtana, Mahmouma, Essadma, Ouach Jralek...), the Hmadcha (Laayate Aalik), the Jil Jilala (Allah ya Moulana, Haoulouni)
Although there were recordings of the band with Disques Gam and the RTM being played on the radio and on TV, what is always considered their first release is Essiniya (Disque D'Or) with Disques Ouhmane in 1974.
In a time where the only music available was middle-eastern pop music that sang about love, Nass el Ghiwane had prepared something new for Morocco: they mixed the Sufi chants and litanies of Zaouias (brotherhoods) like the Hmadcha and Aissawa with the elegant colloquial poetry of Melhoun adding to it the ancient rhythms of the Berbers and the healing dances of the mystical Gnawas.
Soon after the release of Essiniya, Abdelaziz left the band due to artistic disagreement. He was replaced by the great Abderrahmane Qirouche, also known to the west as Abderrahmane Paco or in
The instruments they used were all simple: drums and strings. They did not use any form of technology, except of course for amplification. They used percussions like the Bendir, Derbouka, Daadou', Ta'rija and Tbila, as well the Guembri and the Arabic lute. Nass el Ghiwane were all about simplicity, far from mainstream schmaltzy middle-eastern music. They came to remind Moroccans of their country's rich musical legacy and of the reason music was played at the first time.
Although Allal is skilled at playing the Arabic lute, he chose to use a fretless banjo for playing his steel strings because it has accurate metal tuners and can be easily strapped on-stage, as opposed to the lute which can be a real hassle to tune (12 strings with wooden tuners) and whose bulkiness requires the player to always sit down in order to play effectively. So he removed the frets to be able to play 1/4-step, just like the Arabic lute. His sound is so unique it is immediately recognizable! Listen to the intro to Haoulouni (Lotfia) to know what I mean!
In 26 October 1974 came the first deception when Boujemaa died. Some say he was assassinated by the government, and some say he was poisoned. However, Omar claims that he died of an ulcer in the stomach in his (Omar's) house. Boujemaa was a charismatic character with a distinctive and powerful alto voice. He was also skilled at writing music; he contributed to the bulk of the band's early material. He was the symbol of Nass el Ghiwane.
The next album was a tribute to Boujemaa and had songs written with him that were sung on-stage but never recorded. The rest of the band which now comprised Laarbi, Omar, Allal, and Abderrahmane was the most stable line-up and would be very active for the next twenty years. In the song "Ghir Khoudouni", they changed the words at the end to say that "Boujemaa may moute, el Ghiwane mat moute": Boujemaa never dies, and the Ghiwane never die. In the background you can hear Abderrahmane do the usual weeping Gnawa do when they are paying tribute to a defunct Maalem. Nass el Ghiwane left a microphone standing alone in every concert to pay him tribute.
In 1981, Al Hal, a movie dedicated to their musical journey produced by Ahmed el Maanouni was released worldwide, and can be found here. For the years to come, they would stick to the same simplistic and honest attitude that made their fame, and produce a steady series of innovative albums and ecstatic live shows. By the end of the 80's, Nass el Ghiwane weren't a phenomenon anymore, they became legends! Laarbi provided the band with his unstoppable beats and his deep voice that reminded the sadness and despair of a young man coming from the country-side to a big city hoping for a better life. Omar was known for his muezzin voice and sense of diplomacy: he was the spokesperson of the band. Paco with his Gnawi attitude and his Guembri bass-lines, added to Nass El Ghiwane a crucial component: the trance of the Gnawa Music of
Up until 1993, Nass el Ghiwane have indulged into long (over 12 minutes) and rebellious Gnawa epics, thanks to Paco. Examples include Nerjak Ana, Essadma, Lebtana, Mahmouma, Taghounja, Ouach Jralek, Rod Balek, Mani Ghrib, Chab Rassi and many more. Practically all the songs penned by Paco were driven by his angry words and his Guembri. This is anti-commercialism at its best!
