Translate

6/29/2012

Teacher Development Workshop for Novice Teachers

RELO office is seeking applications from the novice teachers of English who would like to participate at the Teacher Development Workshop “FUNDAMENTALS OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING METHODOLOGY” to be held in Kyiv on July 8-12, 2012. 
 
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
This five-day workshop will introduce novice English language teachers to methodologies and approaches that may help them as they begin their careers.

 PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
This interactive training is for novice teachers only, teachers in their first or second year of teaching or in their last year of university.

The trainer and the participants will look at what makes effective language instruction from both the teacher’s and the student’s perspective. The program will help explore the building blocks of task-based learning, lesson-planning, teaching reading and writing strategies. Effective error correction and classroom management will be addressed throughout the workshop as it applies to each of the topics covered.  Participants will devise a plan of how they intend to apply their learning to their next teaching context and will be asked to participate in round table discussions and reflect on studied material.

INVITED TRAINERS

JENNIFER HERRIN holds an M.A., Education-TESOL from the University of New Mexico and a B.B.A., Marketing from the University of Texas. Ms. Herrin has taught English and conducted teacher development in Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia, Australia, and the US. She served as an English Teaching Fellow in Panama (1996-97), a Fulbright Lecturer in Nicaragua (2001-02), the Senior English Language Fellow in Ukraine (2006-07),and the Senior English Language Fellow in Argentina (2011). She has also conducted projects in the Republic of Georgia, Argentina, and Ukraine through U.S. Department of State Specialist Programs. In the U.S., she was an ESL instructor at Central New Mexico Community College for 7 years.  This fall she will be teaching at the English Language Institute at the University of California at San Diego. She is especially interested in exploring task-based techniques and interactive methodologies for learning language.

CAROL HADDAWAY is serving as the Senior English Language Fellow (ELF) in Kyiv, Ukraine for the academic year 2011-12 with the English Teaching Resource Center at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Prior to this assignment she served as a Senior ELF in Damascus, Syria where she conducted teacher training for the English Language Supervisors, Ministry of Education and at the American Language Center. Carol has designed and taught TESOL Methodology courses face to face and online in the E-Teacher Scholarship Program at UMBC and was a full time Instructional Specialist at Anne Arundel Community College. She also designed and taught ESP for Medical and Science Professionals at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She has a Master’s degree in Instructional System Design/ESOL Bilingual from UMBC and a MSc degree in Applied Behavioral Sciences from JHU.

 OTHER DETAILS    Dates: July 8-12, 2012
  Time:   9:30 -16:30
  Number of participants: 30
                                     Venue:   INTERNEWS Ukraine
                                                    Vul. Ryzhs’ka 15, Kyiv           
                                  Language of instruction: English                            
                                  
           
If you are selected, you will be provided with 5 days of training.  The program is open for novice teachers from Ukraine. Transportation costs and accommodation expenses in Kyiv will not be reimbursed. More details will be provided in your acceptance letter. The workshop ends at 15:15 on July 12.

SELECTION CRITERIA

Successful applicants will be teachers in their first or second year of teaching or in their last year of pedagogical university and will have the following skills and competencies:
·         a good command of English
·         ability and willingness to work hard as part of a team with other participants
·         active listening and  communicative skills

Participants will be accepted on a first come first serve basis. Priority will be given to teachers working at public schools and universities.

HOW TO APPLY

Interested candidates should send the attached Application Form to training.novice@gmail.com    by July 5, 2012.

Only successful applicants will be informed about the results of selection via e-mail by July 6, 2012 
APPLICATION DEADLINE – 5 July 2012
 For application form please contact us: woa_ternopil@yahoo.com

Iowa

Iowa is the only state bordered by two navigable rivers (the Missouri River and the Mississippi River) and two National Scenic Byways (the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway and the Great River Road). In between, it is packed with quirky and renowned destinations, including the birthplace of and library for U.S. President Herbert Hoover, the Historic Park Inn Hotel (the last remaining hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright) and the world’s largest statue of a bull.
Trip Idea in Iowa
Iowa State Fair
Come to a party with a hog-calling contest, a cow made of butter, and more

