A new method of travel

first_imgIFRANE, Morocco – While studying abroad last semester, I was introduced to a new form of transportation: camels. My classmates and I traveled to the town of Erfoud in the Tafilalt Oasis on Nov. 16. We went on historical tours, visited a fossil museum, attended Quran recitations and, my favorite part of the weekend, took a sunrise camel ride into the Sahara Desert. Although we had to wake up at 3 a.m. to catch the caravans into the dunes, the experience of riding a camel into the desert as the sun rose in the distance was unforgettable. There are few words that can describe the beauty of the desert. The landscape looked artificial, but I was quickly shaken into reality when I hopped onto the shaky, two-humped camel. Camels are definitely an interesting form of transportation, but they are not the most comfortable. I think I’ll stick with trains, buses, planes and cars. The Tafilalt Oasis is the second largest oasis in North Africa, behind the Nile Valley. It is manmade and said to date back to the Paleolithic Age. Because of its age, it is considered the best place to buy fossils in Morocco. In fact, the owner of the local fossil museum, Ibrahim Tahiri, is the main exporter of fossils from the Moroccan desert to Europe and North America. The fossil museum was not the only history Erfoud had to offer. Our professor, who organized the trip, arranged a tour of the Qasr al-Fada, a palace complex built by prince Moulay Abd al-Rahman in the early 19th century. Today, curators and descendants of the prince’s slaves still live in the parts of the complex that are not open for public viewing. The weekend reminded me how true and genuine Moroccan hospitality can be. We traveled to many small villages within the Oasis. Each time we walked through the gates of a new town, we were welcomed with Moroccan mint tea and an array of nuts. Our group consisted of approximately 25 people, but Moroccan men and women welcomed us into their homes as if we were old friends. This hospitality continued throughout the weekend when we were received at two different Zawiyahs, places of prayer and retreat. Not only did the people there welcome us as honorary guests, but they also provided us with entertainment, Quran recitations and tasty Moroccan tagine, a type of stew. My favorite part of the evening was the Quran recitations. Although I don’t know Arabic, listening to the men sing the verses was surreal. The verses became more upbeat as the evening progressed, and the musicians even broke out some drums. Islam is sometimes perceived negatively in the Western world, but I was able to witness a side of the religion that is rarely shared with the wider public. Contact Kaitlyn Rabach at [email protected]last_img read more

Vermont home care costs among the nation’s highest

first_imgAccording to Genworth’s 2010 Cost of Care Survey, home care costs, as well as costs of most other long term care services, are higher in Vermont than they are nationally. The median annual rate for home care costs in Vermont is $48,048 statewide, 11 percent greater than the median annual rate of $43,472 nationally.(1) Vermont, along with Delaware and Utah, is the 14th most expensive state for home care services.This is important to note given that a majority of Americans prefer to receive care in the home.  According to another Genworth survey conducted earlier this year, when asked to identify the setting most preferred to receive long term care, 78 percent chose the home; 18 percent chose assisted living, and only 2 percent selected a nursing home.(2)”Long term care is not just about nursing homes anymore,” said Buck Stinson, President, U.S. Life Insurance Products at Genworth.  “For many Vermont residents the ability to live independently is critical to maintaining quality of life.  Preparing for the expenses associated with one’s preferred care setting is a key factor in retirement planning,” he added.Now in its 35th year of providing long term care insurance to American families, Genworth’s annual Cost of Care Survey helps raise public awareness of the costs associated with various care options across the U.S.  In Vermont, the survey includes information on long term care costs in two regions.Vermont Cost of Care Survey FindingsHome Health Aide Services (Licensed)Statewide, costs are rising at a rate of 3 percent annually over the past five years.  This compares to an annual increase of 2 percent nationally over the same period.(3)Select RegionsMedian Hourly RateVermont-Statewide$21Burlington-South Burlington$20US National$19Assisted Living (One Bedroom/Single Occupancy)Assisted living costs in the Burlington area exceed the national level by 22 percent, while statewide costs are slightly lower than the national rate.  Statewide, annual costs have increased at a rate lower than national costs over the past five years (3 percent in Vermont compared to 7 percent across the U.S.) (3)Select RegionsMedian Annual Rate(4)Vermont-Statewide$36,360Burlington-South Burlington$46,440US National$38,220Nursing Home (Private Room)Statewide, nursing home costs exceed national levels by 27 percent.  Costs in the Burlington area are 37 percent higher than national levels.  The annual increase in cost for this type of care is 5 percent both nationally and statewide over the past five years.(3)Select RegionsMedian Annual Rate(5)Vermont-Statewide$95,360Burlington-South Burlington$103,156US National$75,190Adult Day Health CareCosts for this type of care statewide are double the national rate.  Select RegionsMedian Annual Rate(6)Vermont-Statewide$31,200South Burlington$32,240US National$15,600Let’s TalkTo help families plan more effectively plan for potential long term care needs, Genworth Financial launched its national “Let’s Talk” campaign in 2009.  “The first step in developing a comprehensive long term care plan is to speak with loved ones about the impact that a long term illness would have on them emotionally and financially,” added Mr. Stinson. “Genworth’s 2010 Cost of Care Survey, when used in conjunction with the resources available at caringtalk.com, provides families with a complete tool kit for mapping out a comprehensive long term care plan that addresses these concerns.”About Genworth’s 2010 Cost of Care SurveyGenworth’s Cost of Care Survey is the most comprehensive of its kind, covering nearly 13,000 long term care providers in 436 regions nationwide. It surveys the cost of long term care across the U.S. to help Americans plan for the potential costs associated with the various types of care available in their preferred location and setting.CareScout, acquired by Genworth in June 2008, has conducted the survey since 2004.Genworth’s 2010 Cost of Care Survey was conducted during January, February and March 2010.Full results of Genworth’s 2010 Cost of Care Survey, including an interactive map of the cost of care in all 50 states and 436 regions, and other useful tools and information is available online at Genworth.com/CostofCare2010.An interactive press release containing downloadable content is available at:http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/genworthfinancial/43289/(link is external)About Genworth FinancialGenworth Financial, Inc. is a leading Fortune 500 global financial security company. Genworth employs approximately 6,000 people with a presence in more than 25 countries. Its products and services help meet the investment, protection, retirement and lifestyle needs of more than 15 million customers. Genworth operates through three segments: Retirement & Protection, U.S. Mortgage Insurance and International. Its products and services are offered through financial intermediaries, advisors, independent distributors and sales specialists. Genworth Financial, which traces its roots back to 1871, became a public company in 2004 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. For more information, visit Genworth.com. From time to time Genworth releases important information via postings on its corporate Web site. Accordingly, investors and other interested parties are encouraged to enroll to receive automatic email alerts and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds regarding new postings. Enrollment information is found under the “Investors” section of Genworth.com.About CareScoutHeadquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, CareScout helps Americans across the United States find quality care providers for their long term care needs. As an objective source for this provider information, CareScout, now part of the Genworth Financial family of companies, developed the nation’s first quality-of-care ratings system for certified nursing homes and home care providers. Large employers, risk underwriters and families rely on CareScout’s proprietary ratings system, the CareScout network and its database of more than 90,000 providers including nursing homes, assisted living facilities and home care agencies to help find and arrange the most appropriate care for loved ones. For more information, visit carescout.com.(1)Home Health Aide Services annual rates are based on 44 hours/week multiplied by 52 weeks(2)America Talks: Protecting Our Families’ Financial Futures, an online survey of 2,939 U.S. consumers, conducted betweenJanuary 12 -15, 2010, by Age Wave/Harris Interactive, and sponsored by the Genworth Financial companies(3)Represents the compound annual growth rate based on Genworth Cost of Care Survey data from 2005-2010(4)Assisted Living Facility annual rates are based on monthly rate multiplied by 12 months/year(5)Nursing Home annual rates are based on daily rates, multiplied by 365 days/year(6)Adult Day Health Care annual rates are based on 5 days/week multiplied by 52 weeksNote to Editors: National costs for nursing homes, assisted living, home care and adult day health care are the median costs for these types of care calculated by averaging in all 436 regions surveyed.SOURCE Genworth Financial. RICHMOND, Va., 04/27/10/PRNewswire/ —last_img read more


