Tanzania like a local!

How do you begin to describe the experiences we shared during our trip to Tanzania? The colors, the food, the sounds, the smells, the amazing people – sensory overload! Nanda Journeys is the perfect company for delegations of people who are interested in immersing themselves in the country’s traditions, social norms and education institutions.

During our time at the St. Jude’s School and at the Tumaini University Makumira Cultural Arts Centre we shared meals and interacted with the students, teachers and community members. Making drums and learning traditional dances helped us gain a deeper knowledge of day to day living in that exotic country.

After each journey, we come back a changed person – we have a greater understanding of people all over this marvelous earth.

Dr. Lynn Brinckmeyer traveled to Tanzania in 2018, this year she will be leading a Music Education Journey to Australia, see what we have planned HERE.

Ripple effects of transformational travel by Dr. Dolores Battle

When you drop a pebble in a bucket of water, you never really know how far the rings will spread.  I have had a professional interest in diversity in our country for a long time. More recent events have made me think about diversity and multicultural perspective in a global sense. The world is so vast yet so small. In order to understand our neighbors across the street, it is important to experience our neighbors across the globe. We need to understand who they are and where they came from in order to understand what they value and what they want to be, rather than let those decisions be ours based on our perspectives and our views of the world.

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In the last several years, I have travelled to China, Peru, South Africa and Cuba with Nanda Journeys.  As an educator and speech language pathologist, I never really thought about how enriching my life would in turn enrich the lives of generations of students that would follow me.

I recently received an email from a former colleague that talked about preparing teacher education students to be global citizens. It made me think about how one person can influence so many others for generations.  Dr. Wendy Paterson, Dean of the School of Education at SUNY Buffalo State, wrote:

 “I have been thinking of you a lot lately. As I have been reviewing some of my faculty for tenure and promotion, I remembered all that you did for me as you helped me attain the full professorship. Today I was reading the book 21st Century Skills and read two statements that immediately made me think of you: 1) “Diversity is one thing we all have in common.” 2) The skills to become socially adept, cross-culturally fluent global learners and citizens are more important than ever.”

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I wonder if you know how far-reaching your global initiative took us…we embarked on a process to emphasize the importance of global attitudes and multicultural knowledge for teachers.  In those first years, we engaged with some of our globally active faculty and were able to establish new PDS school contacts in Zambia and Chile. We are now on five continents with 6-8 active school sites where our students and faculty learn about education on a global scale. This has transformed Childhood and Exceptional Education…I just want you to see what you started.  As we say in teacher education, ‘The teacher will never know how much she (he) affects the future, only that she (he) will.’  You have most certainly had an impact on my life and on the lives of so many of our marvelous students.”

As one of her students said: “Travel is the one thing you spend money on, that actually can make you richer.” {Original author unknown}

Library & Information Services Journey to Peru. A reflection by Kenneth Schlesinger.

From November 25 – December 2, 2018, I participated in a Library and Information Services Journey to Peru, led by former American Library Association President Dr. Camila Alire.  Our group of eight consisted of academic and public library directors and some guests.  In addition to sightseeing and cultural immersion, our charge was to visit academic, public, and special libraries in Lima and Cusco to conduct facilitated discussions with our Peruvian library colleagues.

Lima is a bustling, cosmopolitan city of ten million located on the Pacific coast, serving as the the country’s commercial center.  One-third of the population lives there.  Combining restored Colonial buildings with modern architecture, its notorious traffic is reminiscent of Los Angeles.  Our first stop was Biblioteca Municipal de Lima [Municipal Library of Peru], located on the main plaza, serving as an archival repository of historical records of the region.

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Biblioteca Municipal de Lima

We had the opportunity to have an extended discussion with Maria Emma Mannarelli, Director of the Biblioteca Nacional de Peru [National Library of Peru].  The National Library is housed in an open, modern building celebrating the country’s prominent writers.  Committed to preserving Peru’s cultural patrimony, the Library contains impressive labs for conservation of historical manuscripts and vintage photographs.

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Preservation Lab, National Library of Peru

Not only does Sra. Mannarelli oversee the National Library, she is also responsible for the country’s network of public libraries.  She spoke candidly about the challenges of maintaining public library service throughout the country, particularly since funding is dependent on the local mayor, who may have other priorities in resource allocation.  Even a city as large as Lima only has in her estimation three functioning public library branches.

That afternoon we were able to visit one of these prime examples, the Public Library of Miraflores, considered the most attractive and vibrant in the city.  Library Chief Beatriz Prieto gave us a tour, and informed us about their proactive outreach activities including bringing books to senior centers, low-income communities, and even the beach!  This stimulated our perceptions about how we could more effectively serve our surrounding communities.