Immortalised by the 1931 Phil Stong novel State Fair that inspired Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway musical and three motion pictures, the Iowa State Fair is a true American classic. For 11 days in August, more than a million people enjoy all the signatures of the modern state fair: stomach-churning rides on the midway (amusement park), sugar-dusted funnel cakes and deep-fried Oreos, and big-name talent like country music artist Garth Brooks and American singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow.
But the Iowa State Fair, which started in 1854 as a way to bring far-flung country folks together to promote the latest methods of agriculture and raising livestock, has managed to stay close to its rural roots. It is one of the world’s largest livestock exhibitions—after all, it was Iowa that invented 4-H, the educational organisation for rural youth.
There’s still hog- (and husband-) calling, cow-chip throwing, the Super Bull contest and, of course, the Butter Cow, sculpted from 550 pounds of butter (recycled and reused for three or four years). For 15,000 people, the fair is the place to strut their stuff, competing in everything from cattle to needlepoint (embroidery done on canvas) to vegetables. (There are nearly 900 food categories alone.) The competition includes the freakish—in 1992, a jumbo squash weighed in at 412 pounds—and the delicious: the pie department is an old-time favourite, with butterscotch, strawberry, pumpkin, apple and countless other subdivisions. A blue ribbon is the ultimate prize—and a whopping 30,000 of them are awarded every year.
Just about everyone comes to fatten up on foods you can find only once a year—more than 20 kinds served on sticks. The trend started with the 1950s corn dog, a dough-dipped deep-fried hot dog on a stick, and has since spread to pork chops (Iowa has 16 million hogs, that’s five for every human denizen), dill pickles, German sausages, hot bologna—even chocolate cheesecake and deep-fried Twinkies. Local favourites include caveman-size turkey drumsticks, Carl’s two-handful sandwiches called Gizmos, and fresh strawberry and peach ice cream from Bauder Pharmacy, an establishment that has been making kids smile since 1923.

6/28/2012

Illinois

Even the people who live in Illinois don't always agree on just one thing that makes the state so special. You can explore the world-class attractions and exciting nightlife of Chicago, or experience the presidential history of Springfield, home to more Abraham Lincoln landmarks than anywhere else in the country. Illinois also has a well-preserved stretch of Route 66, where classic diners and quirky roadside attractions still dot the landscape. Wherever you go, you’ll be greeted with Midwestern hospitality.
 Trip Idea in Illinois
Millennium Park
Take in some spectacular contemporary art—without going inside
Grant Park, otherwise known as Chicago’s front lawn, has been one of America’s greatest civic spaces for over a century, and it’s still a work in progress. Since its establishment in 1844, it’s been enhanced by additions such as the Art Institute of Chicago and the beloved Buckingham Fountain. More recently, it’s been further transformed with the addition of the Museum Campus and Millennium Park, a sweeping redevelopment of a railway yard at the north end.
Spearheaded by Mayor Richard M. Daley, the hugely ambitious 24-acre Millennium Park was plagued by delays and costly over-expenditure, but what a beauty it turned out to be. An estimated 300,000 people turned up for the inaugural festivities in 2004, and the park has remained wildly popular since.
Its centrepiece is the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, a stunning band shell named in memory of the philanthropist and Hyatt Hotels founder who, with his wife, Cindy, established architecture’s most prestigious prize in 1979. Honours for the pavilion design went to 1989 Pritzker Prize winner Frank Gehry, and its exterior bears his signature billowing sheets of stainless steel. A steel trellis, which holds a state-of-the-art speaker system, extends over 4,000 fixed seats and the Great Lawn (with space for 7,000), distributing indoor-quality sound to the farthest reaches of the audience. The resident Grant Park Orchestra gives free summer time concerts, just as it has done in the park since the 1930s, and the adjacent Harris Theater provides indoor music and dance programmes.
Two of Millennium Park’s top attractions are major additions to Chicago’s collection of public art. Anish Kapoor’s 110-ton 33-by-66-foot ‛Cloud Gate’ dominates AT&T Plaza, offering ‘house of mirror’ reflections of sky, skyline and spectators in its highly polished steel surface. (Chicagoans call it by the more tangibly descriptive nickname ‘The Bean’.) South of the plaza is the Crown Fountain by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, which features two 50-foot glass towers on either side of a very shallow reflecting pool. LED screens behind the glass blocks display faces of Chicago citizens from a broad social spectrum; in an ingenious twist on the traditional use of gargoyles in fountains, spouts in the glass walls convey the illusion of water issuing from the images’ mouths.
At the northwest corner of the park is the Millennium Monument, a replica of the semi-circular colonnade, or peristyle, that sat on this same spot from 1917 to 1953. At the opposite corner is the Lurie Garden, a lush urban retreat with shrubs, grasses, flowering plants, a canal and walkways. Designed by Kathryn Gustafson, the garden is meant to reflect the city’s natural and cultural history, and the 15-foot ‘shoulder’ hedge evokes Carl Sandburg’s famous description of Chicago as the ‘City of Big Shoulders’.

