We would like to give a warm welcome to our new subscribers! We hope that you will enjoy our newsletter as much as we enjoy putting it together!
This month our newsletter is starting its third year and we are kicking off the year with some pretty exciting articles and news. We are very excited to have on board a guest writer, Kathleen Gates. Kathleen is a certified infant massage instructor who will be educating us on the benefits of infant massage. Welcome back to our staff writers Nouara, who will continue to take us through the Francophone world, Eleonora, who will take us to very interesting and little known spots in Italy, and Amelia, who will keep us up to date with interesting current events from the French speaking world.
Our fall classes are underway and our Children’s Program kicks off this month. In addition to our scheduled classes, we offer private classes and lessons as well. Be sure to check out our hot links and call us for details. We are getting ready to launch our ESL and Spanish programs. We will be ready for private lessons in both areas by mid-October and will be launching our classes in November. We are very excited about both of these programs and what they can mean for the communities that we serve.
Also, on the horizon: Poughkeepsie! We are in the planning stages of opening a location in Poughkeepsie and we are looking forward to bringing our French and ESL programs to the Hudson Valley. Keep an eye on our site for details.
As a Mom, I strive to educate parents and caregivers about the benefits of massage for health, while enriching their experience with their children. The stressors of everyday life lend families to skip or miss out on quality relaxation and developmental opportunities with young babies and children. These tools are also beneficial in that they can be passed down to future generations, thereby promoting a healthier, more balanced community and society. I value the time that it takes to raise healthy children and am passionate about helping parents and caregivers feel confident and empowered as they travel down the road of parenthood.
Top Ten Reasons to Massage Your Babies/Children:
1) Helps parents unwind and reconnect with infants after being away (while enhancing bonding and attachment)
2) Studies show bonding increases a parent’s feeling of attachment
3) Massage reduces irritability and teaches baby to relax
4) Helps promote hormone production which benefits weight gain and growth in infants
5) Increases vocalization and direct eye-to-eye contact. This is directly related to early language development and speech!
6) Promotes social, emotional and cognitive development. We are teaching babies how to respond, play and interact during these special times.
7) Baby will thank you with coos and giggles throughout the massage
8) Provides fathers with a special opportunity to strengthen their bond and relationship with infants
9) Good for circulation and skin health. By using a non-nut, petroleum-free oil, the skin is nourished through massage.
10) You have a tool that can be used to benefit the health of you child as they grow!
Kathleen Gates, LMT, CIMI was trained through the International Loving Touch Foundation and regularly holds infant massage classes throughout the Capital District. She is also available for private, in-home instruction and consultation. For more information, visit her website at www.gateswayhealth.com
I Trulli di Alberobello Region: Puglia Province: Bari Population: 11,000
Alberobello, tucked in southern Italy’s Puglia region, is known for its unique limestone houses called Trulli. The town’s hilltop historical center was declared an International Human Resource by UNESCO in 1996. The Trulli are adorned with fanciful hex signs adding magic to the already bewitching city. The origin of their oddly-shaped, stone teepee design is unknown. Although some theories date the Trulli back 5000 years, the favorite story of their creation claims that such buildings were first constructed during the Middle Ages. At the time, anyone who built a dwelling with cement or mortar on the King’s land was heavily taxed. With this in mind, the Pugliesi cleverly devised the drywall stone Trulli solely for purposes of tax evasion. As the story goes, upon word of the taxman’s arrival, the Trulli were rapidly dismantled and moved out of sight. After the visit was over and that gentleman successfully ducked, the homes were re-erected.
Nowadays, Trulli are firmly planted with stucco. A cone still comprises a single common area and the interiors, though charming, are plain and simple. With the exception of bathroom doors, the rooms are separated by colorful curtains in sharp contrast to the stark whiteness of the interior walls. The hearth, typically at the center, remains the source of heat to this day. Luckily, Puglia is fairly warm and the cool stone Trulli provide relief from the hot summer sun. A wealth of history, art, food and vistas, rivaling anything in Italy, awaits you. Alberobello, while steeped in the past, does have a train station, and it is only a single hour’s drive from Taranto, Bari or the seaside.
We are back to Europe this month and I am going to take you into the second smallest independent state in the world (after the Vatican). The Principality of Monaco or the city-state Monaco, lies in between the Alps and the Mediterranean sea, bounded by the French Riviera to the west and the Italian Riviera to the east. Monte-Carlo is not the capital of Monaco but a government district. The country is divided in four areas: Monaco-ville (the old city known as “le rocher” or “the rock”), the Condamine (port quarter), Monte-Carlo (business and recreation), and Fontvieille (recreation and light industry). With no natural resources to exploit other than its location and climate, the Principality has become a resort for tourists and a tax haven for businesses. Monaco is six times the size of the Vatican and still remains the world’s most densely populated independent country. Monaco is a member of the OIF (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie) since 1070. French is the official language, but Italian and English are also widely spoken. For seven centuries the Grimaldi family has presided over the Principality of Monaco, one of the longest ruling families in Europe. Monaco is a constitutional monarchy and principality, with Prince Albert II as head of state. Despite being independent, Monaco’s defense is the responsibility of France. Next month, we will remain in Europe and explore another Principality whose Motto is “Strength United is Stronger” (“L’union fait la force” in French).
On Friday, September 18th the French government was shocked when they woke up to find trucks dumping millions of liters of milk into a field and throughout the streets near the tourist attraction of Mont Saint Michel in Bretagne. This situation was provoked by the current milk crisis going on in France. Milk producers are currently en grève (protesting) due to the fact that dairy prices are falling and they are forced to sell the milk for much less than its actual value, and are in turn, losing money. The dairy producers are not delivering milk and are dumping all their surplus milk, hoping that the government will listen and convey their concerns to the European Union government, which is imposing an end to supply quotas. This would cause milk producers to lose even more money. This protest is not just among the Organization of Milk Producers (OPL) but also has been supported by the European Milk Board (EMB), thus making it a protest on the European level since September tenth. Both the European Union and the individual European governments are working together to try to make sure that there is a compromise between them and the milk producers, who are demanding more money for their product. The OPL has recognized that they are moving in a positive direction as negotiations continue with the European Union. The French Minister of Agriculture, Bruno Le Maire, hopes that along with his European colleagues, they will find a solution to this ongoing problem.
“Travelling with the Language Learning Institute is a wonderful experience! The groups are small, there is a lot of variety, and the trips are flexible enough that you can break away and do your own thing for a while if you want. I have never really wanted to do that, though, because the planned activities are so interesting. I have been on two trips on which I learned a lot about the different regions of France and even Belgium. The trip cost includes five or so sessions before the trip in which we learn about what we are going to experience and in which we learn a little of the language so that we can at least order in French. There is also a wine and cheese party in which we sample the products of the regions we are going to visit and in which we get to know our trip mates better. I would recommend the Learn French and Travel trips to anyone, but particularly for those who want to visit a country in a way that combines the security of a group with the flexibility to do your own thing!”