Pack Your Bags for a lifetime trip to Italy

Ladies, you know this blog ain’t all about hair and from time to time, I like to bring information that might interest you outside hair matters. If you are on a vacation roll this year searching for somewhere to spend your time free of charge, then you had better apply for this (this is the easiest competition World Nomads has hosted). I am off to submit my application.

 

We believe that you can learn much about a culture through food and want to give three enthusiastic (and hungry) travelers the chance to connect with and better understand the real food scene in…ITALY!

These keen cultural explorers will travel to Italy and discover the history and techniques that makes Italian food a star on the world’s stage – as well as the vibrant people that keep these traditions alive through their passion and dedication.

Each recipient will spend one week in a different region of Italy where they will meet their Italian ‘mentors’ – speaking to local farmers and artisan providores, making pastas in nonnas’ kitchens, and getting your hands dirty pruning vines, milking goats and making salamis.

In that time, each recipient will be followed by a cameraman to document their experiences as they uncover new techniques, tastes and atttudes towards food and living.

Photo by Mark Hofmeyr

Who we’re looking for

We are looking for 3 different food explorers to send to Italy:

1. The Anthropologist – You are here to delve into the social habits and traditions that accompany food and eating in Italy. In a culture where people live to eat, you are most interested in the pace of life, the attitudes towards food and the sense of community that this way of life creates.

2. The Pilgrim – You are on an epicurean journey. You are here because something has drawn you to Italy, be that heritage or circumstance. To you, eating in Italy is like walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain – something that will transform you emotionally or physically and give you new perspective on life.

3. The CulinarianYou are interested in learning the artistry of food. Perhaps you are an aspiring chef or want to open up your own restaurant – this is really about turning your passion for food into a profession. You are here because you want to learn the techniques and the local recipes to bring back with you.

Note: Each of the 3 food explorers will be matched with one of the regions of Italy (below), these corresponding regions will not be disclosed until the winners are announced.

About the Regions

Emilia-Romagna

Though famed for fast cars and famous musicians, Emilia-Romagna also won’t let you go hungry. In fact, it is considered the Heart of northern Italian food.

The capital city of Bologna has been nicknamed “la grassa” (the fat one) – a name you’ll understand (and pay no mind) when you tuck into the famed prosciutto and handmade egg-based pastas of the region.

Emilia-Romagna is also the place to get the real Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, sample balsamic vinegar that can be aged in wooden casks for 60 years and wash it all down with a sparkling red wine.

Photo by John Gubertini, Cozzano

Cinque Terre National Park (Liguria region)

Cinque Terre National Park was the first of it’s kind established in Italy. This decision has protected the five medieval towns (that Cinque Terre is so famous for) by keeping out motorized vehicles and promoting sustainable tourism.

While seafood reigns in Cinque Terre, this is also the home of pesto and where foccacia can be bought off the street as a lazy afternoon snack. The terraced cliffs surrounding the villages also drip with lemons, olives and vines that produce the sciacchetra sipped at the end of every meal.

After you’ve had your fill, hit the narrow and winding trails and drink in the stunning coastal views or hop into the beckoning sea to marvel at the pastel postcard villages above.

Photo by Ente Parco Cinque Terre

Langhe & Roero (Piedmont region)

Langhe & Roero is situated in the Piedmont region in the northeastern part of Italy. Here, agriculture and food production lead not only to good nutrition, but also a rich heritage – and many talented local providores.

Rolling hills with vineyards and hazelnut groves, emerald meadows filled with free-range cows and sheep mean that the panoramas are only trumped by the amazing cheeses and wines that the region produces.

This region is also the birthplace of Slow Food, host of the annual International Truffle Fair and an important stop along the ancient ‘Salt Route’ (where excellent recipes and many a food legend originated).

Photo by John Gubertini

What’s the deal?

* We’ll fly you to Italy from your country of residence.

* You need to be available to be in Italy from May 31 – June 9, 2014 (dates may vary by a few days) to participate in the project.

* You will keep a daily diary about your time on the trip and upload this plus pictures you’ve taken to your WorldNomads.com travel journal.

