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Simone Johnson's Spanish-speaking clients will never be lost in translation, once they hit the shores of The Bahamas.
In May 2010, Johnson started her Spanish tour operating business, Bahamas A Sus Ordenes, after scores of tourists complained to her about how not enough people are able to communicate with them.
Despite being bilingual for more than 20 years, she told Guardian Business in this week's edition of 'Da Plunge' that she only recently discovered that she needed to get creative in order to make the two languages work for her.
"I have noticed that in the last 10 years, we have had a large influx of Latin American visitors, but there was really no company per say concentrating on servicing these visitors," according to Johnson.
"I am also one of the Spanish ambassadors at the airport and of the main complaints is that there are not many people who speak Spanish, whether it is at the hotel or when they go to the restaurants.
"I created this tour business so that we can encourage more people to be creative with their language capabilities, so that the guests will have less to complain about. We have so many products and things to show our guests and language barriers shouldn't be used as an excuse."
She continued, "I have also noticed that the Ministry of Tourism was not really putting an emphasis on persons learning a foreign language, in order to help more foreigners in their own language."
Within the last two weeks alone, Johnson said her firm serviced 12 Argentinians, who were elated to learn about her company.
"I have found that they love to ask questions but they weren't able to ask any at their hotel because no one spoke Spanish. When they came across our service, they were elated. It's been very well-received," she noted.
Johnson pointed out that she acquired training and certification via the Bahamahost program, and expanded her business by hiring 12 part-time employees.
"They assist in doing translations for Spanish guests and act as tour guides for them as well. Altogether there are 15 of us, nine of which are Bahamians. If we want these visitors to come, we can't give them anything to complain about," she said.
GREAT BAY/MARIGOT, St. Martin
- House of Nehesi Publishers
(HNP) has just been published the French translation of the book Haiti and Trans-
Caribbean Literary Identity by Emilio Jorge Rodri?guez.
The new French edition, Hai?ti et l'identite? litte?raire trans-caribe?enne, complete
with classic photos of distinguished Haitian authors such as Fernand Hibbert and Jacques
Ste?phen Alexis, is available at Amazon.com, Arnia's, Van Dorp, and other bookstores...
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Citing the huge Haitian population of Grand Bahama Island, Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville on Friday, February 22, expressed delight in having Haiti's Ambassador to The Bahamas visit the island.
His Excellency A. Antonio Rodrigue, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Haiti, on his first official visit to Grand Bahama, paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Grand Bahama at his office situated in the Harold DeGregory Complex on the Mall.
In welcoming the Ambassador, the Minister said that "we are pleased to have him and his trip will be very instrumental for us to work out some of the necessary aspects of bi-lateral trade between Haiti and The Bahamas, and one of the issue we really want to talk about is our port and how instrumental that port will be in order for us to accomplish those goals and objectives."
Minister Darville also took time out to inform his guests of the "very strong Haitian Community here on the island of Grand Bahama, and there are many issues concerning the community.
"One of the things I am certain that we would go into discussion with is the immigration aspects. We would also go into discussion on documentation and the ease of translation of documents from French to English and for them to be notarised in Haiti or the possibility of being notarised in The Bahamas so that our Department of Immigration would be in a position to expedite matters as it relates to immigration," he stated.
In translation from its Greek roots, Electroencephalogram (EEG) means electro -- electrical, encephalo -- brain and gram(ma) -- picture.
An electroencephalogram (EEG) is the recording of electrical activity of the brain, similar to the ECG (electrocardiogram) where recording electrodes are placed on the chest to capture the electrical activity of the heart. By placing electrodes on the scalp and amplifying the activity, an electrical brain picture is recorded. This picture may be normal but in specific disease processes, distinct abnormal patterns may be generated indicating seizure or tendency to have a seizure.
A routine EEG recording lasts about an hour with preparation time lasting about the first 20 minutes of that hour. The procedure is painless but requires patience. The electrodes are placed on the scalp with a conductive gel or paste, usually after preparing the scalp area with a light skin prep gel to reduce artifact. During the recording, activation procedures are used that may induce abnormal activity that might not otherwise be seen. These procedures include fast breathing also known as hyperventilation (HV), photic-stimulation (flashing a strobe light in front of the eyes), eye closure, mental activity, and sleep deprivation (lack of sleep).