 

6/27/2012

Unforgettable Hawai`i


One could say Hawai'i is the most exotic destination in the United States, with a unique cultural and geographic environment that exists nowhere else on Earth. Each island has its own cultural identity and gives the visitor a different experience, whether you want to be enchanted by Kaua‘i’s lush, natural beauty, learn to surf at Waikīkī Beach on O‘ahu, explore an artist community in the town of Pā‘ia on Maui or hike to a secluded waterfall on Hawai‘i’s Big Island.
 Trip Idea in Hawai'i
Waikiki Beach
Step from a city street onto a crescent beach
It used to be a swamp—its name, which means ‘spouting water’ comes from the springs that fed the taro patches and fishponds—but Waikiki also had a two-mile crescent of sand, plenty of sunshine and perfect waves rolling into shore. So in the early days, after Honolulu became the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1845, the royalty wisely chose to build their beach homes on Waikiki.
At the turn of the next century, Moana Hotel was the first hotel to be built on Waikiki Beach—it was considered cutting-edge because not only did each room have a private bathroom, but the hotel also had a telephone, an unheard-of luxury at the time. In 1906, the Hawaii Board of Health called Waikiki “dangerous and unsanitary” because of its swarms of mosquitoes, and ordered that the swamp be drained. By the early 1920s, the Ala Wai Canal had been built, the former swamplands drained and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel was constructed on the site of a former royal beach house. The ‘Pink Palace of the Pacific’ is an institution beloved since it opened in 1927, and today it remains true to its time, though carefully updated.
Shortly after becoming the newest of the 50 U.S. states in 1959, when jets began bringing visitors to the island, builders usurped the rest of Waikiki Beach, resulting in today’s side-by-side cornucopia of tropical resort hotels. In fact, Waikiki even ran out of sand and for a couple of decades had to import it from Molokai, across the channel, to spread over the world-famous beach. It worked, and Waikiki still ranks as one of the world’s best urban beaches.
Today the sumptuous, intimate beachside Halekulani (‘House Befitting Heaven’) is the premier hotel on Oahu, and one of the best in the U.S., a five-acre oasis of elegance that first opened in 1917. For the most romantic (and expensive) dining in town, visit its La Mer restaurant, whose superb preparation of fresh fish and island ingredients reinterprets the tenets of classic French cuisine. Downstairs, the hotel’s less formal oceanfront Orchids dining room has a famous Sunday brunch, offering more than 200 dishes served buffet style, and draws as many Hawaiian families as tourists.