* Your new food experiences in Italy will be filmed by an accompanying cameraman who will edit 3 travel videos starring you.

Who can apply?

* Anyone can apply – this is open to food writers, bloggers, aspiring chefs, and just plain passionate eaters with a story to share!

* Minimum age 18 (by application deadline)

* You must hold a current, valid passport (with 6 months left before expiry)

* The scholarship is open to all nationalities (subject to obtaining an Italian visa), however, you must have an exceptionally high degree of proficiency in written and spoken English.

* You must be available as per the dates set out. Please note these dates are not changeable in any way, you must be available for the entire assignment.

* You should be a mad-keen foodie with adventurous tastebuds, a curiousity for all things Italian and an openess to interact with locals.

* You must be up for eating anything at anytime, pitching in with the cooking and cleaning up! Picky eaters need not apply.

* You must be comfortable in front of the camera, and sharing your emotions and opinions with the world.

Photo by Mark Hofmeyr

The Prizes

The 3 Winners will receive:

* An 7-day custom trip to 1 area of Italy (Cinque Terre, Langhe & Roero, Emilia-Romagna) organized by the local tourism boards and Can’t Forget It{aly} including accommodation, meals and local transportation.

* Round-trip airfare from your country of residence to Italy.

* Travel insurance for the duration of the trip from World Nomads.

Important Dates

**You need to be available from May 31st – June 9th to participate on the assignment.**

Applications Accepted: January 21 – March 14, 2014

Judging Period: March 15 – April 6

Winners Announced: April 7

Assignments: June 1 – June 8

Photo by Edoardo Cicchetti

To apply you need to:

1. Submit a recipe (in English) with accompanying photos

This can’t just be any recipe, this recipe needs to come with a story. It could be the hand-me-down pierogi recipe from your Polish great-grandmother. Or maybe the the fish curry you learned to make on your trip to Sri Lanka.

Whatever it is, it has to be special (we don’t want to see 50 spaghetti bolognese or chocolate chip cookie recipes) and something that you think would transport other travellers to a new place, simply by making it at home. We want recipes with soul and with that make us miss a place that perhaps we’ve never even been.

Don’t forget to include photos of your recipe that you have prepared yourself. If you can’t make it, we probably can’t either!

2. Tell us in 2000 characters or less (this includes spaces) the story behind the recipe and what makes it so special to you.

It’s up to you to convince our judging panel through your recipe, story and essay that you have the spirit of adventure and passion for food to be chosen for this program. We will be looking for:

– a unique, mouth-watering, tried-and-tested recipe (with accompanying photos of the dish, cooked by you)
– a great story behind your recipe
– strong eye for detail
– a compelling reason why we should send you to Italy
3. Complete a 1500 character max essay telling us why you should be chosen, what the opportunity will mean to you and which category of food explorer you are applying for. Your answer will provide considerable weight in the judging process.

The entry must be submitted in English.

One entry per person.

Apply Now

Entries close March 14, 2014, 2pm AEDT (Australian Eastern Daylight Time UTC +11)

Conditions of Entry – please read!

Please don’t leave your entry until the last minute, and note that the 2pm closing time is AEDT, not necessarily 2pm in YOUR time zone.

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Southeast Asia 2012 Travel Writing Scholarship

 

Entries close April 23rd, 2012 at 2pm AEST (UTC +10).

Do you want to be a published travel writer?

This year we decided to shake things up a bit and instead of choosing just one country for our scholarship…we’ve decided to send you off to three different countries in Southeast Asia! Once on the ground, you’ll have the opportunity to see for yourself life beyond the banana pancake trail, and get to know Southeast Asia from the local perspectives, through the eyes of three amazing writers.

Here’s the triple-dip deal:

First you’ll head off to Singapore to go on assignment for five days under the mentorship of Rough Guides writer Richard Lim to review and update ‘The Rough Guide to Singapore’.

Then you’ll fly to Bali and meet up with Stuart McDonald, founder of Travelfish, the online travel guide to Southeast Asia, before heading off on six days of cultural insight and adventure in Indonesia.

