The first Simmer episode features an interview with Malawi Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and songwriter Dr. Jack Allison and an investigation of the cultural phenomenon of dessert.
Dr. Jack Allison served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi from 1967 to 1969 and then led a long career in emergency medicine in the United States. His health-care-related jingles became hit songs in Malawi. In this 2013 interview, we discuss health care, the cultural relativity of poverty, his songwriting, and cultural differences between Africa and the United States. The segment concludes with “No Dessert,” an original piece about the cultural relativity of the food practice of dessert.
Fikrat Hajiyev was Carla’s former host father in Azerbaijan, and was recently fired from Ganja State University for speaking out against corruption. He is looking to be reinstated into his teaching position. Appeals can be emailed to the President of Azerbaijan here.
Oh, it’s a suffering world; oh, it’s a suffering song…but if you sing along, you won’t be suffering for long.
Original song from Who Are My People? (2013). Written while in the Peace Corps in Togo, 2010, where I alleviated my own “suffering” from lack of material comforts with music (performing with a local group and leading a middle school chorus).
In collaboration with the International Center for Art and Music of Ouidah (CIAMO), Carla recently performed at the “Festival Carnaval Kaleta” in Benin, West Africa. The Kaleta festival is an event that draws from the masked carnival dances performed by African slaves in Brazil, who would use such carnival events as a way to mock their white owners without fear of punishment. Carla led CIAMO’s girls chorus and sang a rendition of “The House of the Rising Sun.”
Ça va aller. It will be all right. Just lay back and relax.
Wait all day by the side of the road to see
if a bus or truck
is going your way.
Go with the destiny.
God and the spirits control, not us. There is so much suffering; what can we do? Just bear it, supporter.
Carla will be performing at the NYC venue The Bitter End as part of its Sunday night Singer/Songwriter Sessions. She will play an original set from 8:30 to 9pm on September 4th, 2011. $5 cover charge. Address 147 Bleecker Street (between Thompson and LaGuardia), New York, NY 10012. Click here for directions.