6/26/2012

Georgia

From its energetic and lively cities to the relaxing coastline and breathtaking mountain scenery, Georgia boasts rich and unique experiences that are unparalleled—especially its world-class Southern hospitality. The wide diversity of holiday destinations, from the mountains to the coast, from its southern rivers to historic heartland to metro Atlanta, guarantees every visitor an unforgettable experience.
Trip Idea in Georgia
 The Georgia Aquarium and Downtown Atlanta
Get face-to-face with beluga whales
 Rarely has the opening of an aquarium elicited such excitement and intrigue as the new one in Atlanta did in 2006. The $250 million (£162 million) gift of Bernard Marcus to the city where his company, Home Depot, began, it is the world’s largest aquarium. Located in downtown Atlanta, traditionally the domain of office workers, not tourists, it is a nine-acre state-of-the-art facility with a staggering eight million gallons of both fresh and salt water that contains more than 100,000 different animals, representing over 500 of the planet’s marine species.
The aquarium is divided into several marine-life areas. One of the most popular, perhaps owing to its appearance in sultry Georgia, is the Cold Water Quest, a habitat for creatures that thrive in the world’s icier seas. Here, you’ll see beluga whales, California sea lions, African black-footed penguins, a giant Pacific octopus and Japanese spider crabs. The Ocean Voyager is another crowd pleaser, where stingrays, whale sharks (the largest species of fish in the world) and groupers swim gracefully through a 100-foot-long saltwater tunnel.
Next to the aquarium is the brand-new World of Coca-Cola Pavilion, an exuberant tribute to the world’s most popular soft drink. You can then wander around the 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park, the focal point for the 1996 Summer Olympics, and walk to the CNN Center (the Cable News Network’s studio headquarters), where a behind-the-scenes tour is a uniquely Atlanta experience.
If all this walking and gawking has you feeling hungry, make the short drive to the world’s largest drive-in, the Varsity, open for business since 1928. There’s seating for 800 people, who consume some two miles of hot dogs and 300 gallons of chili every day. Servers traditionally bark “What’ll ya have?” to customers, who respond with orders for cheeseburgers (topped with pimento cheese), barbecue pork sandwiches, crisp onion rings and hulking chili cheese dogs—with a gigantic cup full of Coca-Cola, the local drink of choice.
Read more: http://www.discoveramerica.com/usa/states/georgia.aspx

6/22/2012

Sunny Florida

Florida is flip-flops at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Florida is Disney, SeaWorld and Universal. Florida is swaying palms and creeping jasmine, live oak and bamboo. Florida is ‘gators’, panthers and gentle manatees. Florida is 825 miles of beaches. Florida is the fishing capital of the world and a diver’s delight. Florida is Mercury, Gemini and Apollo, and the first space explorers. Florida is fresh oranges and grapefruit outside your door. Florida is baseball, motor racing and golf. Florida is Art Basel and art deco. Florida is sunrise on the Atlantic and sunset on the Gulf of Mexico.
Trip Idea in Florida:
South Beach
Admire art deco architecture and do some world-class people-watching
Some places and times just go together, and South Beach seems right now to be one of those places, embodying the cultural mix of fashion, celebrity, design, hip beach culture and wealth that defines American fabulousness. The city's location as a kind of centre point between Europe, New York, L.A. and South America has no doubt contributed to its current ascendancy, but credit must also go to Miami’s architectural forefathers, who between the late '20s and early '40s built a backdrop as beautiful as today's bronzed and buffed denizens.
South Beach’s Architectural District—aka the art deco district—crowds into a mere one square mile some 800 pastel-coloured buildings in the art deco, streamline moderne and Mediterranean Revival styles. Altogether, it is the largest concentration of 1920s, ’30s and ’40s resort architecture in the U.S. Tours are available from the Miami Design Preservation League, but there’s every chance you’ll get distracted from the architecture—all painted in the district’s trademark teals, lavenders, pinks and peaches—by the alarmingly good-looking parade of people on and off the beach. On Ocean Drive, the 24-hour News Café was one of the fixtures of the South Beach renaissance and is still one of the best people-watching spots in town. Five blocks away, News Café spinoff Café Cardozo (in Gloria Estefan’s Cardozo Hotel) lets you step out of the path of the year-round tourist crush while still enjoying people watching. On Lincoln Road, the half-retro, half-chic Nexxt Café serves models and film stars from a huge menu. At night, head to Crobar for dancing and gawking, the Delano Hotel’s Rose Bar for cocktails or the Shore Club’s SkyBar, where all the world’s a stage.