For the last leg of the scholarship, you will be whisked off to Malaysia for a food odyssey through Kuala Lumpur and Penang with former local and cookbook author of award winning hsa*ba Burmese cookbook, Tin Cho Chaw, to explore how cuisine shapes the lives of Malaysians.

Important Dates

 

**You need to be available between June 18th – July 6th, 2012 to participate on the assignment.**

 

 

April 23    Submission deadline  

April 24-May 11    Judging preliminary shortlist

May 11-16    Finalists shortlist

May 17    Winner confirmed and announced 

May 17-June 17    Trip preparation

June 18     Arrive in Singapore

June 19-20    Meet Richard Lim – Singapore, shadow for two days 

June 21-22    Solo assignment for two days

June 23    Meet up with Richard, feedback on assignment etc. 

June 24-30    Indonesia: Culture & Adventure

July 1-July 5    Malaysia: Food Odyssey

July 6    Depart

August 20    Copy deadline

Singapore:  On assignment with Rough Guides

 

Photo courtesy of Rough Guides

Your Rough Guides brief

* We’ll fly you to Singapore from your country of residence. 

* After spending two days learning the ropes with mentor Richard Lim, you will have a chance to explore this bustling, progressive city for two days on your own. In this time, you will research, review and update essential travel information for ‘The Rough Guide to Singapore’, including accommodation, bars & restaurants, cultural sights and activities, tours, and transport, as well as searching out those local secrets that travellers want to read about. On your final day, you will meet back up with Richard to go over your work together.

* Your mentor will be at hand to offer guidance, but essentially this is your assignment; you will travel on your own for this part of the journey so you must be comfortable travelling solo. Richard will assign you a specific area based on your travel experience.

* Your work will feature in the new edition of The Rough Guide to Singapore’, placing your foot firmly in the door of the elusive travel writing industry!

 

Photo courtesy of Rough Guides

 

Mentor, Richard Lim

Find out more about what you can expect from your Rough Guides mentorship.

Read an interview with Richard Lim about life as a travel writer.

Indonesia: Culture & Adventure

 

 

Photo courtesy of Emanuele Siracusa

Explore a whole different side of Bali. Venture off the grid to the remote village of Sidemen – live like the locals live, experience firsthand their coconut and salt industries and delve into the Balinese belief in “black magic” (need a hex on your ex? you’re in the right place).

To get your blood pumping, you’ll then hike up to the top of Gunung Agung, an active volcano, and the highest point on the island, followed up with a refreshing dip in the surf, with lessons at a surf camp in West Bali (yes…you must be comfortable in the water!).

You’ll also have some free time to explore on your own and to sit down with Stuart of Travelfish to pick his brain about online publishing in the travel space.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Travelfish

 

Malaysia: Food Odyssey

 

 

Photo courtesy of hsa*ba

Malaysian cuisine is comprised of three distinct cultures: Indian, Malay and Chinese – and the fusion recipes that make it so uniquely Malaysian. On this portion of your scholarship journey, you will be sampling it all, and learning about the process, stories and people behind the famous dishes (picky eaters, you’ve been warned!).

You will meet up with Cho of hsa*ba (with a blog that translates into “please eat”, bring an empty stomach) in Kuala Lumpur and eat your way around the night markets before checking out the KL fine dining scene. You will also join a local food blogger and her Makan Club for a typical night out in Kuala Lumpur to experience what’s happening in KL’s food scene.

Finally, head up to Penang, the renowned food mecca of Malaysia. You’ll get a hands-on cooking lesson and learn how to plate up some of your favorite dishes, wander through the endless wet market stalls, and visit a durian plantation (to sample the delicacies, of course!).

 

Photo courtesy of hsa*ba

What you’ll need to produce

Along with your work on the ‘Rough Guide to Singapore’, you will be required to keep a daily travel journal on WorldNomads.com (no less than 200 words per daily entry) to share your adventures through Southeast Asia. Your journal should be completed no later than two weeks from returning from your trip.

