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Letter from a Zambian Mission

Located in the Luano Valley in Zambia is the Chingombe Mission run by Polish priests. Father Wojciech Kozłowicz SDB sent us this communiqué.

As most of you know, Zambia's climate varies from hot to moderate throughout the year. It is located on the rolling African plateau between 3,000 and 5,000 feet above sea level. However, valleys are set at less than 1,000 feet above sea level and are very hot and humid.

I spent some time in the Luano Valley at the Chingombe Mission working alongside its "boss", Father Marcel, a Pole like myself.

Spooked Out!

At first glance, the village of Pluckley in the English county of Kent may look quite innocent. But behind its neat and tidy exterior theres a phantasmal world of mystery, doom and death.

DIY, Do and Die?

Think twice before you launch yourself into the world of home improvements, for many perils await you. Life is beautiful - so don't fiddle with it!

It is a curious fact about the British that they have never quite come to terms with the idea that weekends are for resting. Saturday and Sunday are, indeed, the busiest days of the week for many people in Britain. During the week activity has to slow down because they are at work, but come the weekend Brits can indulge in their twin passions, DIY and gardening.

20 Questions

I thought it would be fun to take a humorous look at everyday life issues in the United States and ask the question made famous by many 4-year-olds: Why? Why? Why? So why ask why? Why not?! Even if the answers are obvious to us, even if the questions themselves are wrong (some of us love the taste of cough syrup, for example: see below) kids will always ask why. The following is my Top 20:

1. Why does a gallon of bottled water cost more than a gallon of gas?

From Kutno to Williamsport

You really have to see a baseball game live to understand it. Television doesn't give you a real idea of what's going on if you haven't seen a game in the flesh before. The ball is hit by the batter and the outfielders run to try to catch it. When the batter is facing the pitcher, the action takes place in a split second. Either the batter misses or doesn't attempt to hit the ball, or there is a sudden burst of activity as he hits the ball and sends it into the field, or even out of the field entirely for a home run!

Walsingham - England's Nazareth

Walsingham is a tiny village on the north coast of East Anglia. Since the days of Saxon England, it has been a place of Christian devotion to Mary, and it continues to have significance for the lives of people today.

Do It Like They Do It On Discovery Channel

Valentine's Day is the time of year when romance is - as the saying goes - "in the air". But romance is also in the sea, on the land, in the hay, and in the bushes. In fact, love is everywhere! Below are just some of the ways in which our furry friends, great and small, "get it together".

Going Green

Planning a trip to London in March? Make sure you're there on St Patrick's Day, March 17th, when everyone (well, almost) claims Irish ancestry. But wherever you are around the globe, if you really are Irish you can't fail to be popular; and if you haven't got green blood in you, you still can't fail to have a fantastic time.

Irish ODWS

So just who are the development workers and how did they originate? Simon Jones, himself a former overseas development worker (ODW), gives us a thumbnail sketch of the people ex-President Mary Robinson (now United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights) honours with a candle in the window of her official residence, Áras an Uachtarain, every Christmas.

Those Crazy Brits

What can you do with cheese? It sounds like a silly question doesn' t it? Eat it of course, or maybe chop it, grate it, grill it, put it on a pizza......What about play a sport with it? Pardon? Play a what? Yes, the eccentric British have done it again and taken something remarkably ordinary and done something completely unusual with it.

Gulliver's Travels.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) is best known today for his novel Gulliver's Travels (1726), one of English literature's greatest satires. Read in its expurgated form, it has been enjoyed by generations of children for its entertainment value alone. But the lasting importance of the book lies in its merciless analysis of the failings of human nature. In Gulliver's Travels, Swift holds a mirror to the face of mankind and shows a degenerate reflection.

Letters to the Professor

When listening to native speakers they do not seem to say one hundred or one kilometre properly. The 'one' sounds more like an 'er' sound. Can you please explain to me why this is and if I should try to do it too?
Malgorzata J., Warszawa.

Touching Base

The city of Kutno once more brought together Junior and Little baseball players from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa (all, oddly enough, included in the European Region!) this July and August, when it played host to three of Europe's most prestigious baseball tournaments - the Transatlantic Regional, the Junior League Regional and the Little League European Regional.

Tapping into Talent

Inspired! Dazzling! Brilliant! The Gaelforce Dance Company gave fans of Irish culture an exquisite opportunity this September to see some of the best Irish dancing in the world.

The Wild West of England.

Despite its historical wealth and numerous attractions for tourists, the county of Cornwall, at the far end of England's southwestern peninsula, has long been in economic decline. Recently it achieved European Objective 1 status, if it can be called an achievement to be officially recognized as one of the poorest areas in the European Union.

Taking the FCE

Paper 1: Use of English

This paper consists of five parts, each very different, but all with the aim of testing your knowledge of English grammar, vocabulary and word formation.

Part 1

This is a multiple choice gap-fill exercise which involves knowing not only the meaning of words but also collocations and grammatical patterns. The extract below is the first paragraph of a typical part 1 text.

The London Tea Trade

Przekładaniec

Słowa dotrzymuję. Przynajmniej się staram. Przekładaniec przekładany dziś będzie krajobrazami i historiami z Irlandii oraz tak zwaną kompetencją. Wykazaliście się nią, ku naszej ogromnej radości. Wspaniałych prac konkursowych nadeszło ponad czterdzieści. I każdą przeczytaliśmy z należytą uwagą.

Miss Somebody: We speak with Ania Mucha

Ania Mucha has acted in numerous films, including Panna Nikt, Młode Wilki, and the series Matki, żony i kochanki. She also had an Englishspeaking role in Steven Spielberg' s acclaimed Schindler' s List. She spoke to Monika Jaworska about her life, her films and how the English language influences her career.

M.J.: How did you start acting?

Icelandic, Eccentric, Eclectic

All sorts of things have been said about her, but one thing everybody agrees upon is that she is unique. She's got an unusual voice, she is strangely beautiful and totally unpredictable. She is special, she is awesome - and her name is Björk.

Dr. John Dee - The Original 007

In the 16th century the English were at war with the Spanish. Queen Elizabeth I needed information about her enemies for the empire she was starting to build. And she needed a spy to get it. Dr John Dee, a philosopher, alchemist and mathematician was introduced to her, and became her most trusted and brilliant advisor. He was the man who inspired Shakespeare to create the character of Prospero from The Tempest, and the inspiration for Ian Flemings James Bond...