6/21/2012

Connecticut charm

A short drive from New York or Boston, Connecticut offers a quiet, charming getaway with classic New England style. Relax at a cosy bed and breakfast set among lush foliage and rolling hills, tour historic homes or drive along the coast. 
Farms and vineyards provide a welcome break from city life, not to mention great food and wine. But in Connecticut, the most enjoyable thing to do may be nothing at all.
Trip Idea in Connecticut:
The Mark Twain House and Museum
Visit the fascinating homes of two famous American writers
Literary fans come from around the world to visit the home of beloved author Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, a pen name he derived from the term used by Mississippi River pilots to indicate a water depth of two fathoms. “To us,” Twain said, “our house…had a heart, and a soul, and eyes to see us with…It was of us, and we were in its confidence, and lived in its grace and in the peace of its benediction.”
Although more commonly associated with his home town of Hannibal, Missouri, Twain always held this home in Hartford’s Nook Farm section in special regard. The custom-designed High Victorian mansion was commissioned from well-known New York architect Edward Tuckerman Potter. Twain lived here with his family from 1874 to 1891, during which he penned some of his most acclaimed works, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. The beautifully restored 19-room mansion features decorative work by Louis Comfort Tiffany and nearly 10,000 Victorian-era objects. Guided tours point out personal items, including the three-ton Paige typesetter, an ill-fated invention in which Twain invested, leading to his bankruptcy. A striking contemporary museum stands adjacent to the house, further detailing the life and times of this master storyteller—a key feature is a small theatre showing a 22-minute Ken Burns film biography.
Virtually across the street, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center celebrates the legacy of the author of the greatest antislavery novel of all time, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, considered to be the first international best seller. This compound is anchored by the brick Gothic Victorian ‘cottage’ (though substantial, it is not nearly as grand as neighbour Twain’s) where the author resided from 1873 until she died in 1896. Guided tours provide insights into Stowe’s abolitionist politics and then-revolutionary social views.

6/20/2012

Wild Colorado

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it’s hard to question all that makes Colorado’s landscape so magnificent. The high plains of the east. The adventurous canyons of the west. And the majestic Rocky Mountains right in between.
Colorado has a knack for blending outdoor adventure with urban sophistication. Where else can you hike up a 14,000-foot mountain in the morning, and then catch a Broadway-style play later that evening? 

Trip Idea in Colorado:
Great Sand Dunes
Go sandboarding down giant sand dunes
The Rocky Mountain State is famous for its alpine peaks, tumbling rivers, forested hillsides and snowy winter vistas. What you don’t expect to find here, a thousand miles from the ocean, are sand dunes. But in the south-central part of the state, there they are, up to 750 feet high, the tallest in North America. The shifting light paints them in different hues: gold, pink, tan, even blue.


Over 30 square miles of dunes have been shaped by the prevailing westerly winds streaming through the San Luis Valley. The 13,000-foot-high Sangre de Cristo Mountains act like a giant baseball catcher’s glove, collecting sand deposited by creeks flowing out of the San Juan Mountains over the millennia. The recently established Great Sand Dunes National Preserve includes some of the highest peaks in the Rockies, alpine lakes, forests, wetlands and tundra, in addition to the dazzling dunes.
In other desert parks in the West you have to worry about leaving tracks, but not here: the wind will erase them within a day, sometimes within hours. There aren’t any trails on the dunes themselves, so you’re free to play Lawrence of Arabia for an afternoon or longer. It’s not always that easy hiking—but the views from the tops of the highest dunes are worth it. (Stick to the ridges for easier going.) Foot and horse trails in the mountainous preserve climb to Medano Lake at 11,500 feet, as well as 11,380-foot Music Pass, with great views of Music Mountain (13,355 feet) and Tijeras Peak (13,604 feet). Keep hiking northwest from the pass to reach Upper and Lower Sand Creek Lakes in a magnificent alpine setting.
Of course, this is Colorado, so it was only a matter of time before someone tried to ski the dunes. Sandboarding, as this Sahara-meets-Steamboat pastime is called, is usually done on old snowboards and ‘saucers’ on these lengthy slopes. It’s an odd sight to see cars pull into the parking lot here with skis attached to the roof.

6/06/2012

Sunny beaches, towering redwoods, snowy peaks, desert oases...California

The moment you arrive in the Golden State, you may suspect you’ve been cast as the ingenue in a road-trip movie. Everything seems staged for a script riddled with exclamation points: no way are they going to surf those skyscraper-sized waves at Mavericks! That can’t be the Terminator in the governor’s mansion – in his second term! Brrrrrrr...don’t all those naked people ever get cold?!
Even if you’ve seen it on TV, California still comes as a shock to the system. The Venice Beach's skateboarders, San Francisco's same-sex-wedding planners, Santa Cruz's wild-mushroom hunters, Rodeo Dr-pillaging trophy wives and cheerful San Diego's doomsday cult members aren’t on different channels. They live here.