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Public Library of Miraflores

Perhaps the highlight of the trip was our meeting at Pontifical Catholic University [PUCP], an elite private university founded in 1917.  We engaged in a lively, interactive discussion with Library Director Kathia Hanza and her unit heads.  Not surprisingly, they face similar challenges of U.S. academic libraries:  how to most effectively embed library resources within the curriculum; build dynamic collections with limited resources; actively solicit the support of Deans and the Vice Rector [Provost].  One member of our group, Dean of Libraries at University of Nevada-Las Vegas, offered to send two of her faculty members to PUCP to advise on assessment and developing persuasive metrics.  Through the efforts of Lehman Library webmaster John DeLooper, we were able to advise PUCP how to incorporate LibGuides [Research Guides] into their course management system, a practice we had only recently developed.

Pontifical Catholic resides on a beautifully landscaped campus with noteworthy modern architecture.  Library colleagues showed us their brand new Engineering Library, an appealing, state-of-the-art edifice facilitating access to multimedia technologies and 3-D printing.  Every seat was taken by students working at the end of the semester.

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Engineering Library, Pontifical Catholic University

From Lima we ventured to Cusco, the original Incan capital, a gem of Colonial architecture surrounded by the Andes with dazzling, ever-changing light  Cusco is situated at 11,000 feet.  Unfortunately, our visit to Universidad San Antonio de Abad was cancelled due to a labor strike.  However, we toured El Centro Bartolome de las Casas [CBC Library], a unique special library of 53,000 volumes documenting Andean culture featuring anthropological, cultural, demographic, linguistic, and literary monographs.  We also visited the recently restored Convent of San Francisco de Asis, which has a manuscript library of 18th and 19th century tomes of ecclesiastical history undergoing preservation.

And we pursued some leisure activities, including the Larco Museum in Lima, which has an outstanding archeological collection of pre-Columbian artifacts.  On our final day, we visited a girls’ orphanage in Cusco, which involved both meaningful interactions and community service.  Dining was a consistent pleasure, partaking of Peru’s extensive produce (3,000 kinds of potatoes!), and sampling ceviche, alpaca, octopus, and guinea pig.  The Peruvian people, warm and gracious, were wonderful hosts.

No visit to Peru would be complete without a sojourn to Machu Picchu, the sacred ruins of Incan civilization, located within a breathtaking setting.  Justifiably one of the seven wonders of the world, this testament to Incan achievements in architecture, agriculture, and astronomy inspires awe, reflection, and sobriety.  While the invading Spanish ultimately decimated this advanced community, they nevertheless documented it through their historical journals and narratives, contributing to our knowledge of the legacy of this unique civilization.

Thank you to Kenneth Schlesinger, Chief Librarian, Lehman College for this article.

Japan: Ideal Destination, Ideal Nanda Journey

In October of 2018, Dr. Nada Stotland, an accomplished and world renowned psychiatrist, led a journey of fellow mental health professionals to Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan.

Dr. Stotland had previously enjoyed traveling to Japan with her family and was eager to return, in a professional capacity, to explore Japan’s attitudes and policy toward mental health care. She also remembered how kind and gracious her hosts were and was excited for her fellow mental health professionals to experience the warm hospitality of the Japanese people and the supreme beauty of Japan.

During their time in Japan, Dr. Stotland and colleagues visited with academics, clinicians, government officials and business owners all involved in the advancement of mental health policy and practice in Japan. The professional exchange allowed for roundtable discussions on current trends, challenges and new approaches to mental health in Japan.

Speaking with us ahead of the journey, Dr. Stotland said:

“The world is a big place.  Learning first-hand about mental health care in widely differing countries helps us to think outside our local boxes and to appreciate what can be done with different sets of resources, policies, and attitudes.”

Upon her return, Dr. Stotland wrote:

“Having led more than ten mental health journeys, to countries on six continents, and enjoyed excellent professional experiences, cultural enrichment, and travel logistics on each, I found that Japan offers a unique combination of exotic culture and modern development.

The Japanese insistence on the freshest seasonal produce and fish means that every snack and meal is interesting and everything is perfectly safe to eat and drink. Cultural norms are different from those in the West—but conveniently include order, punctuality, and safety. The neon and bustle of the Ginza contrasts with the beauty and serenity of mountains, rivers, forests, and the ocean. We especially loved being dressed in kimono (no plural) for a traditional tea ceremony. Don’t miss Japan!”

