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People & Life

People & Life on Weekend America


  • Pieces of the Quilt

    Today is World AIDS Day, and in many places across the U.S. parts of the AIDS Memorial Quilt are being displayed. In Atlanta, Jada Harris and a group of individuals from the Names Project Foundation has been feverishly sewing new blocks to add to the quilt. Their goal is to create more blocks that represent African-Americans, which make up 42 percent of all diagnosed AIDS cases, but are represented in less than one percent of the quilt panels. Weekend America host Desiree Cooper checks in with Harris about the groups progress.

  • From Somalia to Portland

    This year, the United States resettled nearly 7,000 refugees from Somalia, the most of any African nation. Like many minority Somali Bantu, Omar Abdirahaman and his family fled to Kenya after being targeted by militia groups in Somalia. Omar, his wife and children spent 15 years in the refugee camp, and finally made it abroad in 2004. Like most Somali Bantus in Portland, Ore., Omar works at a fish factory in town. But on weekends, especially in the morning, he sings and plays traditional guitar and drums. That's the one thing Omar brought with him, his music.

  • From Iraq to Detroit

    Moving Pictures

    The Augustin family fled Iraq and now they live in Detroit. Producers Ann Heppermann and Kara Oehler talk with them about the one thing they managed to hold on to: their home movies.

  • Washington to Alaska: Stopping off in Juneau

    Weekend America has been following Erin McKittrick and her husband Bretwood "Hig" Higman's walk from Seattle, Wash., to Unimak Island, Alaska. They are walking to bring attention to environmental issues. It's a 4,000 mile trek and will take about nine months. We'll check in to see how the couple is holding up.

  • From Burma to Indianapolis

    This year, the United States has received nearly 14,000 Burmese refugees. Agencies in Indianapolis, Ind., have resettled more than 600 Chin refugees this year, mainly from camps in Malaysia. The Chin are one of the largest ethnic groups in Burma and mainly Christian. Here, many Chin have set up churches on the south side of Indianapolis, and are practicing Christianity openly for the first time in years. Producers Ann Heppermann and Kara Oehler talk with Sui Tluangneh, who was forced to flee his country because of the item he brought with him: a poem.

  • One Thing: From Burundi to Phoenix

    Last year, some 41,000 refugees resettled in the United States, bringing with them hopes, fears, scars and painful memories. They also brought objects. Today, we bring you the first part of a new series, One Thing. It takes a look at newly arrived refugees in towns and cities across America. We'll ask them about their journey and that one thing they've brought from their old home to their new. Our first story takes place in Phoenix, Ariz., where a large number of Bunrundians are resettling.

  • Lost Dad

    As fall swings into gear, it can be the perfect time to connect with nature. A few years ago, reporter Liz Jones went camping with her parents on a real backcountry trip. However, not everything went according to plan--dad got lost. Jones and her dad never really talked about what happened on the trip until recently.

  • Tales from the Backyard Pool

    As summer comes to a close, so will most public pools. For most, endless days spent swimming will end, but for the lucky ones with a pool in their backyard, the fun never stops. Dale Braiman of Haines City, Fla., tells us about the first time he took advantage of a privilege that only pool owners can enjoy. And Jane Bratton of Highland Heights, Ky., talks to us about what a backyard pool from her childhood still means to her.

  • A Very Long Walk (for a Cause)

    Erin McKittrick and her husband Bentwood "Hig" Higman are going for a walk, a very long walk. The couple will be leaving their home in Seattle, Wash., to embark on a 4,000-mile trek along the Pacific Coast through Anchorage, Alaska, ending at Umimak Island. They expect it to take nine months. They will walk, hike, raft, and ski along the way. Weekend America talks with the couple as they prepare to leave for their journey.

  • Open Letter to Cadbury Crème Eggs

    Judy Minor noticed something disturbing this year. Each year the Cadbury Crème Egg starts showing up on grocery store shelves earlier and earlier. That prompted her to write this letter. It's part of our series: Open Letters to People and Entities Who are Unlikely to Respond.

  • Open Letter to Host Family

    Studying abroad is a way to learn about a new culture and meet new people. And of course, you can write to those back home about your adventures. Amy O'Leary ended up writing a letter, after her study abroad experience, to her host family.

  • Open Letter to Buick Park Avenue Ultra

    Usually when you write a letter, the recipient writes back. But sometimes, they just can't. From time to time we air open letters to people and entities who are unlikely to respond. It's part of our ongoing series with McSweeney's online magazine. Classic car owner Jeanne Shoemaker has something she needs to say to her 80-year-old parents' new Buick Park Avenue Ultra.

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