Unless you want to stir up old NorCal/SoCal rivalries dating from the 19th century – a diverting local pastime when played with good sports – don’t get Californians started about water. NorCal scolds SoCal for watering its lawns and filling its pools with water piped in from the Sierras, while SoCal points out that NorCal shouldn’t talk with its mouth full of organic veggies grown in the Sierras-irrigated Central Valley.
You might not get a word in edgewise when it comes to technology or the environment – but listen up, because those wild Californian ideas might become the next big thing. California’s technological innovations need no introduction – perhaps you’ve heard of PCs, iPods, Google and the internet?
Once you get the hang of California’s improvised lifestyle, you’ll notice that plot devices aren’t necessary to get Californians to act out. On the contrary, movies can’t begin to capture how Californians behave when there are no cameras on. The Sierra Nevada Gold Rush, San Francisco’s Summer of Love, the LA punk scene, Silicon Valley high-tech booms: no screenwriter could make this stuff up, no matter how talented. Like any Hollywood blockbuster based on a great work of fiction, movies about California can’t compare to the original. But don’t just sit back and enjoy the show – California is the place to take part and make a scene. Other places on the planet have their wow factor, but there’s only one region that so consistently merits the delighted disbelief of a long, drawn-out ‘Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuude!’

6/05/2012

Weekend Getaways in Arkansas

Arkansas is a natural destination for romantic getaways, weekend escapes, or week-long vacations. The Natural State boasts six national parks, 2 million acres of national forests, scenic byways, and 52 state parks which preserve and interpret Arkansas heritage and the natural resources of this diverse state. For your next vacation, plan an Arkansas getaway.
Family float trips, white water rafting and world-class fishing are just a few of the outdoor adventures available in Arkansas. The Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock spotlights America's 42nd president. Step aboard the USS Razorback, the first submarine to retire in the US. Arkansas's larger cities offer cosmopolitan amenities such as symphonies, theaters and fine dining. There's so much to do on your weekend getaways in Arkansas!
Shop Versace in Northwest Arkansas. Or, escape the pressures of modern day living at our spas, where you can enjoy massages and bathe in natural spring water. Your Arkansas getaway can be anything you want it to be.
Arkansas is also home to the world's only public diamond mine, where over 75,000 diamonds have been found...and kept! Because there is so much to see and do in Arkansas, we have put together two and three day sample itineraries for you to consider as you travel our wonderful state. Try one of these itineraries for each of your Arkansas getaways!

6/04/2012

The majestic Arizona



From road trips and outdoor thrills to rejuvenating resorts and authentic local cuisine, Arizona is rich in exciting travel adventures. You can experience unforgettable exhilarating scenery, including the majestic beauty of the Grand Canyon National Park and the Sonoran Desert. Retreat to a quaint bed and breakfast or historic inn, or reward yourself at a luxurious resort and spa. Hit the links at a championship golf course. Taste wine from local vineyards and explore a wide variety of culinary delights. And with more than 325 days of sunshine a year, you can always plan on perfect weather. 

Trip Idea in Arizona: Antelope Canyon (search for dazzling shafts of light between narrow canyon walls)

The sprawling Navajo Nation has no shortage of magical places, but the most photogenic might be Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, located just outside Page, Arizona. They are a testament to the power of water and time, as over the years, flash flooding has created deep, gorgeous passageways-called slot canyons-that you can walk through.
The name comes from an era when antelopes ran wild in the canyons, but the only animals you’ll see these days are other human beings. The 600-foot-long stretch of Upper Antelope Canyon, which is also known as the Corkscrew, is the more popular of the two canyons. The walls can reach 120 feet, and it’s easier to access; exploring the half-mile Lower Antelope-or the Crack-requires walking up and down metal stairways. Visitors to Upper Antelope are also more likely to see beams of sunlight, which are prized by photographers. (Slower snappers will want to know that there’s a two-hour limit in each canyon.)
As you might expect, both canyons have long been considered spiritual places by the Navajo. You may only visit with a guide-there’s a list at www.navajonationparks.org -although that’s as much because flooding remains a possibility, and rain doesn’t have to occur on the site for water to come rushing through the canyons.
While you’re in the area, check out Rainbow Bridge, a stunning 275-foot-tall rock bridge over man-made Lake Powell. It, too, is sacred to the Navajo, so in order to hike to it, you need a permit from Navajo Parks & Recreation.