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Laliga: Levante upset Barca

first_imgRelatedPosts No directive to constitute disciplinary committee against us — Ojudu, others ‘Army Officer’ in EFCC net for alleged multiple fraud COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance Levante scored three goals in seven minutes as they pulled off a remarkable comeback to inflict a damaging 3-1 defeat on La Liga leaders Barcelona.Ernesto Valverde made a handful of changes to the team that thumped Real Valladolid during the week, with Sergi Roberto, Arthur and Antoine Griezmann coming into the starting lineup. It took the Catalans a while to get going, though, only taking the lead after 38 minutes.Nelson Semedo was cleaned out after being released in behind the Levante defence by Arthur, giving Lionel Messi the chance to convert from the penalty spot. His strike means the Argentine has now scored five and made four assists in his five La Liga starts this season.Levante completely flipped the script in the second half, though, scoring three times in seven minutes. Jose Campana netted the first after 61 minutes, firing into the back of the net from 14 yards out after a poor clearance by Gerard Pique.Two minutes later, Borja Mayoral curled a strike past Marc-Andre ten Stegen before Nemanja Radoja made it three with a strike that made it past the Barcelona goalkeeper via a deflection off Sergio Busquets.Messi looked to have clawed one back for the away side, but a VAR review showed Griezmann to be offside in the build up. The result means both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid can leapfrog the defending champions with a win in their respective fixtures later this evening.Barcelona have recently hit their stride, surging to the top of La Liga before this match. This result, however, could drop them as low as fifth by the time the weekend’s games are in the books. Suarez was withdrawn with an injury not long after Messi had opened the scoring for the Catalans and that proved a turning point. Given how crucial the relationship between Messi and Suarez is to Barca, how big a blow would an injury to the Uruguayan striker be? Valverde will now anxiously await news from his medial team. On the basis of Barca’s performance after his withdrawal, they need Suarez.last_img read more

Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week

first_imgFacebook37Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Adopt-A-Pet of SheltonRipley and Memphis are available for adoption at Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton.Memphis and Ripley are 2 year-old, Black Lab/Chow Chow mix brothers.  These boys have had a hard time but, since coming to the kennel, are becoming less scared and more relaxed. They are very close and love having each other for company but can be adopted separately.Memphis is a slim 75 pounds.  His matted coat had to be shaved due to neglect and is just starting to grow back. Ripley takes time getting to know people but once comfortable, wants to be with you all the time.  They are both very sweet and love going for walks.We have lots of great dogs and always need volunteers to help us care for them. Find us on Facebook, or contact the Adopt-A-Pet dog shelter,  on Jensen Road in Shelton, at www.adoptapet-wa.org or contact us at [email protected] or (360) 432-3091.last_img read more