Unfortunately, in 1993 Laarbi was diagnosed of lung cancer. There was a slight divergence within the band concerning the direction they would take. Paco deemed the band was not financially viable for him. He also grew more interested in Traditional Gnawa music of
Nass el Ghiwane hired Redouane Arif on the backing vocals and Guembri and continued, once again, as a four-piece. Redouane had the huge legacy of Paco pending on him. Not only he did not do any lead singing, but his Guembri playing was sloppy, out-of-tune and for a good reason, buried in the mix. When Paco once laid the driving music with his Guembri and came forth doing lead singing and writing, Redouane was barely filling shoes which were bigger than him. All the songs after Paco left the band are characterized by being short (rarely above 6 minutes), and mostly reminiscent of the style of the Chaouia. This doesn't mean that Nass el Ghiwane stopped making quality music. On the opposite, the music was still pure Nass el Ghiwane, and the texts spoke of the same matters.
In 1997 misery did strike again, and in 1998, Laarbi died of his lung cancer. Although he was taken in charge by the late King Hassan II, he had a terminal illness that could not be cured. He died a hero of the Moroccan popular masses and a pioneer of North African music. The band was on infinite hiatus and Omar evidently took the control of the band as he was the only original founder of the band still alive.
In 1999, Rachid Batma saves the band from extinction and takes over his older brother's Tbila. Not only that, but he also tries to sound like him! They recorded "May Doum Hal" during the same year, and included the same song as a tribute to Laarbi. They toured afterwards reaching world festivals in
They released a new album in 2002 titled "Haoud Enna'naa". Another younger brother of Laarbi, Hamid Batma, replaced Redouane in playing the Guembri. Hamid and Rachid previously played in Mesnawa, a band from the Batma family village, 'Abda Oulad Mesnawi. In January 2005 they received the Golden Rebab prize of achievement.
More than thirty years after their inception, Nass el Ghiwane are still faithful to themselves and to their fans; they still play the same traditional instruments and sing about the same matters disregarding the tendencies of "modern" music. Although they will never be same now that only Omar and Allal are left from the classic years, their musical output is always of the utmost quality, and is still worth bearing the name Nass el Ghiwane.
Abderrahmane Paco is currently ill. He is in complete paralysis. We wish him well.
They have played a big role in the renewal of the Maghrebi music. Although their music is much less instrumental than the Raï music and is mainly based on voices and chorus, they can be considered among the influences which led to this new kind of music, hence Khaled one of biggest Rai singers started by playing Nass El Ghiwane in weddings and parties. Nass El Ghiwane where also the first band to introduce modem instruments like the banjo and the first to start the modernisation of traditional Moroccan and Maghrebi music especially the Gnawa music which has influenced their music in a great a proportion, they have also contributed to its popularisation and brought it to a larger public.
In the troubled and autocratic Morocco of the 70s with no freedom of speech, their beautiful lyrics using khafia an allusive technique often targeting the political regime, in a beautiful Moroccan arabic (Darija) were very appealing to the youth.
Plz wait some secs and press play
Saturday, June 23, 2007
The jumping in the water symbolizes the Christian tradition of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan river by his cousin Saint John the Baptist. Folkloric beliefs in Puerto Rico also add to this tradition the ability to wash oneself from a bad year (financial, relationship or work-wise) and is the moment to start anew.
So here I am, 30 minutes till midnight sharing a deep rooted tradition with people from around the world. May this year be better than the last!
¡Hasta pronto! See you soon! --- Yiara Sofía
Mariette with his sarcophagus
I had to take my youngest sister (10 years old) to such a wonderful place to visit her ancestors. The Egyptian Museum was founded in the 19th century by the French Egyptologist , Auguste Mariette. The museum displays a rare collection of 5000 years of art which is considered the largest most precious collection of Egyptian art in the world. Over 250,000 genuine artifacts are presented, including an exhibit dedicated to Tut-Ankh-Amon collection of treasure, gold and jewelry which was enclosed in his tomb for over 3,500 years before. The present museum was built in 1900, in the neo-classical style by the French architect Marcel Dourgnon.