Who can apply

* This opportunity is open to students, emerging and non-professional writers and lovers of travel looking for a career change.

* The scholarship is open to all nationalities, however, you must have a high degree of proficiency in written English.

* The opportunity is designed to give you a taste of what it’s like to be a travel writer on the road, so you must be comfortable doing some travel on your own.

* Minimum age 18 by the date the scholarship application close (April 23, 2012)

* A current passport with at least six months before expiry

* You must be available as per the dates set out. Please note these dates are not changeable in anyway, you must be available for the entire assignment.

* You should be an exceptional writer with a lust for adventure travel, a desire to experience new cultures (and eat them!)and above all, a burning desire to become a professional travel writer!

Watch our video for more eligibility information and application tips!

What constitutes a professional travel writer?

Essentially this is a ‘learning opportunity’ for someone who is looking for an introduction into the travel writing industry and importantly keen to be mentored.

As a guide, for the purposes of the opportunity, we would consider you to be professional travel writer if you have been published regularly in newspapers, travel magazines or travel journals. We would also consider you to be a professional travel writer if you derive more than 25% of your income from travel writing.

If you have had a few stories published, or keep a regular travel blog then we would not consider this professional.

We would also like to further clarify that a professional writer of any sort (travel writer or otherwise) is not eligible to apply if they derive more than 25% of their income from writing.

Please consider the spirit of the program which is intended to help those with a burning desire to be a professional travel writer and need some help getting started.

Apply now

If you want it, you’ve got to show it. To apply you need to:

1. Write. Craft a 2000 character or less (about 500 words) travel focused essay based on a personal experience around one of the following themes;

a. ‘Understanding a Culture through Food’

b. ‘A Local Encounter that Changed my Life’

c. ‘Seeing the World through Others Eyes’

d. ‘Giving Back on the Road’

It’s up to you to convince our judging panel through your writing that you have the spirit of adventure and passion for travel writing to be chosen for this scholarship. We will be looking for:

– great descriptive ability
– strong eye for detail
– ability to uncover and tell a compelling story
– excellent spelling and grammar and a knack for avoiding clichés

Check out our video blog with Rough Guide editor Clare Currie for some writing tips.

2. Complete an entry form which includes contact details and a maximum 800 character (about 200 words) essay on why you should be chosen and what the opportunity will mean for you. Your answer will provide considerable weight in the judging process.

3. One entry per person.

4. The entry must be submitted in English.

 

 

Applications close April 23, 2012 at 2pm (AEST)

 

CONDITIONS OF ENTRY – Please read before applying!

Click to read the terms and conditions of this scholarship

 

The recipient of the Scholarship, along with the shortlist of best entries will be published on the WorldNomads.com website on May 17th, 2012.

Useful Thoughts

The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are.

Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you. Consider this:

  • Never receive counsel from unproductive people.
  • Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how.
  • Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person.
  • Don’t follow anyone who’s not going anywhere. With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it.
  •  Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life.
  • Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships.
  • If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights.

“A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses.” The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate – for the good and the bad.

Note: Be not mistaken. This is applicable to family as well as friends”. Colin Powell.

Travel Documentary Scholarship

Kick start your documentary career by going on assignment into the Amazon with documentary producer Trent O’Donnell (who filmed the Positive Footprints series screened on Nat Geo Adventure Channel).

You will take part in a special project with Gap Adventures, exploring the Amazonian jungle and homestaying with the indigenous Quichua community.

Working alongside Trent O’Donnell as he makes a documentary on Sustainable Tourism, you will be mentored to help find your story and create your own short video documentary.

You’ll also be accommodated by our friends at Hostelworld.com both pre and post trip.

The lucky scholarship recipient will have their documentary considered for broadcast onNat Geo Adventure! That’s right – the holy grail documentary makers work their whole lives to achieve !

Your assignment brief

You will be joining Bruce Poon Tip (Gap’s founder) as he revisits Ecuador’s spectacular Andean Interior and Amazon lowlands. It’s been 20 years since the first Gap Adventures trip was run in the Amazon and alongside Bruce you will gain unique access and insight into the lives of the Quichua community understanding how sustainable tourism has positively impacted their community.

