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‘CRF’ Category

  1. Brooklyn, Brooklyn take me in

    November 30, 2012 by Kaitlin

    Two weeks ago, I moved to New York. I’m thrilled to be working for the Children’s Radio Foundation again, this time from the US.

    This is the view from the roof of my apartment building in Williamsburg.


    I know. I moved from Portland to Echo Park to Williamsburg. What can I say? Hipsters know how to run a neighborhood.

    My apartment is lovely (and walking distance from a coffeeshop that sells Stumptown), and my roommates are kind, creative and clean. The roommate trifecta. I found them on craigslist. The internet gods have been good to me once again. One of them is a photographer. If you’re getting married any time soon, you should check out her work.

    Before I came for a quick visit in early October, I had only been to NYC one other time in my life–in middle school. Being here now, I’ve got no clue why I didn’t come sooner. But at the same time, I also think it’s because of other experiences and other places I’ve lived that New York feels so right for right now. I love not having a car. I love having friends here from McKinney, Davidson and USC. I love making new friends, especially the guy at the deli down the street who looks like he walked off an extras casting call for the Sopranos and makes a sandwich with an ungodly amount of cured meats and cheeses. The cold I’m not crazy about, but I’m slowly remembering how to layer.

    Next up? Finding a yoga studio. I’ve been to a couple in the area (reviews to come, hopefully), but haven’t quite found one I’m crazy about yet. Suggestions welcome.


  2. A few good interns?

    August 30, 2011 by Kaitlin

    I can’t believe I didn’t link to this sooner.

    Before I left Cape Town, Mike Rahfaldt, the executive director of the Children’s Radio Foundation, asked me to write a little bit about my experience as an intern at CRF.

    The piece ended up getting posted on, which is super cool because Transom is the place to go to find out what’s new in public radio and also to read priceless bits of radio storytelling advice from industry veterans like Chris Brooks and Alex Blumberg.

    I understand if you don’t want to read the whole sidebar—it’s a little on the long side (Me? Wordy? Never!)–but I’ll issue the same plea here that I did there. If you’re at all interested in youth radio, Africa or experimental storytelling, please shoot an email to Mike or me. Even if you’re not in a situation where you could go to Cape Town right now, CRF has a great radio family around the world, and they’re always looking to add members.

  3. Three pieces of media worth sharing

    August 13, 2011 by Kaitlin

    My last two weeks in Africa were spent tackling the road trip of a lifetime. But more on that later.

    While I was traipsing around Mozambique and Kruger National Park, two jaw-dropping places with a blessed lack of internet connectivity, a couple of radio pieces I had a hand in finally made their ways to the airwaves.

    The first is a piece I worked on for Sandy Tolan’s radio documentary class. It’s a short journey into the life of Mina Kamath, an extraordinary woman who trained and worked as a dentist in India and California, and now runs one of Southern California’s premier metalworking shops. I had so much fun making trips to her art studio and iron workshop, as well as sitting down with her and her husband for interviews in their warm and welcoming West Hills home. I finalized the piece with KQED back in May, and I’m so glad to finally be able to share it with Mina and her family and others in Berkeley who may have been listening.

    The second is in collaboration with the new website Bending Borders. Launched by radio guru Karen Lowe, the site collects experiences from around the world that represent some shared and relatable aspect of human existence, even if it’s happening far away in a culture you may know nothing about. This bit is based on an interview conducted by CRF executive producer Nina Callaghan and originally aired on the Father’s Day Radio Workshop episode. I did some editing and recorded an intro—it’s great to see some CRF work in another context.

    Fatherhood in South Africa by efrost1

    Finally, here’s a video that takes this entry full circle. While we were on our road trip, the talented Andrew Crawford took video footage on his iPod Touch. Granted, the final product pretty much ended up being an homage to his girlfriend, PR extraordinaire Sarah Kane, which is understandable, because shoot, who doesn’t want to do a video homage to Sarah Kane? But it’s still a pretty masterful piece of editing, considering it was done on the fly, and it gives you a good idea of the kinds of people and places we encountered along the way. And don’t skip out on the first three seconds, that’s me blowing out candles on sweet, sweet, on-the-road birthday cupcakes.

  4. Closing a chapter, but not the book

    July 27, 2011 by Kaitlin

    I’m not sure how it happened, but here I find myself. My last night in Cape Town. There’s still two weeks of fun to be had in Joburg, Kruger, and Mozambique, but tonight is it for Kaapstad. Emotions are mixed, to put it mildly.

    I miss my family, of course, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss grocery stores that actually stay open past 6 p.m., but I’d also be lying if I said I was super excited to go back to smoggy, overpriced LA and be bombarded with complaints about problems that are not actually problems (“Ugh! The next iPhone doesn’t come out until September! ”).

    I’ve met so many wonderful people here, and it makes me too sad to think that I’ll never see any of them again, so I’ve told myself I’m coming back.