When I saw the memorial tomb of Mariette embraced in the garden of the Egyptian Museum I was keen to know more of him.
According to Wikipedia, François Auguste Ferdinand Mariette (1821- 1881) devoted himself to the study of heiroglyphs and Coptic. He came to Egypt in 1850 on a mission assigned by the Louvre to fetch ancient manuscripts. He led a number of successful discoveries and dung into the Egyptian land.
He died in Cairo and was interred in a sarcophagus (Wikipedia) .
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Is it true that music makes one smarter?
Music controls some cells of the brain for a particular way of thinking. After listening to classical music, one can quickly perform some spatial tasks such as adults can quickly solve jigsaw puzzle. This is because the classical music pathways are similar to the pathways used in spatial reasoning. Listening to classical music, these pathways are "turned on" and are ready to be used. This is how you can solve puzzle quickly but lasts for a short time after listening to music. Playing an instrument also improves the spatial skills as research has proved that music training creates new pathways in the brain. "Olivia Andrews"
An International Language.
Music has been called 'The International Language' - a very simple thought with much meaning behind it. Even if you can't speak the language of a country, you can move, sway, dance and most of all enjoy the music of the country. We may not understand the words of a musical selection but we do understand the beauty. ”Essortment.com”
Music brings up deep feelings.
Now something beautiful about music, which we all go through, has to be said, remember when you heard that old song and you felt your heart ticking and the air fresher?!! , remember when you heard that song which wasn’t so sad when your eye dropped a tear? Now I won’t talk about the physiology of the brain because I frankly am, not familiar with it, but I sure have found out something, It’s that the human brain (I can only talk about what I have :) stores several things in the memory including feelings which aren’t easy to retrieve later, but the good part is that these feelings are like salt or pepper sprayed over the other contents of the pot at a time (the brain!), and songs especially are unique things, they’re certain words going on with a certain melody and a certain voice, so they’re distinct in our memory, whenever we hear that song a long time later, we feel almost the same way we felt, (not when we heard the song at first) but while we heard the song at first!!Here’s a little experiment, it’s really easy, someday, try to turn on a song and replay it a few times, then do it the next day, and then ignore that song and help out of it for like a week or two, then listen to it and!!!, believe me there will be something, even if you didn’t know what you were feeling at the time you heard it first, now you’ll know coz your brain found out in two weeks :) Please tell me when it works with you! “Mohammed Hasan”
From time to time, we hear a song that we like so much that we keep rewinding until the day is over, it’s more likely these songs that stick with certain feelings that ones that we choose, these songs are out there and sometimes we hear an old songs that we never heard before and be so much attracted to it, how about telling us which song you once stuck to! Just give us the name and download links will be available for them on this blog :).
Mohammed H. Zaid Ali
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Remember how, in Lebanon, we celebrate mother's day on the first day of spring. Well, tomorrow is June 21, officially the first day of summer. We are going to have 14 hours of sunshine all in one day. It will be the longest sunlit day of the year. I guess that's why we declare the beginning of summer on this day. Tomorrow is also father's day around here. So to all fathers out there, happy father's day.
I just wish the political situation was a bit better. Enjoying the beaches wouldn't be tarnished by worries about unclear expectations.
Anyway, here's a video about the beaches and relevant summer activities that usually take place during summer. The video was made by the Ministry of Tourism and the Middle East Airlines, so one would expect it to be a bit cheesy.
But then, what the heck, enjoy the summer everyone.
