A young couple flies to Lesotho to meet the little boy they’ve adopted, but all the clothes they’ve brought will have to wait until he grows into them because as it turns out, he’s only 18 months old. Just a year or two later, it’s the Democratic Republic of Congo that awaits when they make the trip to meet their daughter.  This time around, they’re expecting a 5-year-old and are met by an 8-year-old.

Live music is such a thing here. (Felice, 13:14)


Felice Dougherty is an educator and travel enthusiast who has been stuck at 98 countries visited for over a year. When she is not planning her family’s next adventure, she teaches second grade at the International Community School of Addis Ababa. At home, she often pretends she is on the cooking show Chopped. In her kitchen. By herself. Her two children and husband enjoy her culinary creations–or at least they say they do because they know better.

The Listen Podcast
S14, E3: Felice Dougherty on life in Ethiopia

Fresh out of college, a young writer accepts a job with an NGO, which takes her to Africa on several trips. The connections she makes there – with primates, with nature, with local communities – will give her a new perspective that lends her writing a sense of joy and delight.

The approach of outsiders coming in and telling people how to manage their land and their lives is wrong. (Rebecca Villarreal, 3:54)


Rebecca Villarreal is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderón, A Globetrotting Magical Mystery of Courage, Food & FriendshipBy day, she’s a community organizer who helps people of all ages to create innovative projects aimed at people 50 and over along with their families. Prior to that, she traveled to Africa gathering wildlife conservation stories in collaboration with local communities and later worked with education and corporate clients in public relations.

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S14, E2: Rebecca Villarreal on the majesty of the world

A college senior suffers a stroke just weeks before her graduation. After four years of rehabilitation, she feels called to take a “victory lap,” visiting every continent on earth, including Africa.

To actually get on a camel and ride beside the Great Pyramids! (Karissa, 05:46)


A daring explorer, inspiring author, and engaging speaker, Karissa Denae Johnson strives to be a leading advocate for bravery. After being gripped by a devastating stroke at the age of 21, she eventually regained her ability to speak, write, and walk. Her courageous efforts later led her to explore seven continents before the age of 30.

The Listen Podcast
S14, E1: Karissa Denae Johnson on her coat of courage