Andrew Forsthoefel, Come To Kerala!


Andrew Forsthoefel. Photo by Therese Jornlin, Andrew’s mom. Chadds Ford, PA.

The interns we have had the honor of hosting since setting up shop in Kerala a few years ago have all shared in the responsibility to communicate their experiences in writing on this blog. We are committed to the written word, but not Ludditically opposed to other forms of communication. We have barely put a toe in the water with video, and not even thought about radio as an option, even though we consider Jay Allison an epic hero of good, important communication.

Because of him, we know alot of worthy things that otherwise would have escaped our attention; most recently we learned of and from Andrew Forsthoefel, whose radio story is worth an hour of your time. After which, if you are like us, you will want to know where he is now, and what he is doing. We hope Andrew will see our shout out here and consider our welcome mat in Kerala. Here is his introduction to the podcast when it originally aired nearly 17 months ago:

It’s rare we take the time to listen to hour-long radio stories anymore, but I hope you’ll listen to this one, maybe twice. It’s an epic journey, a coming of age story, and a portrait of this country–big-hearted, wild, innocent, and wise. I co-produced it, but the credit goes to Andrew Forsthoefel, a first-time radio producer, who set out at age 23 to walk across America, East to West, 4000 miles, with a sign on him that said, “Walking to Listen.” Eventually, he showed up here in Woods Hole.Andrew didn’t intend to make a radio story–he just wanted to listen to people. You’ll hear in Andrew’s interviews his quality of attention. He is a magnet for stories and for the desire to connect.

This hour is culled down from 85 hours, an epic task in itself. Andrew has written extensive notes on his process that might be helpful for anyone undertaking a sprawling project. Transom is also collaborating with our friends at Cowbird as Andrew maps his journey, steadily adding new entries in the coming weeks. We hope you’ll listen, and ask questions Jay A

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