The main application of the EEG is in the diagnosis and monitoring of epilepsy but is also used in the diagnosis of patients who are suspected of having various problems which may be non-epileptic in nature, including neurological problems (brain tumors, strokes, degenerative, metabolic or toxic brain disorders or infections), psychiatric disorders and movement disorders.
A seizure can mimic many disorders simply because depending on where in the brain the abnormal electrical discharges are occurring, an individual will present with symptoms related to the functioning of that area, which means that any sudden, unexpected change in behavior be it motor, sensory (touch, vision or hearing), learning, psychic or emotional can be due to seizure.
Imagine your baby developing sudden jerky movements, your child suddenly and unexpectedly passing out, your spouse having staring episodes and ignoring you, a sudden drop in academic performance or strange bizarre behavior in grandmother.
These may all be due to various problems but can all be caused by seizure activity.
Although EEGs are designed to assist in diagnosis and monitoring of treatment of seizures it is extremely useful in eliminating non-epileptic events. There are different types of EEGs with use in different situations such as:
o Routine EEG: A 20 to 40 minute recording of the resting brain activity performed while the patient is awake, drowsy and/or asleep. Total testing time is one to 1.5 hours.
o Sleep-deprived EEG: An EEG that is also recorded for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, after the patient has been deprived of sleep for at least 24 hours.
o Prolonged EEG: A one to five hour extended EEG recording is used specifically to capture typical episodes that are concerning such as unusual occurrences such as jerks, twitching, bedwetting, staring, uncontrollable shaking, drooling from the mouth or strange behavior. This type of EEG can be extended to days if necessary provided episodes are occurring frequently enough and there is a good chance of capturing it while brain waves are being recorded.
o Video EEG: An EEG recorded while the patient is being filmed. This provides clear correlation of the physical and brain activity. If there is an unusual occurrence such as staring or body movements, we can evaluate the brain function and the video in real time, to see if there is any correlation.
o Ambulatory EEG: A 24 to 48 hour EEG recording which can be extended for much longer, in which the patient wears a monitor at home. The ambulatory EEG unit is a small piece of equipment that is connected to the scalp electrodes and brain waves continuously. This is similar to the Holter monitor used by cardiologists to record heart beats when suspecting heart problems. The ambulatory EEG allows for complete mobility of the patient and is used to evaluate episodes that are frequent or that may occur in specific environments. It can also be used to monitor medication effects and behavior changes. It cannot however be taken into the shower. A routine EEG must precede this study.
If you or a family member develops a sudden, unexpected event and believe that a seizure is a possibility then discuss with your doctor about obtaining the appropriate EEG. Accurate diagnosis is essential for appropriate treatment and despite misconceptions by the general public that modern tests (such as MRI and CT scans) reveal everything any good doctor will tell you that accurate diagnosis is based predominantly on a thorough history and a good clinical examination. Tests are tools utilized to help to either confirm or negate the clinical diagnosis and should never be applied in a shotgun approach, which is neither efficient nor cost-effective.
EEGs are very cost-effective when considering that if the wrong diagnosis is made, this can mean that an individual is placed on unnecessary medications for years with possible side effects or alternatively not placed on appropriate seizure medication and is at risk for catastrophic events. Remember that seizures can indeed kill.
o Arona Aranha is an EEG technician.
Marvel canít seem to do any wrong with its movies these days, save for a Spider-Man that shouldnít have been. Furthering the growth of expectation for The Avengers, Thor does its best in introducing the character to cinema-goers.
Thor is one of the Marvel characters that Iíve always wanted to get into but never really got the opportunity to. His translation to film was a pretty decent one, Chris Hemsworth seemed like he was literally born to play the role.
The movie plays out between two worlds, Earth and Asgard. On Earth the
By NOELLE NICOLLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
SUPPORTERS of Philip "Brave" Davis, deputy leader of the Progressive Liberal Party, made a strong showing at yesterday's mass demonstration protesting the government's sale of BTC to Cable and Wireless Communications.
A large contingent of PLP youth arrived at the demonstration together. They brought life-sized "Be Brave" posters to the demonstration and wore custom-made designer "unity shirts."
The shirts were printed with the phrase "Yah ROEH", a Hebrew reference to "a shepherd", according to one protester.
Another protester said he did not know the translation for the ...
Is a dangerous new phase in the global economic turmoil on the horizon?