In 1540 the first fort in the New World was built, Fuerte de San Felipe, and the port became a stop for traders between Europe and this area. During the 1600's the Spanish lost interest in the port, moving south to Santo Domingo and the neighboring Caribbean islands of Puerto Rico and Cuba. Having been abandoned, illicit activities increased, and as a result, the city was later destroyed by Spanish royal decree. In the 1740's the city was rebuilt by some Spanish families who immigrated from the Canary Islands. The thriving port and a tobacco boom made this city the wealthiest and cosmopolitan in the Caribbean for a few decades, beginning in the 1870's. It lost most of its importance of that time but did grow into the largest city on the North Coast of the country. The 1970's brought tourism to the area and while the city of Puerto Plata did not itself become a major tourist destination, it continues to have many visitors from the surrounding resort areas.
Many visit the city to see the historic fort, Fuerte de San Felipe, and the Victorian gingerbread-like mansions from the late 1800's, located in the older part of the city. There is a 2 km boardwalk, or Malecón, lined with typical Dominican restaurants, where you can take a walk and enjoy views of the port and the Atlantic Ocean. Popular attractions include the Amber Museum of Puerto Plata, featuring leaves, flowers, insects and reptile fossils trapped in amber (resin) pieces; the Brugal Rum Distillery, where they offer guided tours of how their rum is made; Central & Independance Parks, where you can see city residents enjoy a break from the mid-day sun under the shade of trees; and Mount Isabel de Torres , the mountain located just behind Puerto Plata. You can take a gondola/cable car from Puerto Plata, to the top, which will provide you with spectacular views of the city and surround area. Once at the top, you'll find the statue of Christ the Redeemer and beautiful botanical gardens.
I am one blogger from Myanmar. I want to introduce my mother land as my first step of joining in this Topics from 192 countries blog.
Myanmar occupies a large area of land between two of the world's most heavily populated countries- China and India, covering about 676,500 square kilometers equivalent to the size of United Kingdom and France combined.
Based on the comments by foreign travelers who have visited Myanmar, it is one of the safest countries on the planet to travel. Its natural resources and exotic beauty is a draw card for tourists to come and take documentary pictures of photogenic scenes throughout the nation.
The south-east Asian country, also known as the " Golden Land", is rich in historical heritage sites, unspoilt shady beaches, sustained traditional culture, and mysterious lakes.
Populated with 54million, Myanmar has been described as an anthropologist's dream by some writers as it possesses such a great diversity of ethnic groups with distinct dresses, customs and traditions.
While the largest group of Myanmar live mainly in the rivers, valleys and plains, many of the smaller ethnic minorities reside in the mountains and hills, increasingly venturing into the urban centers for better job opportunities and livelihood.
Yangon previously known as Rangoon has become a major business center after the government designate Pyinmana, a town in central Myanmar, as the country's capital later name Nay Pyi Daw, to which all the administrative departments have recently moved.
About Myanmar, have you ever been to read George Orwell's Burmese Days? In this book, you can see a picture of young Buddhist nuns, dressed in pink with sweet and genuine smiles on their faces and another picture of two young Buddhist monks, sitting in front of a temple inside the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, one of the most peaceful and sacred places.
The people of Myanmar, whose genuine smiles are so beautiful; and whose smiles had given you so much joy and happiness on your trip to Myanmar. Here belows are some photos of Myanmar.
Proud to be Myanmar:
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Puerto Rico is located in the Caribbean. Bathed on its north shore by the Atlantic Ocean and on the southern shore by the Caribbean Sea, it is a beach paradise! We are known as the Enchanted Island. However, do not be fooled by the denominated name! Puerto Rico is a collection of three (3) beautiful islands that sum up to 78 major cities and municipalities. Our territory encompasses 100 x 35 miles of coast land, which include rain forests, dry/arid forests, cosmopolitan cities, breathtaking mountains, gorgeous valleys and quiet nature getaways. We are a U.S. territory, so U.S. dollars are the main currency and English is spoken (or at least understood) almost everywhere. El Yunque Forest in Luquillo, P.R. is the biggest rainforest under the Department of Natural Resources of the United States of America.
