for the Week of February 23, 2001
Listen to the Whole Show
Music for the Road
Melinda Penkava is our guest host this week! Hear about her brush with fate with Sonny, Cher, and a snow drift.
Our first stop today is a mission of mercy … to pity the poor camel. Remember Lawrence of Arabia? The Bedouin Arabs rising from the desert to re-conquer their homeland. Carrying them up the Hijaz, across the Sun's Anvil … was that essential, noble beast. But, lately, camels have fallen on tough times. They've been replaced by jeeps and trucks across most of Arabia … maligned in the West as stubborn, spitting creatures. They've even lost their name: they're not "camels" anymore, but "dromedaries" to be precise. But never mind all that. There is a place where people will still come for miles to get their camels. It's in North Africa, and our correspondent Diane Richard takes us there.
Cajun Mardi Gras
It's carnival time in many parts of the world, and revelers in Rio de Janiero, Trinidad and elsewhere are having one last big fling before the 40 relatively more quiet days of Lent. The festivities come to a peak, of course, on the Tuesday before Lent, known in some places as "fat Tuesday," or, in French, "Mardi Gras." Now, the place most associated with Mardi Gras, in this country, is New Orleans. But these days, alcohol, plastic bead necklaces and bare-chested men and women make that Mardi Gras look like the first stop on MTV's Spring Break Tour. There is another place we can look. Just west of the city, in Louisiana's Cajun country, residents have their own special way of celebrating. It's called the "Courir de Mardi Gras" or the Mardi Gras Run. Last year, Jim Metzner joined the celebration. He sent us this sound portrait of Mardi Gras, Cajun style...
Interview: Ted Koppel, "Off Camera"
In 1953, a 13 year old and his parents emigrated from England to the United States. That is, of course, Nightline anchor Ted Koppel. Young Ted Koppel, of course, grew up to be a foreign correspondent for ABC news, and spent the last two decades anchoring Nightline. He figures he's visited at least 85 countries. In 1999, he kept a journal of his life and travels - that year he reported from Kosovo and vacationed in Ireland and Greece and Turkey. The journal became a book, "Off Camera" and I spoke with Ted Koppel about his year traveling, starting off with that Kosovo trip. "The toughest thing about traveling in the Balkans," he writes, "is traveling in the Balkans."
Simple Kindness in Bhuj
In his book, The Witness of Poetry, Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz writes about a hierarchy of needs that reveals itself when great tragedy strikes. It's when the simplest acts of human kindness toward a fellow human being acquires more importance. Our Jeff Tyler found that in Bhuj, India, a city along India's western border with Pakistan. Jeff went to Bhuj just days after the devastating, 7-point-7 magnitude earthquake struck, and left 18,000 people dead. Another half million homeless. Even though Jeff's seen a lot, reporting from all over the world, he was not at all prepared for what he'd find in India.
Question of the Week
We hear from you about your top travel tunes, including one from Brave Combo's Carl Finch. For next week, we ask about your most memorable spring breaks.
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