Each time we create a Nanda Journey, we do so with the utmost care given to ensuring our professional participants are afforded the opportunity to connect with fellow professionals in varied yet relevant professional settings. It is also important to us that we showcase the very best there is to see when in a new country. The goal is not to merely rush through the iconic locations, but rather to take a moment to immerse in the culture and engage with community members in meaningful ways.

It is always a proud moment for us when we receive kind words from our leaders and guests. It affirms our love of travel and why we do what we do! Our own little piece of Nanda (Joy in Sanskrit).
Thank you, Dr. Stotland, for over a decade of faith in our team. It is an honor and a privilege to be continually selected as your global professional travel partner.

We are excited for your Mental Health Journey to Iceland later this year.

Giving Spirit

By Dr. Lynn Brinckmeyer

As I reflect on the music education delegation to Argentina and Chile last summer, I keep picturing the young orchestra students at the Buen Consejo School (Buenos Aires, Argentina) who performed for us. They were so excited to have music teachers from the United States visit their school. Several members of our delegation donated instruments to the school because it was located in a poor community and it depended solely on donations to exist. When West Virginia teacher, Sherri Tadlock, presented a used flute to the school, the students were elated and the flute teacher was overcome with joy. With tears streaming down her face, she explained that one of the students needed to use her flute because they didn’t have enough instruments. I’ll never forget watching Sherri play with all of the other flute students and seeing the joy on everyone’s face.

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The staff members of Nanda Journeys go above and beyond what is required to ensure that the delegation has a safe, informative and experience-filled trip. We have a great time with our international guides and I have always felt safe and cared for in these delegations. It is important to me that we have an educational experience because I have an intense desire to learn about music education and the indigenous folk music wherever I travel.

The insights I’ve gained because of my travels to other countries goes beyond the limitation of language. I’ve learned that people are the same all of the world: they want a better life for their children; they have hopes and dreams just like we do; children are beautiful, curious and mischievous in every corner of the globe. More and more I appreciate all of the luxuries and experiences life in the US provides. My awareness of my privileged life is much stronger now than before I traveled abroad.

I didn’t know what to expect when we traveled to Morocco. The kaleidoscope of new architecture, mosaics, camels, flowing tapestries, fragrant/exotic spices and warm, friendly people expanded my mind and heart even more. We danced and played drums and other percussion instruments with musicians in several restaurants. And the food was AMAZING!

When you spend up to 10 days in another country with other colleagues from the US we share experiences that form deep bonds of friendship and respect. Everything is new and unfamiliar and the language differences can be a challenge at times. We are all supportive of each other and these trips have fostered deep friendships with people who might never have crossed my path. We share teaching strategies, stories about our families and unexpected experiences. Our bus broke down on the freeway on our way to a coastal city in Chile. Some people might have been upset or frustrated but we actually had a great time sitting and chatting with each other, so when the “rescue” van came to get us we were actually surprised to see it drive up.

I still feel connected to each of the delegation communities that have traveled together. Whenever I hear something in the news about a country we’ve visited memories immediately pour into my mind with images of moments we shared together and with the people we met on our trip.

It’s been my privilege to lead music education delegations for nearly ten years. Each time I venture to another country and meet people steeped in unfamiliar cultures I am reminded of our differences and, more importantly, our similarities as humans. I come home a different person after each trip and I am grateful for these opportunities and am eagerly looking forward to our next music education journey to Australia.

Dr. Lynn Brinckmeyer – Professor of Music and Director of Choral Music Education at Texas State University.

 

Tips for traveling with anxiety

Does Anxiety & Panic Keep You From Fulfilling Your Travel Dreams?

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It happens to the best of us. Those pesky gremlins inside our head telling us a whole manner of untruths that we simply can’t brush away. For some, traveling can be an anxiety trigger. At its worst anxiety may stop us from fulfilling our true potential including taking those long dreamed about global journeys.

Check out this article by She Explores Life for some fabulous tips on traveling with anxiety. Annette has some fabulous personal advice to offer and some great resources!

One of my favorites tips is #6  Find a travel companion who understands anxiety and panic: Take your first couple of trips with a friend, family member or partner who understands anxiety, panic and how to best support you. This is another approach to exposure therapy. Bonus: you get to make wonderful memories with someone you love!

 

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If you don’t have a travel buddy, consider joining a small group journey, maybe a weekend getaway close to home at first. As you add to your toolkit and practice anxiety busting techniques {maybe those suggested by Annette} you may soon feel the calling to branch further afield and take your first global journey.

The World is waiting, where will you go?

