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The Aral Sea   

Hello everybody!

Today, I'd like to talk about a problem that too few people know about: The Aral Sea. Do you know it? It's a sea located at the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Actually, I can almost say "it used to be a sea".
This sea was originally almost as big as Hokkaido (about 70 000 km2). But since 1960, the surface is decreasing rapidly. Today, it's only 17 000km2!! I invite you to see the evolution on this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aral_Sea
So, the question is: what happened? Who can a sea just disappear? Here is the answer.

We are in the 60's. The soviet government needs wool. They decide to create huge wool fields in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. But wool needs a lot of water, so they decide to drain it from the rivers Amou-Daria and Syr-Daria, the 2 water providers of the Aral sea. They drain so much that almost no water reaches the sea, which gradually disappears. To the surface we can sadly notice today…

It is one of the biggest ecological disaster of the 20th century. At the place of the disappeared water, there is just an useless salty-filled ground. This salt, carried by the wind, makes big health problems, such as respiratory illnesses and cancer. Child mortality is one of the highest in the world. Crops are destroyed by the salt. Cities that used to be prosper ports are now deserted. There is no more life in the sea, all animals and plants have been killed by the new high-salt concentration and pesticides. A real disaster…

The governments of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are looking for many different kind of solutions, such as building dams, redirecting water from Siberian rivers or pumping water in the Caspian Sea. This is so ridiculous, the solution is obvious: stop draining the water for the wool fields!! Or we will become the first specie who killed a sea…

See you soon!

Yann

[PR]

by chitchatcafe | 2010-06-29 12:27 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌

Hi chit chatters!!!   

The world cup is half way through now and a lot of teams are going home like Australia and some others. I have quite busy at the sports bar and trying to stay awake to see the matches but I sleep half of them.

So summer have started in Sapporo and this summer is very hot thanks God.
Only three months left and my baby girl will be born I can't wait I am sooooo exicted. So if you want to buy me something for the baby I will be so happy. Hahahaha (joke).
Chit chatters that's all for this month. See you at chit chat.

Damian

[PR]

by chitchatcafe | 2010-06-26 11:51 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌

World Cup   

Hello everybody!

I am a big football fan, so I have to write something about it.
For the football lovers, this time is the best in 4 years. Although this world cup is not the best ever, from my opinion, it is still interesting.

It started 2 weeks ago from now. What is very interesting is to see that the gap between the traditional best teams and the others is getting smaller every time. New-Zealand can now draw Italia, Germany and England are in a difficult position, Spain loses against Switzerland… Japan played very well against Holland, which is one of the best teams of the moment, and they deserved a draw! And France…

Well, since I'm French, I have to write a couple of lines about my team. I will sum up the general feeling running through France at the moment. Here are the facts: a coach criticized since the 2008 fiasco, that nobody likes. Poor games since 1 year. A qualification gained thanks to a hand against Ireland. A trip to the most expensive hotel in Africa. A player, Anelka, who insulted the coach during half-time of the game against Mexico (F… you, son of a b….) and got sent back because of that. A strike from the players after Anelka's punishment, due to a childish behaviour. Last place of the group. You got it, it is certainly the most black period of French football. And it happened in front of the whole world's eyes. More than a disappointment, an humiliation. This team deserved nothing more than being send back to France, and some good ass-kicks, from all the people, the children who believed in it. And deserved something else than this pitiful show.

From now, I wish good luck for Japan. They have good players, and they always do their best. They can do something interesting. Ganbate Japan!

See you soon!

Yann

[PR]

by chitchatcafe | 2010-06-24 14:18 | マンツーマン 英会話 札幌

World Cup   

Even I am not big football fan, I became guite excited about the World Cup 2010. Probably it is thanks to Japanese TV, which cheers for Samurais Blue „at full cry“ or maybe because of my father, who is asking me every time, when we speak on phone, if I have seen this or that match. Anyway, World Cup is a big thing, there is nothing to say against it! Every country is representing their own nation, so it won’t be big exaggeration to say, that the whole world is watching now what is going on there on the stadiums in South Africa.

While I am watching the matches on TV, sometimes it seems to me that, sport in generall becoming too much competitive, too much focused on victory. If you would like to know, who I cheer for, then of course for Japan. And actually also for Slovakia that has been participating in the World Cup for the first time after separation of Czechoslovakia (By the way in the qualification Slovakia beat down Czech, so our team stayed home:-).

But most of all, I cheer for the „sporty“ football, for the fair play not only on the stadiums but also in mass-medias; I cheer for being able to loose with elegance and comprehension; I cheer for the football which connects the people!!! I am afraid that there is no other way to improve ones skill other from loosing with the better ones. But I also beliefe that sport is not only about the improvement & getting „higher and higher“, I hope that is more about the friendship & pleasure of sharing the same skills among people of various cultures.

Hope you will cheer for the „sporty“ sport with me!!!!

Ivona

[PR]

by chitchatcafe | 2010-06-23 15:27 | 英会話 教師 札幌

Travelling   

SAPPORO – TOKYO – KOMORO – NAGAHAMA & BACK

Maybe some of you went last weekend to Hokkaido Universtiy Campus to enjoy “Hokudai-sai”. Actually instead of that I went for a few days to Honshu to visit my “old” friends. One of them lives in small town called Komoro in Nagano prefecture and another in Nagahama in Gifu prefecture.

I was very lucky, because the rainy season did not come yet. So, the weather was just perfect – sunny & hot, but not humid at all. Some places, which I viseted were really nostalgic, some brand new, but I like all of them. The quit Komoro surrounded by mountins and volcanos, attractive Karuizawa or old streets full of souveniers and lovely shops in Nagahama and at last but not at least huge busy metropolis Tokyo, where I prayed in Meiji Jingu and unsuccessfully tried to get into the Emperor’ s garden J.

Especially thanks to my friends I had a wonderful time, but anyway I felt relieved coming back to Sapporo. I realized how much I have got used to live here in Sapporo and how much I like this city!!

Ivona

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by chitchatcafe | 2010-06-09 20:11 | 札幌 英会話 サークル

Hi   


How are you all?
I just came back last thursday from Okinawa, I know you must think that I am in holiday all the time!..but I didn t want to miss it in case I don t come back to Japan.
I spend a few days doing camping in Zamami, a small island about 2 hours from naha, which was very nice. Unfortunately the first night it was so much windy and stormy that I could see my tent moving and inside it seemed like a swimming pool...it was quite funny anyway, going out of the tent at night, under a tropical rain and trying to dry all the staff before going back to sleep again, I will remember it all my life!

The weather was warm most of the time and the sea was amazing. We could see beautiful fish in snorkelling.
Lying down at 1pm on the beach the last day before going back by ship to Naha at 3pm, I became red like a lobster... but slowly I am recovering from the big sunburn i got.
I didn t do anything special, just relaxing but really needed it. In Naha I slept in a guest house too and visited Okinawa world, a big park in the south east. It was very nice to see diferent handicrafts, watching at people blowing glass and making potery. There was also many fruit trees, a Habu museum and an amazing cave.
People performed the "Eissa" show, sorry as I am not sure how to spell it, but I enjoyed a lot Okinawa music and dance. So much energy, smile and beauty...

Peggy

[PR]

by chitchatcafe | 2010-06-02 15:13 | カフェ 英会話 札幌