Friday, May 04, 2007

Yanamono Clinic - A Great Radio Story

May 4, 2007

Yesterday I had Linnea Smith on the program for the first time in years, a wild woman who when she isn't riding her motorcycle around Wisconsin's backroads, is treating snakebites and malaria and machete cuts at her clinic in the Peruvian rainforest - Yanamono Clinic, designed and built on the banks of the Amazon by Rotarians from Duluth, Minnesota, in response to my first interview with her in 1990.

It's such a great story, and one I never tire of telling. It says so much about the power of radio to connect people across the great divides - be they national, cultural, or racial. I got to spend a week in the Amazon some years ago, checking out the clinic in the company of a group of pharmacologists, many of whom went down there clutching well-worn copies of The Celestine Prophecy. I almost lost my mind that week. As much as I loved the idea of the clinic, I kept wrestling with the question, Was it really a good idea to build a western-style medical clinic in the heart of the Amazon? especially since I met several native healers and shamans while I was in the jungle. I have written at length about all this in the chapter called "A North American in the Amazon" in my forthcoming book. The last words in the chapter are "here on earth." And yes, that is a double plug.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

First of all, I love your show. To me, you are the consummate interviewer -- informed, interested, focused, connected, and relaxed I love it that you took the open line comments to heart and are tweaking the show accordingly. Thank you!

Next -- I know I'm only one of many who will want to know if you ran across any of the rotting maggot-infested Sardinian cheese on your trip. Please say a few words about the more appealing foods of sardinia so we are left with a better impression of their cuisine! Thanks.