Q: What happens when people leave their regular routine and comfort zone and find themselves far from home, in foreign places and cultures unknown to them?
A: Life. Changing. Stories.
Each week, 22.33 delivers stories of people finding their way in new surroundings. With a combination of travel tales, innovation, empathy, and even survival at times, 22.33 delivers unforgettable first-person stories from people whose lives were changed by international exchange.
New episodes are released every Friday, along with regular bonus episodes. For more information please visit:eca.state.gov/2233
Though she grew up in New York City, Amanda Trabulsi never actually felt like she fit in until she landed in Kyrgyzstan, a faraway place that she knew little about. But then, as she looked like the locals, learned the local language, and taught local pop stars, she learned just how American she had been all along.
A Valentine's Day bonus: When Collin Walsh went to Bangladesh to learn the Bengali language, he had several goals in mind, including securing his future career. But of much greater concern was learning the language and culture enough to secure the woman he loved.
Musician Seth Glier traveled to Mongolia, China & Ukraine, connecting with foreign artists and audiences, learning to appreciate new cultural traditions, and learning more about his own country in the process. He performs a couple of songs in our tiny studio and premieres a song recently put together using sounds sampled during his trip.
Will Langford knew that Kenya would be very different than Detroit, but as an African American he never expected to be called a “white man” simply because of his American accent. His memorable enlightenment about race, wealth, and language led others not only to rethink their idea of America, but to help Will find himself as well.
Eaint Thiri Thu never set out to be a human rights activist. She did not like what was happening to minority populations in her country, but it was only when the government pushed to silence her that her anger and stubbornness not to be quieted emerged, along with courage and the sense that what she is meant to do is speak for those without a voice.
Because she was required to do a project during her exchange program in Jordan, Grace Benton volunteered to teach English to Sudanese refugees. What started as a lark (and with her literally falling on her face when she first met her students) led to the creation of a school program that still exists, and a passion for the plight of refugees that continues to color Grace’s life.
Eric Swinn found himself in St. Petersburg, Russia, tasked with teaching English to marginalized students who sometimes didn’t even speak Russian. Describing his regular trips from the city center to the end of the metro line in a barely inhabited village—firmly in the present, but always conscious of Russia’s deep and heavy past.
Xatyswa Maqashalala tells her life story, how a tragic misdiagnosis in her youth, combined with poor health care, led to her permanent disability—and how difficult it was to be young and disabled in a place without any special accommodations. Yet, as the result of all she went through, Xatyswa is determined to help others avoid her fate, and to live with dignity.
Husham Al-Thahabi never set out to be a hero. As he saw more and more orphans and homeless people in his community, he took it upon himself to create a center where needy community members would be cared for and trained for careers. As time went on and the community flourished, an entire village with the name Al-Thahabi stands as a testament to his legacy.
American professional soccer player Joanne Lohman recounts a trip to sub-Saharan Africa as a sports envoy only to learn that her team didn’t own shoes, despite the fact that turf was burning hot. With stories about girl-power, toughness, and teamwork, Lohman returned feeling she gained at least as much as she gave.
Featuring first-person stories of people finding themselves in the middle of a culture that is foreign to them; each week, 22.33 will deliver interesting tales from people who share how they were able to create mutual understanding through cultural exchange.