It's a question worth considering, given the ominous developments in Europe over debt.
This possibility is no doubt of paramount concern to The Bahamas' policymakers.
Europe represents about one-fifth of the world economy, which is comparable to the U.S. share.
Economists argue that if Europe relapses into a worse recession, worldwide economic nationalism would intensify. Europe buys about 25 percent of America's exports - a number which would decline.
The weaker economies of the European Community - Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain - are struggling because of large fiscal deficits and burdensome debt loads.
A fall off in European economic activity adversely affects the economy of its major trading partner - the U.S.
In so far as U.S. exports to Europe are reduced, so is U.S. disposable income.
Any reduction in U.S. income is reflected in less spending on leisure items, including trips to The Bahamas. A further European downturn could reduce Bahamian national income.
That of course would translate into even more tough times for Bahamians who are already struggling under the weight of a prolonged economic downturn.
The global crisis of 2008 had a significant impact on the Bahamian economy. Tourist arrivals declined and foreign direct investment fell, leading to a contraction in domestic activity and a spike in unemployment.
Forecasts for meaningful economic recovery continue to be pushed back - in some predictions, quite a few years.
The national debt stands at about $4.1 billion. The slow economic recovery in the U.S. continues, which does not bode well for our stopover tourist numbers, and it appears that the Baha Mar project is one of the only hopes we have for outside investment in the short-term.
And even though Baha Mar will bring in temporary benefits, will these benefits be sustainable at the end of the project and will our stopover arrivals be sufficient to fill all of the rooms the project calls for?
Officials point out that despite the growth in national debt, The Bahamas is still well placed when compared to our Caribbean counterparts. However, our debt level has risen since the recession.
The government has done its best to weather the economic storm, but will that be enough to take us through another round of economic turmoil?
What are the government's long-term plans if the country goes into a double-dip recession? What are its plans as it relates to borrowing levels and capital expenditure?
It will be hard for the country to sustain yet another blow to its economic health.
Are we prepared for such a blow?
Difficult economic times demand creative solutions.
Resorts and hoteliers are pumping more cash into marketing, advertising and promotions in 2012 in an effort to keep the forward momentum going.
"There is no letting up on the promotions in terms of investment," said David Johnson, the director general at the Ministry of Tourism. "A number of stakeholders are boosting their marketing resources to stimulate sales as much as possible. With the late booking environment we're in, you can't afford to go dark. You have to remind people constantly of what you have."
In fact, the Ministry of Tourism and its various promotional boards have just approved the popular companion fly free program. Johnson told Guardian Business it continues to play a crucial role in attracting arrivals, and converted into dollars and cents, he said it translates into $250 in savings for those who stay three nights or less, and $400 for tourists traveling for four nights or more.
"So far it has worked. We are assured to have a strong winter. Our business has trended upwards since December," he added.
According to preliminary statistics from The Bahamas Hotel Association (BHA) and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, December 2011 saw an occupancy rate of 58.3 percent compared to 55 percent the previous year.
Room nights sold rose by 5.1 percent and hotel room revenue went up 6.5 percent year-on-year.
Stuart Bowe, the president of the BHA, said it's essential for hotels to increase revenue, as operating costs rise and resorts are forced to make large capital expenditures to remain competitive.
He echoed Johnson's sentiments that more focus on marketing and joint promotional and product improvement efforts have led to improved numbers in December 2011 and so far into this year.
"We are seeing the value of our strong marketing and promotional initiatives which are resonating well in the marketplace," he added. "These have been underway for two years and each year we have seen incremental progress. We are also pleased to see some of the highest customer satisfaction levels reported in years, with visitors citing overall improvements in the experience and appearance of our islands."
Bowe also noted the length of stay continues to rise for arrivals into Nassau, partly attributed to the new packages on offer but also the nature of the tourist.
Arrivals from Latin America, for example, comprise a different breed that tends to splash out for longer holidays.
In terms of 2011 as a whole, occupancy rate came in at 63.9 percent compared to 62.6 percent the previous year. Room nights sold improved 1.3 percent and room revenue spiked 3.1 percent.
Preliminary air arrivals to Nassau to the end of October last year were down 3.3 percent.
Bowe and other tourism leaders are predicting that 2012 could be the year that arrivals and occupancy levels return to pre-recession levels.