6/03/2012

American Samoa


American Samoa is a vastly underrated tropical destination that will delight you with its magnificent mountain ridges, wonderfully peaceful bays, soporific villages, and some of the world's most remote, uncluttered and utterly beautiful reefs and beaches. Once you land on the main island, Tutuila, it takes very little effort to look beyond the imported Americana of its main settlement, Pago Pago, to the shadows cast by the spectacular peaks crowding around the deepwater harbour, the forest-lined roads switchbacking over isolated mountain passes, and palm-shaded beaches that paradoxically empty the mind but fill the imagination. The locals also help you to acclimatise to this relaxing habitat by encouraging you to sing along to their favourite tunes on the crowded island buses, welcoming you repeatedly in the streets, and spinning out traditional stories on long, humid evenings.
Setting foot on one of the virtually untouched strips of sand in the outlying Manu'a Islands will further seduce your senses. Few experiences compare to the feeling you get when you emerge from the superb, coral-filled waters off Ofu Beach and look up to see nothing but turquoise waters, sea birds crisscrossing the faces of enormous cliffs, and the hulking silhouette of Ta'u way off in the oceanic distance. Hardly anything disturbs the peace and quiet here except for the occasional barking dog and passing pick-up truck - otherwise, there's only the movement of wind and water to ruffle the calm.
Whether you're a hiker keen on checking out some of the highest sea cliffs in the world on Ta'u, a history buff wanting to see your first star mound, or a leisure-seeker with a deep appreciation of beach life, you'll be glad you visited this unsung paradise.

6/02/2012

Beautiful Alaska

Alaska is a land of superlatives. It’s the largest state in America, home to the tallest mountain in North America (Mount McKinley) and more glaciers than people. Alaska has the longest coastline in the country and the most hours of daylight in summer months. The state is known for its wild seafood, spectacular wildlife and the Alaska Highway.

 In winter, ski resorts featuring downhill and Nordic trails will charm and challenge even the most accomplished adventure enthusiast. The dancing lights of the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, provide an awe-inspiring experience for travellers from around the world.
Denali National Park
More then 650 species of flowering plants as well as many species of mosses, liches, fungi, algae, and others grace the slops and valleys of Denali. Only plants adapted to long, bitterly cold winters can survive in this sub arctic wilderness. Deep beds of intermittent permafrost - ground frozen for thousands of years - underlie portions of the park and preserve. Only the thinnest layer of the topsoil thaws each summer to support life. 
After the continental glaciers retreated 10,000 to 14,000 years ago, hundreds of years were required to begin building new soils and to begin the slow process of re-vegetation. Denali's lowlands and slopes consist of two major plant associations, taiga and tundra.
Taiga, a Russian word for northern evergreen forest, describes the scant tree growth here near the Arctic Circle. Much of the park and preserve's taiga lies in valleys along the rivers. White and black spruce, the most common trees, are interspersed with quaking aspen, paper birch, larch, and baslam poplar. Strands of deciduous trees occur along streamside gravel bars or where soils have been disturbed by fire or other action. Woods are frequently carpeted with mosses and lichens. Many open areas are filled with shrubs such as dwarf birch, blueberry, and a variety of willow species. The limit of tree growth occurs at about 2,700 feet in the park and preserve. For comparison, the elevation at the park hotel is 1,750 feet. Above the tree limit, taiga gives way to tundra.
Tundra is a fascinating world of dwarfed shrubs and miniaturized wildflowers adapted to a short growing season. There are also two types, moist tundra and dry tundra, with myriad gradations in between.
Moist tundra varies in composition: some areas contain tussocks of sedges and cottongrass; others contain dwarfed shrubs, particularly willows and alders. Plants of the dry tundra occur above shrubline. There, meadows abound. Higher up the mountain slopes close to 7,000 feet, complete plant cover yields to scattered patches amidst barren rock. These tiny highland plants grow closely matted to the ground, creating their own livable microclimate. Mountain avens, dwarf fireweed, moss campion, dwarf rhododendron, and forget-me-not (Alaska's state flower) dot the rocky landscape offering stunning summer displays of delicate blossoms. Although small in stature they loom large in importance because their nutrients provide food that sustains even the largest species of park wildlife.
Sit back and enjoy our Denali National Park video. Sample a taste of the many tours and attractions Denali National Park has to offer such as... wildlife viewing, Mt. McKinley, hiking, dog sled demonstrations, rafting and flightseeing. The video ends with a few shots from the south side of Denali Park including nearby Talkeetna, a riverboat trip and the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge

6/01/2012

Sweet Home Alabama

Alabama is a rich destination for nature lovers, golf enthusiasts and history buffs alike. You can relax on breathtaking beaches along the Gulf of Mexico or trace Martin Luther King Jr.'s steps during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail offers unique public golf courses on 10 sites around the state, and music lovers can celebrate legends like W.C. Handy, Hank Williams and Jimmy Buffett at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. 'Sweet Home Alabama' is truly a magical place to explore.

Trip Idea in Alabama: See where history was made
Alabama was at the violent forefront of the nation’s civil rights movement in the late 1950s and ’60s. Tourists today make pilgrimages to places such as Montgomery, Selma and Birmingham, where bombings, riots and peaceful protests galvanised the nation—and profoundly changed the world.

Begin your journey in the state capital of Montgomery, where the Rosa Parks Library and Museum recounts the courageous act of defiance by the Montgomery seamstress who, in 1955, refused to give up her seat on the city bus to a white man. Exhibits and interactive displays narrate her arrest and the watershed Montgomery Bus Boycott the following year that lasted for 381 days, eventually leading to the ban of segregation on all public transportation and intrastate buses. Outside the Civil Rights Memorial Center, also downtown, water flows over a black granite time line, which lists the names of those who were killed during the movement, ending with the date of April 4, 1968—the day Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed in Memphis.
Selma, on the banks of the Alabama River about an hour’s drive west of Montgomery, was the site of one of the movement’s watershed moments. Here on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, on March 7, 1965, some 500 demonstrators marching to the state capital in Montgomery were beaten with clubs by state troopers and the sheriff’s posse. Television news footage sparked rioting in dozens of U.S. cities and motivated others to join the cause. Two weeks later, thousands of supporters returned to the scene for the triumphant 54-mile, five-day trek from Selma to Montgomery. Later that year, President Lyndon Johnson signed the 1965 Voting Rights Act, outlawing the literacy tests and poll taxes that denied some blacks the vote.
A single downtown intersection in Birmingham, Alabama’s largest city, is home to the city’s most important civil rights sites. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute features emotionally charged displays, exhibits and interactive media stations, relating to the human struggle—in the South and internationally—for freedom. Across the street, Sixteenth Street Baptist Church provides a chilling look back at the 1963 Ku Klux Klan bombing that killed four girls preparing for a Sunday School programme. Visitors may tour the sanctuary, watch a documentary film about the event and walk through the basement of the fellowship hall that serves as a memorial. Across the street lies Kelly Ingram Park, which was a protest assembly point and the scene of vicious attacks during the first week of May 1963, when police unleashed guard dogs and water hoses on men, women and even children who were protesting segregation. Statues, plaques and an audio tour (available at the Civil Rights Institute) honour the demonstrators’ bravery. 
                  http://www.discoveramerica.com/usa/states/alabama.aspx

Fifty States in Fifty Days: America the Unexpected

The magical charm and glory of USA attract people from all over the world. Touring USA is no more just a dream. In Window on America Center Ternopil Scientific Library starts campaign "Fifty States in Fifty Days: America the Unexpected". We will bring for you Sightseeing in USA which will guide you throughout and give you a compact information on the places of interest of the tourists.