If you plan on studying in Puerto Rico you will have a wide choice of Accredited Universities to go to. Puerto Rico has over 5 universities with campuses around the island and over 10 postgraduate institutions to choose from. It has been said that intellectual growth is Puerto Rico’s best dealing card in world economics!
There is something poetic about Puerto Rico. The island gives itself to habitants and visitors alike. The arts are important for Puerto Rico and you will find numerous art museums, many literary publications from Puerto Rican poets, novelists, storytellers and other writers, a vast amount of galleries, artisans, and town celebrations that will fill your heart with music and nostalgic memories. The food not only nourishes your belly but will nourish your soul as well. Food and eating are not just an act, they are a reason to celebrate with friends and family, a moment to have heated discussions about politics and finances, and a moment to cherish the delectable spices the island has to offer.
There is a beautiful song, by Roy Brown, that says “Yo sería borincano aunque naciera en la luna”, roughly translated means “I would be from Borinquen even if I had been born on the Moon”. Puerto Rico is not just a place, it is a state of mind, a feeling that one carries in the soul, a musical melody that fills your heart with joy, a smile that never leaves your face…and even if you were not born in Puerto Rico, your heart could choose it as its second home!
I would like to know what you think about this brief introduction and am looking forward to more instances where I can share the enchantments of my beautiful country!
¡Hasta luego! See you later! – Yiara Sofía Blanco
Monday, June 18, 2007
It was a run down old house in Peru, Indiana. Neglected for years, it had once even housed a meth lab. But the nonprofit Ole Olsen Memorial Theatre Group had other ideas. For three years they cleaned and scraped and painted and repaired. They donated their time and money and furniture. They rebuilt this house because it was the boyhood home of one of America’s most prolific song writers: Cole Porter.
In this house, Cole Porter spent his childhood, learned to play the piano and violin, and composed his first song. So the local group, with help from Cole Porter fans across the country, rebuilt it.
The Cole Porter Museum and bed and breakfast opened June 10. What had once been an eyesore in the town is now a lovely building that pays tribute to a talented songwriter.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Each year on the weekend before 18 June date where the Battle of Waterloo took place, in 1815, a reconstitution of the battle is made. People of all participating countries gather in Waterloo, put on the uniforms of this epoch and with horses, arms, and canons are going to the battle fields and simulate to fight as if it were the real battle. There are Belgians, Dutchs, Englishs, Scottishs, Germans and Frenchs soldiers running around in their fancy uniforms.
This is quite an event in Waterloo, the hotels are full of tourists and "soldiers", restaurants, and bars make the business of the year. While shopping in our Carrefour shopping center or other supermarkets, amongst the usual clients you can suddenly see a scottish soldier in his skirt together with a German and French standing at the cashier. There are also women participating, who carried food and water for the soldiers.
It's always a great time in Waterloo and many tourists and people from the country are coming to watch the battle.
So I took my camera and went to the Lions Hill, a monument which was erected in honor of all the soldiers who died during this battle. I also live in Waterloo so for me it is a very well known place.
more of my pictures of the battle reconstitution
I recently went down to the Carib Territory located on the east coast of the island where I was given a tour of a Carib Model Village which the Kalinago people ( Native Caribs) have recently implemented.
I had been hearing a lot about the site and finally made it down there for a visit. It really blew my mind at how professional and informative the tour was not to mention the way the incorporated the environment into the whole thing. From the onset they gave a historical account of the Carib people and their alternate way of life and after a brief round of questions we set off on tour which is where I was most impressed. Many of the historical landmarks at that part of the island were weaved into the tour and other cultural emblems (trees, plants, animals ect.) were also introduced along the trail. I got to see the structure where the Caribs held (and still hold) official ceremonies, the ancient dwelling spaces & crafts.
