Mon, 29 June 2015
It's not every day one gets to chew the fat (apologies, this is cockney rhyming slang for "chat") with a Franco Vietnamese expat in Colombia and less so when she's the author of the highly recommended website www.bogotastic.com! So, settle back with a good drink and tune in to listen to a fun chat with Jade Longelin on Colombia Calling who is making the most of her move to the Colombian capital city.
Hear Jade and myself talk graffiti, identity, architecture, networking and more as we discuss her life in Bogota, the reasons for being here and indeed the reasons behind her website. If you are curious, drop her a line.
Mon, 22 June 2015
We know that Colombians love to party and what's more they are good at it, if not the best, but what about taking a look at Colombia's carnIvals, fiestas and ferias from a more academic perspective?
When I heard that long time colombiaphile and Briton Charlotte McKenzie had actually written her Masters thesis on this very subject taking three celebrations to study from the Caribbean coast, I knew we had to get her on the show.
Tune in and listen to journalist Charlotte waxing lyrical about the Vallenato Festival in Valledupar, the Carnival in Barranquilla and the fiestas in the small town of Cienega. This show offers a unique insight to what may be a Colombian obsession with partying.
Mon, 15 June 2015
This week we sitdown with the Australian master story teller, Barry Max Wills. Were he a Colombian and were his stories fictional, he would be referred to here as a cuentero, but no, Barry's stories are true and told in a fashion that makes one want to pull up a chair and listen for hours on end.
An international citizen, Barry has lived in his native Australia, France and England, but is equally at home on his coffee finca called Rancho Grande out in Colombia's Eje Cafetero coffee region. As you can imagine, much of his humour and love for his adopted homeland stems from almost unbelievable tales about running this farm "out in the bush" as he likes to say.
Rather than spoil the show by revealing too much of the content, just suffice it to say that Chapter One of the collection of non fiction essays we published a couple of months ago "Was Gabo an Irishman? Tales from Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Colombia," (http://goo.gl/Bmw7UE) was penned by Barry. We discuss his book in the works, "Letters from Colombia"....oh and did you hear the one about russian roulette? No, you'll just have to tune in.
Mon, 8 June 2015
Colombia Calling is tackling a sensitive but very newsworthy subject this week and it is that of adoptions from Colombia. Some months ago I was contacted out of the blue by Alex Westendorf, a Colombian by birth who was adopted at a young age and subsequently grew up in Iowa, USA.
Now married and with two children of his own, Alex has started to investigate his past and is searching for a little more information about his identity. After having scoured the documentation available regarding his adoption he decided to come down to Bogota to have a look around, meet with the various relevant government bodies and try and trace a little of his background.
We get to speak to Alex once he has returned to the US about his experiences in Bogota, whether he was able to trace his roots, find the orphanage where he lived and so on.
This is an intensely personal and emotional interview this week and I hope that anyone out there who may have been through the same experience might reach out to share their findings in a similar situation.
Mon, 1 June 2015
Who would have thought that little old Colombia Calling would reach 100 episodes?! It's thanks to you the listeners out there for inspiring us to keep on going and keep on improving, 7000 plus downloads a week and growing!
This week to celebrate this landmark 100th episode, we have frequent guest, political analyst, Kevin Howlett to the show to discuss with us the realities and the concern abounding about the on-going peace dilaogues between the FARC rebels and the Colombian government in Havana, Cuba.
Howlett's work as a Colombia expert can been seen here www.colombia-politics.com and his insight into the actual situation is second to none. Expect a conversation taking in the issues of the FARC guerrillas, mentions of the ELN rebels, the political cllimate in Colombia and indeed potential outcomes for the situation.