Honey, We're Trapped in Poland...
Protesting with superheroes and cheesecake, Mike and Anne Howard from HoneyTrek share what to do when you’re locked down in Poland during a pandemic (very specific, but bear with us), and a lesson from Zulu and Xhosa on how to see the world.
Before we hop into our regularly scheduled episode, we'd like to acknowledge the world changed during our production process. The killing of George Floyd in Minnesota was ugly and senseless. But it sparked an insistent dialogue about race and privilege and a show of unity that has spread across the world.
As white people who are trying to be better allies, we think it's important for us to go on the record and say, equivocally, that Black lives matter. We're glad #AmplifyMelanatedVoices is trending, but we encourage you to make it a habit.
So here are a few podcasts that we think you'll love as much as we do. Share your favorites in the comments or on social media and we'll pass them along.
Code Switch: This NPR podcast is hosted by journalists of color who address race in a direct and comprehensive way. Episodes cover art, politics, history, sports and general pop culture through engaging storytelling.
The 1619 Project: To understand what's happening in the U.S. right now, you have to start at the very beginning and examine how racism is baked into the recipe for the country. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones hosts this excellent overview.
Good Ancestor Podcast: Want to be a better (and better informed) human? Listen to Layla F. Sayad's interviews with change-makers from all over the world. (Her book, Me and White Supremacy, is a must-read as well.)
Black Market Reads: Lissa Johnson (who also hosts Urban Agenda on KMOJ, the oldest Black-owned station in Minneapolis and St. Paul) chats with an incredible range of writers -- novelists and poets, yes -- but also essayists, librettists and spoken word performers too.
There have been many stories of solidarity, beauty and unity during the most recent Black Live Matter marches. This is not one of them. But because moments of levity been in very short supply lately, the Internet latched on to this bizarre bit of stupid news from Seattle.
“You see someone actually walking away with a cheesecake there after the Cheesecake Factory was looted," said a KIRO 7 anchor, as a figure strolled down the street with a perfectly decorated cheesecake and a couple of wine glasses. “Unclear where they may have gotten that, but…”
Twitter appreciated the journalistic neutrality, as this article from Vice illustrated.
The coronavirus has changed the travel industry completely. But while most of us were isolating at home, Mike and Anne Howard of HoneyTrek were literally forced to keep moving along the backroads of Poland to keep their RV powered up while they waited for borders to reopen. The trip forced them to travel and connect in ways that would have unimaginable just a few months ago -- but that might just influence how we travel in the future.
Not that they're new to RVing, getting off the beaten path or improvising. Anne and Mike went on their honeymoon in 2012 and just kind of kept going. They're also the authors of National Geographic's Ultimate Journeys For Two: Extraordinary Destinations on Every Continent and Comfortably Wild: The Ultimate Glamping Guide.
We totally share their hopes that the pandemic will nudge us into more deep, thoughtful, slow travel experiences like theirs. (Although replicating the exact circumstances will be pretty tricky.) They also shared some practical tips for RVing with those of us who are new to the experience.
What about you?
Which province, state or country would you like to be quarantined in and why?
Which places are on your RV bucket list?
What RVing tips do you have for us?
What interests you about traveling in an RV?
A note from Alicia, prompted by the end of this episode's randomness: For the record, I would never drug/kidnap Joe because: 1.) That's abusive and wrong. (Duh.) 2.) We live on different continents and I have enough logistical challenges in my life at present. 3.) Encouraging him to drink a bunch of high alcohol IPAs would probably achieve the same end result, with the added bonus of plausible deniability.
Ubuntu (Xhosa, Zulu)
I am, because you are.
I find worth in you and you find worth in me.
The ubuntu philosophy is complex, but it basically means that we're all deeply connected and emphasize our common humanity. It also shaped the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and the philosophies of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, so it's an excellent word for this moment in time.
Stay well out there, everyone. Keep talking to each other, keep caring for each other.
(And ignore Joe rolling his eyes from Germany. He hates this schmaltzy stuff, but he means it, too.)