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School English
  • Impressions of the Netherlands (2)
  • Impressions of the Netherlands
  • My Visit to Netherlands
  • Chinese Diary (2)
  • Chinese Diary
  • Samara
  • Zhigulevskii Nature Reserve
  • Nizhni Novgorod
  • Summertown on Lake Baikal
  • Volgograd
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    Eco Mania
    Eco Mania I never wanted to become an EcoManiac. I was busy living the good life of an ordinary teacher of English, complete with retail therapy after irregular working hours at school. And when, for the umpteenth time, I kept my window open while air conditioning was on and left the water running while I brushed my teeth, who knew I was an accomplice in the murder of the planet?


    Samara
    Samara The history of Samara starts with this prediction, made by the metropolitan of Moscow and all Russian Church Alexei, Samara heavenly patron. In 1357, passing by the confluence of 2 rivers - Volga and Samara - he stopped in the hermitage situated on the bank of the Volga River in the year 1357. At that time Samara was just a small settlement, as it is shown on the maps, drawn in the year of 1367 by brothers Francesco and Dominico Pizziano, the Venetian merchants.


    Impressions of the Netherlands (2)
    Impressions of the Netherlands (2) The origin of the name “Carnival” is unclear, but there are several theories. One suggestion is that the name comes from the Italian carne, or carnovale. Others claim that it comes from the Latin words caro (meat) and vale (farewell), hence “farewell to meat”. Yet another theory states that it originates from the Latin carrus navalis, which was some kind of Greek cart carrying a statue of the god Apollo in a religious procession at the annual festivities in his honour.


    Impressions of the Netherlands
    Impressions of the Netherlands Two of my oldest and best friends, George and Truus, live in Geleen, which is a small town in the province of Limburg in the southern part of the Netherlands. The word ‘Netherlands’ means ‘low lands’ and, together with Belgium and Luxembourg, this part of Europe is sometimes referred to as ‘the Low Countries’ as they are literally low lying, ie most parts are not far above sea level.


    Chinese Diary (2)
    Chinese Diary (2) Day 8
    “Today, a lacquer-ware factory. The fresh milky white sap1 of the lacquer tree makes the highest quality lacquer. As it oxidises, becomes black – the commonest lacquer for furniture, much of which is further decorated with beautiful jade art which abounded in the factory – from huge vases to small jewellery items. From there, we went to the delicately tiered Small Goose Pagoda in the Jianfu Temple, one of the oldest pagodas in China. Then an afternoon of free time before our flight to Beijing and the Tianhong Plaza Hotel.”


    Chinese Diary
    Chinese Diary Day 1
    “At last, my suitcases were packed, travel clothes ready, coffee pot primed and my wake-up time entered on the clock. I slept well – too well! I had not pressed the ‘ALARM ON’ button and I awoke an hour late. I got to Newark airport just in time for the first leg of my journey to San Francisco and then I boarded the plane for Shanghai, China.”


    Zhigulevskii Nature Reserve
    Zhigulevskii Nature Reserve Only a short distance from the major industrial and commercial cities of Togliatti and Samara is the Zhigulevskii nature reserve. It contains some of the most beautiful scenery in central Russia. There are mountains covered in forest and full of wildlife, rocky steppes with unique plant life, and spectacular views overlooking the broad river Volga as it makes a detour around the Samarskaya Luka peninsula on its way south to the Caspian Sea. Some writers have even compared the Zhiguli mountains to the much higher mountains of the Crimea and the Caucasus.


    Nizhni Novgorod
    Nizhni Novgorod Russian history can not be thought of without its ancient towns like Nizhni Novgorod. Though not necessarily in the avant-garde of political or social events, it represents, nevertheless, a specific interest because of its provincially patriarchal aspect. The Time itself seems to have come to a standstill on the hills where the town lays.


    Summertown on Lake Baikal
    Summertown on Lake Baikal A group of students from the ‘Samara International Institute of Market’ had a fabulous holiday camping on the eastern coast of Lake Baikal at the estuary of the river Selenga. They were attending a summer school in Summertown under the guidance of their teacher Albina Krasnova. Even the way to the camp was interesting, travelling first by train, then by a ferry and finally by bus.
    The staff of the summer school was international, with teachers and group leaders from the USA, Australia, Ireland, Switzerland, China and Nigeria. There were also 120 students.


    My Visit to Netherlands
    My Visit to Netherlands Tell us, please, about the purpose of your visit the Netherlands?
    The purpose of my visit the Netherlands was a business trip. I went to Berlin first with a group of students for the practice. It was called the “Studienbesuch” in German. In English it means a kind of a studying trip, so to say. We visited on the invitation of the Construction Company in Berlin.


    Volgograd
    Volgograd One of the reasons that I chose to come to Samara was the location, down in the south of Russia in the Vogla region. I thought there would be a more friendly climate (so -20 degrees when I arrived was a bit of a shock!) and knew that it was close (in Russian terms!) to many places that I wanted to visit. Later this month I will be visiting Kazan and Nizhny Novgorod, and in March I travelled to Volgograd, a town that I had wanted to visit for a long time, having heard so much about the Battle of Stalingrad, probably the key battle of the Second World War.


           

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    School English #6, 2011
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