You will also see first hand how the Footprints Network can make a difference to communities in need as Simon Monk (founder of WorldNomads.com and the Footprints Network) visits a project providing schooling equipment to the local Quichua primary school.

Homestaying in the Amazonian jungle with the Quichua community, you will work alongside Trent as he mentors you on how to find and film your own story.

Who can apply

* Anyone can apply – this is open to film students, lovers of film or anyone who’s trying to build a career in documentary making!

* Minimum age 18 with a current passport.

* You should be a mad-keen auteur with a lust for adventure and burning desire to be a documentary maker.

* You must be fit and healthy as moderate levels of trekking are involved.

Apply now

If you want it, you’ve got to show it. To apply you need to:

1. Compile a 3 minute video documentary in English based around the theme; ‘Local Encounters’. Your ‘local encounter’ may be from your travels or somewhere closer to home. You should explore how this encounter changed your perspective on the world. The theme is open to interpretation, so be creative! The documentary may be compiled from previous travel videos you’ve shot.

It’s up to you to convince our judging panel through your video that you have the spirit for adventure and passion for filmmaking to be chosen for this scholarship. Our judging panel will be looking for;

* The ability to convey a strong narrative within a short time-frame
* Originality
* A visually engaging story
* A candidate whose passion for documentary filmmaking makes them an obvious choice to benefit from this professional mentorship opportunity.

We strongly recommend you look at the previous winners (below) to give you an idea of the quality we are looking for. Entries compiled solely of still shots will not be considered, you need to demonstrate your skill with the moving image.

2. Upload your video : Go to Youtube.com to upload your video

3. Add your video to Worldnomads.com: Create a journal and fill in the entry form, then follow the simple instructions to upload your video into the post. In under 200 words tell us about your video;

– What inspired your subject matter?

– How did you plan your piece?

– What challenges did you face?

– What is your ambition as a documentary maker?

You will be judged on what you write as much as your video submission, convince us you are a worthy candidate !

One entry per person.


Watch  2009 winner’s documentary

Watch  2008 winner’s documentary which has been broadcast on Nat Geo Adventure.

Entries close August 1, 2010

(midnight, Australian Eastern Standard Time)

Always 8 Hours No check- Please do check, check

I recently saw the T.V. ad for Always Sanitary Towels. It was quite fresh and innovative using school girls to reinforce the ‘No Check, Check’ tagline. I have also seen this campaign at convenience and grocery stores located within the metropolis.

I think this tagline is more appropriate for women with light menstrual flow. For women with heavier menstrual flow (such as me), please do check, check and check often as you can. I have used all the various Always sanitary pads that have evolved over the years within Nigeria. However, this new sanitary pads ain’t working for me. Oftentimes, I have to go about with four individual wrapped packs. I also have to contend with rushing to the nearest convenience every two hours due to my heavy menstrual flow. I assume the functionality of the wings is to protect the panties but it affords little or no protection.

Most times, you’ll find me sitting in my car with a stack of paper on my seat trying to prevent irremovable blood stains. Friends have suggested that I opt for the thicker pads but I shudder at the thought. Imagine wedging such a bulky thingy in my personal regions, i’d have to assume a particular walking gait throughout my monthly cycles. Trust me, I have tried it before and it was uncomfortable. I’d really prefer if P&G can be more innovative with sanitary pads for women with heavy flow. It would put an end to countless trips to the toilets; asking a friend to check my behind and stop the endless mental cursing that occurs if you are unfortunate to be on a field visit and you cannot find a convenient place to change your towels.

For now, I’ll check, check and check all day long.

Tipping Point

Have we reached a tipping point in this country? Do you think we have gotten to a stage, where we are thinking about how to solve problems for our common good? I think so but I don’t know what you think regarding this. While the momentum is gathering beind the strategies being devised by the presidents’wife (Turai), it is left for us to decisively engage in a discourse that will ensure a better tomorrow for our children.