– Nicola Balmain

Professional Enrichment Travels with Nanda Journeys – A leader’s perspective.

How do you spell “first rate?”  I have travelled with Nanda Journeys to Peru, Cuba, and South Africa. The trips were worry-free, so we could concentrate on the cultural global experience.

I have included some photos from my travels.  The accommodations are always first rate.  The meals and cultural experiences are also top shelf.  With qualified guides, we had ample opportunity to learn not only about the people, but also about the place.  From safaris, to jungle river exploration, to arts and architecture—the trips helped enrich my personal and professional life.

The cultural experiences in hospitals and schools for us were varying and enlightening. I visited schools in the Andes mountains where the children spoke three languages; schools for the deaf in Johannesburg where all children had cochlear implants; and schools for the deaf in Havana where sign language was used. I visited a school in a township of Cape Town where the children’s hearing and vision was being tested using blue tooth technology since there was no electricity in the school. I visited the sparse polyclinics in Cuba,  a rehabilitation center in the Andes mountains of Peru, and a state-of-the-art hospital in Johannesburg. All the visits were varied and all showed that people everywhere are doing what they can to deliver services given their circumstances.

But the best feature of the travels is the opportunity to develop professional relationships with like-minded people. The friendships and relationships have extended beyond the time of the trips themselves. The travels have also enriched my professional life. Since returning from South Africa, I have made conference presentations at national conferences with my colleagues that I met in Johannesburg.  I have consulted on a publication about speech language services in South Africa and published an article on health care in Cuba.

I am looking forward to the next planned journey to Vietnam and Cambodia in the spring of 2019.  Because of the interest in interprofessional service delivery here, and because of the mode of delivery of services in southeast Asia, the spring trip is intended to be interprofessional with rehabilitation specialists.

About Dr. Dolores Battle

Dr. Battle is Professor Emeritus of Speech Language Pathology at SUNY Buffalo State. She is the former president of both the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP).  She has received numerous awards for her work in multicultural and global issues in the profession including Honors of ASHA, Honored member of the IALP, The Diversity Incentive award from the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Science and Disorders.  She is widely published in communication disorders in culturally and linguistically diverse populations and  has traveled professionally to 37 countries on five continents including in Kenya, South Africa,  Brazil, Greece,  Switzerland, Denmark, Canada,  and Australia.

TRAVEL FOR A WEEK. REMEMBER FOR A LIFETIME.

Why do people travel? For some, it’s to get away from the day-to-day and unwind. For others, it’s to make memories or maybe even to make a difference. What if it could be both – and also be so memorable that you still talk about it, years later, to anyone who will listen?

Exploring Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, with a group of Australian veterinarians, was such an adventure for me. All the boxes were checked, all “the feels” were real. Fun? From Day 1, the group had it in spades! Easy going, adventurous, inclusive…it made the difference, for sure, and the little hiccups along the way – a bus break down necessitating a several mile hike to the animal hospital we were visiting, uncooperative patients at the same hospital causing a minor injury, one or two missteps, and even a few illnesses on the cruise throughout the Galapagos Islands – didn’t squash the enthusiasm. And oh, was it worth it!

Seeing animals, like the legendary Blue-Footed Booby, that you won’t see anywhere else in the world…truly spectacular! Likely to be forgotten? Never!! The entire group, traipsing in the hot sun across miles of lava rock, to see the Galapagos Island’s unique creatures must have been quite a sight to the casual observer. To us, it was one of many wonderful memories during that trip.

Did we make a difference? Sure, to the Ecuadorian veterinarians who both sought and gave helpful advice, but also to the Galapagos officials and guides lending their hand to insuring the continuation of these rare species. That’s what making a journey to another country, in a nutshell, means to me…leaving a little piece of yourself and bringing a little piece of another country’s culture, traditions, and uniqueness back with you. Happy travels!

(Check out this video on the Charles Darwin Research Station/Charles Darwin Foundation)

COMING SOON – Journey of Purpose and Discovery Ecuador & Galapagos Islands. Register your interest HERE

Family Recipes from Kerala

We were thrilled to hear from Anjan Mitra who shared just how inspired he and his Executive Chef, Arun Gupta were by their recent journey with us to Kerala, India. So inspired were they, that they have adapted their spring menu at their two San Francisco restaurants DOSA SF, to reflect the home-cooked tastes they experienced in India. Here they reflect on their journey and share some insights in to their Nanda Journeys, Kerala inspired menu! Thank you Anjan and Arun, we look forward to our next journey together and of course your new menu!

