People living in northern Europe will probably agree that we have had the wettest and chilliest summer in living memory. Autumn too has arrived early, and according to this morning's weather forecast we can look forward to nightly sub-zero temperatures in the coming week.
Our long, dark northern winter is on its way. This depressing realisation may prompt us to start planning a winter get-away and/or a worthwhile project to help us survive the winter without sinking into a deep depression.
It looks pretty, but.....
Here is a unique 'and/or' solution that may or may not appeal to you.
Hainan is a tropical island in southern China. In January and February temperatures are between 16 and 21 degrees centigrade (61 – 70 degrees F.) In December 2009 the Chinese government decided to establish Hainan as an 'international tourist destination.
If you would like to escape post Christmas and New Year blues you could spend more than a month in this tropical paradise learning a new language; no, not Chinese, but Esperanto. The course initiators have renamed the island 'Esperanto Insulo' (Island)
From 11th January - 12th February 2012 you could enrol in this Esperanto immersion course on the island of Hainan.
A word of warning; this course is not meant for diletantes. With all due respect, if you prefer lounging on the beach etc. this 'and/or solution' is not for you.
Dennis Keefe from the University of Nanking has planned a course of 8 hours a day, 6 days a week classroom activities. After lessons students coming from at least 17 countries will go on talking to each other in Esperanto – and only in Esperanto. After sixteen hours of Esperanto, they will doubtless dream in it too. On Sundays an Esperanto-speaking guide will show you round the island.
How much will it cost?
If you are willing to share a room with three other people, forgoing the luxury of a private bathroom and eating frugally it will cost about 458 euros. This also includes tuition.
A single room (including your own bathroom, gourmet meals and tuition will cost about 780 euros.
In addition of course you will have to pay your travel expenses to Hainan.
At the end of the course you should have an adequate working knowledge of Esperanto. Afterwards you will as a minumum be able to use it to keep up and develop friendships with fellow students from all over the world. Although we do not have a country we do have a culture. Knowing the language is the key to enjoying our literature and music as well as learning about our history etc, etc.
The project's home-page, is only in Esperanto, but if you would like to enrol, click here. where you will find the relevant e-mail addresses.