The majesty of the L'Escalier Tete Chien (snake’s stairs) and the way the ocean licked at the Windward Coast left me with a deep-seated awe.
Even after I left the village I was treated to some sweet cassava bread, roasted over coals in an iron pot. I felt my earth-self manifest in that moment. We take so many little things for granted, the intricate things that define who we are. The whole experience reminded me that there is something bigger than us all out there and that the mysterious terrain of the island is still a force to be reckoned with. The ground breathes, the ocean sneezes, the Kalinago people of the Commonwealth of Dominica endures - out of time. Here are a few more photos from the experience:
You may understand I am interested in the World Heritage.
In Japan,NPO "World Heritage Academy" started World Heritage Authorization last year.
I took an exam today.I was surprised to see many people regardless of age and sex attended that exam.
90 questions are on the test in 80 minutes.
We choose right answer among four options.
If the percentage of correct answers is higher than 80%, we'll take "Silver".
If it is higher than 60% but lower than 80%,we'll take "Bronze".
Only "Silver" people can try next "Gold" or "Platinum" test in December.
Would you like to try?
Which country holds the greatest number of World Heritage now?
Rome is a wonderful city with an incredible monuments and ancient things. There are also many places in Rome not so famous but nice and particular too.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
There will be a big examination for the university entrance on 17th of June,2007 Sunday. It will start at 9.30 a.m. and take 195 minutes. You have to take an exam and win if you want to study in University in Turkey. This year about 1,640,000 people will take an exam and 415,000 are going to get a chance to study in universities. GOOD LUCK ALL OF THEM.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Hi all, I'm Edwin from Malawi, popularly known as the Warm Heart of Africa. It's the warm of Africa because of its friendly people, beautiful scenery and most importantly the fresh waters of Lake Malawi.
A lot is to follow on the beauty of Malawi and its Culture.
For more details Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or www.nishshanka.net
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Logroñeses dug tunnels under the walls to reach river Ebro, where they fished during the night and hardly resisted untill french retired, on San Bernabé Day, 11th of June.
Now, every 11th of june, people in this city celebrate this day in the streets, by drinking wine and eating fishes with bread.
I think almost every fiesta in Spain is some way related to food and drink ;-)
Here you can see the celebration in the news.
And here you can see this picture and more...
If time permits, we suggest you try other foods of the regional kitchen that for specific circumstances, can only be found here. For example, Samana’s pescado con coco (fish with coconut sauce); chivo de Azua (goat dish from Azua); and chivo liniero (goat dish from the north western region) which has an exquisite, peculiar taste because the goat eats wild oregano daily and consequently, its meat is seasoned while the animal is alive.
Johnny Cakes and mangú, gastronomic inheritance of the cocolos, immigrants of the Windward and Leeward islands, are part of our daily diet. You can ask the fritureras (women who sell fried food) in the beaches for the former as “yaniqueques”; and the mangú (a puree made of boiled platains) is already in the native breakfast menu of most hotels.
The casabe (flat round cassava bread) and catibias (cassava flour fritters stuffed with meat) are the only Taino foods we maintain in the typical Dominican diet. Those who enjoy natural food should know that cassava bread has a high content of vegetable fiber and less than 0.35% fat per portion. You can buy casabe in almost all the colmados (small grocery stores) and supermarkets in the country. Hotels and restaurants offering native food, serve it seasoned in substitution of bread.
This native preparation of rice is the missing link of Valencian Paella (Spanish rice with seafood and meat). Apparently, the Spanish ladies who arrived here at the time of the Conquest, not having at their disposal the necessary ingredients to make the paella, adapted the recipe to the ingredients found on the island. For example, they substituted annatto for saffron, and giving free rein to their imagination, created a basic formula which originated the Dominican locrio.
In our country, locrio is made with the most varied ingredients. For this reason, it is considered the most versatile dish of the native kitchen, allowing us to create, with a little rice and whatever else is in at hand, an exquisite meal specially designed for our guests.