The Optimist Podcast
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The Cambodian Teacher
On the season finale of The Optimist Podcast I chatted with Melany Danielson. Melany is a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cambodia educating her community on health and teaching English. We talked about her work, why she joined, how hard it was to learn the language, and the Cambodian version of carnaval.
The Mongolian Optimist Part Two
This episode continued our conversation with Travis Hellstrom about his life after Peace Corps. Travis has become a successful author and entrepreneur since returning from Mongolia. He’s launched The Optimist Program, started Advance Humanity, and written several books on a variety of topics. All of Travis' work can be seen at travishellstrom.com.
The Mongolian Optimist
In part one, Travis and I talked about his service in Mongolia, the vast differences between Mongolia and the U.S., working with the first ever B Corporation in Asia, and starting the first TEDx event in Mongolia. We also chatted about Global Happiness Indices, the pressure the west puts on developing countries, and, lastly, how he met his wife in Mongolia.
The Tanzanian Doctor House
On the season 1 finale of The Optimist Podcast I talked with Frederick Livingston — a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania–about spotting elephants, giraffes and zebras regularly, the frequency of buses breaking down, the laid back Tanzanian culture, building a doctor’s house for his village, and drunk bush babies falling out of trees every night.
The Gambian TREK
On this episode Tre and I talked about how The Gambia got the “THE” in its name, solar power, mistaking American football for rugby, his TREK project with 2 other volunteers, and being forced to sacrificed a ram to celebrate a Muslim holiday. We also bonded over being both former college athletes and Chelsea FC fans.
The Indonesian Turtle Sanctuary
For episode 5 I interviewed Elena Cussler, a Peace Corps volunteer in Indonesia. We talked about the misconceptions of Indonesia, working at a vocational school, and living in the largest Muslim country in the world during a presidential election with severe Islamophobia. We also touched on how good a 99 cent hamburger can taste when you’re homesick, eating cow skin, and sultans. Elena’s project is working at and renovating a turtle sanctuary, which we discussed as well. These...
The Ugandan Library
In episode 1 we sit down with Kelly Drummond, a Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda, and chat with her about building a library for the school, her Welcome to Peace Corps moment, and the time she thought someone was asking to borrow a condom.