Around the World Here at Home

In this program, KSMU host Jennifer Davidson takes you somewhere new in the world each month by interviewing an Ozarks resident who was born in a different country.  Join us to hear about other cultures, traditions, and the diversity we have here in the Ozarks.

Good morning, and welcome to Around the World, Here at Home on KSMU.

Today, we hear the remarkable story of a woman who was born near the Baltic Sea, in the independent country of Latvia.  Ilga Vise is well known in Springfield for her years at Drury University, Missouri State, and as a volunteer with the League of Women Voters and other causes. She’s also someone very special to me as a friend and a mentor.

She still remembers the vivid scene from her childhood in Latvia when the Gypsy wagons rolled into town once a year.

Welcome to Around the World, Here at Home. I’m Jennifer Davidson. Today, we highlight the country with the second largest population in the world: over one billion people.  It has 14 official languages, but hundreds of others thrive, too.   It borders the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, and rises to the majestic Himalaya Mountains in the north.  Hinduism is the way of life for most, but Muslims, Christians and Sikhs, too, have a huge presence here:  India.

I spoke with Protima and Rabindra Roy, both longtime professors at Drury University in Springfield.

Good morning, and Welcome to Around the World, Here at Home.

Today, we’re headed south – way south – to a land conquered by Spanish colonists in 1512 after rumors that it bore silver mountains.  It was home to the president Juan Peron and his popular wife, Eva, who inspired the Broadway musical “Evita.” Today, it’s the eighth largest country in the world, and the largest Spanish-speaking one:  Argentina.

Welcome to Around the World, Here at Home. I’m Jennifer Davidson. Today, we travel to southeastern Europe, to a land the Roman Empire conquered nearly 2000 years ago.  It was home to the prince who inspired the character Count Dracula, and it boasts of rugged mountains and a coastline along the Black Sea:  Romania.  We hear from Drury University biology professor Ioana Popescu, who was a college student in the capital of Bucharest when the Iron Curtain of communism fell, and president Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown and executed.

Jassim Al-Roubaie now lives in Nixa, but was born to a Kurdish family in the heart of Iraq.

“I grew up in a beautiful city called Baghdad. Or, it used to be beautiful,” Al-Roubaie said. “It didn’t matter if you were Sunni, or Shiite, or Kurdish, or Arabic. Unfortunately, now it does.”

His dad wanted him to go to college in America. So, he found himself in a Catholic college in Kansas City.