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November, 2017

Episode 21: Rome with The Bittersweet Life

Rome with The Bittersweet Life

Veteran public radio producer Katy Sewall and writer Tiffany Parks have been friends since the sixth grade. Together they host The Bittersweet Life, a podcast they created four years ago when Katy spent a year in living in Rome, and where Tiffany has lived for the last thirteen years. Their conversational podcast is NOT short on substance by any means–they take deep dives into some pretty emotional terrain on universal topics such as joy, loneliness, heartbreak, relationships and much more as events unfold in their daily lives. In this episode we share some of our favorite shows from their podcast as well as learn more about Katy and Tiffany — where they’ve been and what lies ahead. (Length: 45 minutes)

Learn more by visiting The Bittersweet Life.

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SHOW NOTES

[00:10] Reunion in Seattle (clip courtesy The Bittersweet Life, Episode 161)
[01:26] You had me at hello: the beginning of a long friendship
[02:33] Why Italy? Tiffany shares how she ended up living in Rome
[06:30] Language and identity (clip courtesy The Bittersweet Life, Episode 2)
[08:43] A podcast is born: the beginning of The Bittersweet Life (show intro)
[11:20] Putting yourself out there
[13:08] The day after: the 2016 election (clip courtesy The Bittersweet Life, Episode 137)
[18:40] Getting to know you: how their podcast has made their friendship closer
[23:20] The Senses: A tour through Rome with Tiffany and Katy (clips courtesy The Bittersweet Life, Episodes 21-25)
[33:27] Katy discusses how the podcast has evolved over time
[35:00] Repatriation
[36:00] Change that comes with being an expat
[39:30] Tiffany’s first book Midnight in the Piazza (clip courtesy The Bittersweet Life, Episode 161)
[40:00] Katy ponders displacement and what’s next
[42:16] Quote from Little Women (clip courtesy The Bittersweet Life, Episode 21)

 

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Episode 20: Culture Shock Flashback: Venezuela

There’s so much going on in Venezuela these days, it’s hard to keep up. Luckily we have Marian Lefeld, an artist from Caracas to help us understand and navigate the current political and economic volatility. Lefeld moved to the United States twenty-two years ago with her husband Max just after Chavez was elected President. She shares what it was like to move to the US and leave her family behind, as well as current struggles in both countries. (Length: 31 minutes)

Learn more about artist Marian Lefeld.

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SHOW NOTES

00:39 Population of Caracas
02:19 Down under: exploring the Caracas subway
[02:55] Political instability in 1989 under President Perez
03:30 Hell breaks loose: gas prices trigger the Caracazo
[05:40] How Venezuela got to this point: historical overview
[08:11] Coup d’etat: enter Hugo Chavez
[09:30] Chavez becomes president
[10:15] We’re moving to Dallas, ya’ll!
[11:30] Challenges upon arrival
[12:30] Racism in America
13:45 Mi casa, su casa: immigration/emigration in Venezuela
[15:45] Visas and complications of US immigration system
[16:45] Shortages in Venezuela
17:55 The medical situation: “a war zone” (The Guardian)
[18:30] Pharmacy tourism in Mexico
[19:30] The National Constituent Assembly: Maduro’s big power grab
(Sources: WaPo, NY Times, BBC, Vox )
21:44 Red flags: democracy to dictatorship (Vox )
[22:44] Divide and conquer
[23:34] Not being able to return home: an immigrant’s dilemma
[24:57] Despite it all: there is joy
[25:52] Land of opportunity: education and generosity
[27:26] MAGA: Again? Really?
[28:24] American vs un-American: You’re, uh, gonna follow through, right?

RECOMMENDED READING

Six part symposium on Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly
Excellent article on Chavez and Maduro (Vox)
Supreme Courts Expose the Frailty of Democracy Around the World
(WaPo)

Painting by Marian Lefeld (2015)

 

Interesting exchange between Chavez and a Fox news reporter (2009)

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