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The best dishes you can eat are definitely the home-cooked meals prepared in India that reflect the cuisine of the respective regions, the influences of their community, while using fresh, local ingredients in family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.  Many of these dishes never make their way to the restaurants in India, let alone the U.S. or London (which is certainly a hot spot for great Indian food).

Consider the rich diversity of delicious recipes prepared everyday by countless families in a country of 1.3 billion people and you realize that we have barely scratched the surface! 🙂

For this reason, Executive Chef Arun Gupta took a two-week culinary trip to India to cook with several families and local chefs in Kerala, along the West coast of Southern India.  This picturesque region has forty-four rivers that flow from the Western Ghats, and gently meander into the Arabian Sea to create a dense network of waterways known as the Backwaters; a picturesque ecosystem that defines not just the flora and fauna, but the lifestyle of the local people.   You will see miles of rice paddy fields, millions of coconut palms and thousands of fishing nets all across this thriving landscape.     The climate, topography and soil also makes it the spice capital in a land of many spices!

 

In addition to eating a various spots every day, Chef Arun Gupta explored the Spice plantations of Periyar and Kumarakom, enjoyed delicious family meals at the Home Stays of the Philipkutty’s Spice Plantation and the Kalaketty Rubber Plantation Estate.    This region has a relatively significant presence of Christians and Muslims who define their own non-vegetarian culinary styles with dishes such as Fish cooked in banana leaves, Mutton Biryani and Beef Chile Fry.

Many of these local dishes are currently on our Spring Tasting Menu at DOSA on Fillmore which includes different dishes that are prepared to be shared family-style, and start with light bites and a delicious spice-driven salads.  We promise it will transport you to this wonderful region of Southern India without being over indulgent.   Or you can opt for our a la carte dishes like the Phillipkutty Chicken Curry (the best one we’ve done to date), Lake Kochi Grilled Prawns, Asparagus Avial, Kerala Fish Fry or even the Periyar Curried Pork, which is only served at the DOSA on Valencia menu.   Of course, some ingredients change daily depending on what’s available at our local farmer’s markets in San Francisco.

We are exploring hyper-regional and obscure dishes from India that we love, but are unfamiliar to most people in the West!  We might not serve what people are commonly familiar with in the U.S., however, we deeply respect traditional Indian recipes, techniques and spices, to create dishes that use seasonal and local ingredients.   We are excited to help you explore this richly diverse cuisine that varies from region-to-region, city-to-city, and often household-to-household.

Should you find yourself in San Francisco, be sure to explore Arun’s new menu at DOSA on Valencia, or DOSA on Fillmore.

 

Rise and Shine Globally – Dr. Dolores Battle

What could a speech-language pathologist learn about clinical service by travelling to South Africa?

Imagine visiting a small Anglican school in a township outside of Cape Town South Africa, called Khayelitsha, which is home to 2.4 million black and colored persons who were displaced during the apartheid era. Imagine learning how the 3E Learning Project aims to screen the hearing and vision of 10,000 5-6-year-old children in underserved communities. Imagine a community where 40% of the residents are under the age of 19 years and where the annual income for a family of four is the equivalent of $1872 USD.   Imagine a school with no electricity and no running water and no indoor toilet facilities.  Imagine a school where the official language of instruction is English, but the language of the community is Xhosa, or Sotho, or any one of 11 other official languages in the country.  Imagine a school where books are not in evidence and where there is no computer or television.  Imagine hearing screening being done using bluetooth to deliver the sounds and an app on a mobile phone being used to test vision.  Despite all that there is, and all that there is not, imagine a mural painted on the wall of the school that says, “Rise and Shine Globally”.

Imagine visiting the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town, home of Bishop Tutu, and the city of Johannesburg, home of Nelson Mandela.  Imagine visiting the island where Nelson Mandela was held for 27 years and who later forgave those who retained him and later became the president of the country to lead its transformation to a country where equality is the goal of everyday life.  Imagine visiting the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, and the District 6 Museum in Cape Town, and talking with those who lived through apartheid and are now involved in transforming the diverse nation to  its place in modern society driven by a recognition of the value of diversity but the importance of equality.

Imagine standing on at the Cape of Good Hope and reflecting on a vast country with diverse people, diverse geography, diverse vegetation and amazingly diverse animal life.  Imagine being among the elephants, lions, rhinoceros and hippos within days of being among African penguins, seals and baboons.

Imagine what we can learn about the glories of the world around us, the wonder of what our fellow man has accomplished against all odds, and the challenges that remain and optimism of what the future holds.  Imagine what the world could be if we all took the advice from that school in Khayelitsha to “Rise and Shine Globally”.  What a wonderful world it would be.