We must continually strive for a better country in as much as the world has not come to an end. We cannot allow a few selfish individuals to dominate the affairs of our beloved Nigeria. Today as we go out, let’s have that at the back of our mind.

On a lighter note, after ten years since the release of Lover’s Rock, Sade is back with ‘Soldier of Love’. Grab a copy and immerse your senses in her soothing, sensual and lyrical world. My best track apart from Soldier of Love is ‘Babyfather’. Have a wonderful weekend peeps.

Defining your Future

I attended a meeting over the weekend. I had the opportunity of being addressed by a senior colleague, who I consider a friend and mentor. She’s simply amazing. Here are the excerpts of the address and hope it motivates you to define your own future.

  • Have a vision – continually ask yourself what your vision is. Write it down and stick it in a conspicous place, where you can put your mind to it.
  • See what you are prepared to see. If you focus on the negative, be prepared for the worst.
  • Seize the day and fulfill your dream or goals to achieve success in life.
  • Look within you; what do you feel? There’s never a particular age for excellence. YOU CAN CHANGE THE GAME.
  • Have an inner dream (ignite your fire).
  • Look behind you, what have you learnt?
  • Leadership is not definite within a particular stage.
  • Define what’s important and what’s not.
  • Struggle to be part of the top 20 (I mean acheivers).
  • Integrity is what and who you are.
  • Develop yourself (dont’wait for your employer- this is the biggest calling of leadership).

Finally, I leave you with this chinese proverb:

“If you want to plan for a year, grow rice; If you want to plan for 10 years, grow trees; If you want to plan for a decade, grow men” .

Young Professional Internship Programme (2010 -2011)

The West African Health Organisation (WAHO), the Health Agency of ECOWAS, and its Partners announce its Young Professional Internship Programme for 2010 – 2011, which will commence in March 2010, and hereby invite applications from citizens of member countires of ECOWAS.
Goal: The goal of the programme is to equip young professionals with knowledge, skills and experience for effective management of health problems in West Africa.

Structure: The 12month programme is divided into 6 Stages. Stages 1 and 4 will take place at the headquarters of WAHO in Burkina Faso, during which the Interns will acquire knowledge and competence in basic principles of public health, a second official language of ECOWAS, computer and new information technology as well as basic principles of management and leadership. During stages 2 and 5, the interns would be posted to host institutions in different countries in West Africa to acquire practical skills and competencies in their technical areas of interest or professional specialisation. The technical areas should respond to the health needs of the sub-region and the priority domains of WAHO.

Priority Domains for 2010 – 2011:
The applicants for the internship should have interest in one or more of the following priority technical areas:
1. HIV/AIDS
2. REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
3. CHILD SURVIVAL
4. NUTRITION
5. PREVENTION OF BLINDNESS
6. MALARIA

Benefits:
The Interns would be provided with accomodation and would receive a monthly allowance during the period. All travel costs related to the Internship would be paid for and learning materials would be provided free.

Eligibility:
All applicants must be citizens of ECOWAS member countries, must be available throughout the 12month period and should have:
1. obtained a university degree or equivalent within the past five years.
2. fluency in reading and writing of at least one official ECOWAS language (English, French, Portugese)
3. basic competence in Information and Communication Technologies

Application Procedures:
Interested candidates should send the following documents:
1. Letter of application to participate in the programme.
2. Up to date curriculum vitae.
3. Photocopy of the relevant pages of the National passport, National Identity Card or birth certificate.
4. Photocopies of Diplomas and Certificates.
5. Letter of motivation stating reasons for the chocie, relevant experiences and future career plans.
6. In addition, each candidate should send three letters of reference. Two of the referees must be persons who taught the applicant in the University or appropriate institution. For a candidate with work of experience, the third should be a professional with whom the candidate has worked. The letters of reference should be sent directly to the address below by the referees. All applications and letters of reference should be sent by post or e-mail to:

West African Health Organisation (WAHO/OOAS)
Young Professional Internship Programme
01 BP 153 Bobo-Dioulasso 01
Burkina Faso

Email: waho.ypip2010@yahoo.fr

Closing date: All applications must be received by the close of work on 15th November 2009.