    And in many ways, I have more friends here after 3 months than I did in LA after a whole year. I know some truly incredible and inspiring people through Annenberg, but save for a few close friends, the depth of the relationships is different.

    In LA, sometimes it feels like there’s this hesitancy to get close to people. Everyone is competing for the same jobs, the same guys, the same traffic lane. Here, hearts seem more open. Which is especially incredible given the country’s not-so-ancient history.


  5. Radio Workshop Listening Bonanza

    July 8, 2011 by Kaitlin

    I realized it’s been a while since I’ve posted any new Radio Workshop episodes, the things that actually consume most of my time in Cape Town. I’ve had so much fun planning, interviewing, writing, and editing these episodes. Even shows that are repackages of earlier episodes, like the refugee piece, were like this fun audio adventure since it was my first time hearing the tape and my coworkers are very generous and let me run wild with the editing software.

    The shows run about 15 minutes each, so if you’d like to download and listen on the go, you can subscribe to our free podcast via iTunes. Otherwise, have a listen right here.

    Radio Workshop: Crossing borders to find a home by childrensradiofoundation

    Radio Workshop: Is the World Cup more than just a memory? by childrensradiofoundation

    Radio Workshop: A difficult conversation with parents by childrensradiofoundation


  6. Father’s Day, belated.

    June 20, 2011 by Kaitlin

    Here’s another Radio Workshop show I helped produce. It presents three very different versions of fatherhood. South Africa has a high rate of absent fathers–the second highest in Africa (after Namibia), so it was nice to be able to share stories of some incredible fathers and father figures in Cape Town.

    Radio Workshop: Celebrating fathers by childrensradiofoundation

    The first story about Mario and Greater Commission United was the first interview I did for CRF. I first met Mario on a tour with Uthando, and when I called to ask about an interview for radio, he was totally willing and excited. We agreed to meet at a Mugg & Bean (the SA equivalent of Starbucks) at a mall near his home in Heideveld. I figured we would meet up there and then go somewhere else to record. I took a cab to the Cape Flats, found the coffee shop inside the bustling mall, sipped on a mediocre latte and waited.

    Mario Van Niekerk, founder of Greater Commission United and star of the documentary "Mario and the Rude Boys"

    Mario was late. I checked and double checked my notes–we had definitely agreed on a time, but he was nowhere to be seen and wasn’t answering his phone. About 20 minutes later, he finally showed up. But it wasn’t just him–he brought about 6 other people who were also doing exciting things in his community and whom he thought I should meet. Indeed, these were interesting and inspiring people–some were working to get young boys out of gangs, others were doing music therapy in the townships. Problem was, there were now seven of us sitting in a coffeeshop inside a mall–not exactly the ideal recording environment. The other people clearly weren’t aware that I had planned to do an interview, and Mario had another meeting in a half hour. We agreed that he would come into the city the next day for the interview.

    My first assignment for my new job…and I came back completely empty handed. No interviews, no recordings, not even some nat sound.

    Fortunately, CRF was understanding. Apparently the showing up with an entourage thing is not unusual in Cape Town.

    The next day, Mario was late again. I stood outside our building for a half hour waiting and watching. Again, no luck on the cell phone. I came back into the office as quietly as possible in hopes of avoiding having to announce that I had failed yet another interview attempt. An hour or so later, I went back downstairs almost on a whim, just to check the sign-in book at security one more time–maybe I had just missed him.

    Miraculously, he was making his way across the street towards our building just as I stepped out the front door. He apologized profusely and then proceeded to give one of the most heartfelt and emotional interviews I’ve ever done. We talked about many other topics than just what made the final cut for this show, and I hope to be able to use more of the interview for another piece.

    And hey, now if I ever want to do a show on music therapy in Heideveld, I’ve got a contact!

  7. The crew

    June 10, 2011 by Kaitlin

    Today is Maddie’s last day at the CRF Cape Town before she heads back to New York. Sad!

    My first week in the office Maddie took me out for post-work drinks, and we had a great chat about living abroad, small liberal arts colleges, and yoga–I remember feeling lucky to have such cool coworkers, and I still feel that way!–but I’m bummed to be losing one. I’m sure our paths will cross again, on one continent or another.

    Maddie, me, Kondwani and Yumna--outside 6 Spin Street

    Not gonna lie–I really didn’t feel like hiking down and then back up four flights of stairs to take this picture, but I’m glad Kondwani insisted–I think we’re pretty cute!

  8. Radio Workshop Youth Day Show

    June 9, 2011 by Kaitlin

    …or what I’ve been doing with my life for the past week.

    Had a blast interviewing, writing, and editing for the Radio Workshop. Nina, Yumna, and Kondwani were all so helpful and supportive–it was such a fun, collaborative radio experience. Also, editing on Pro Tools is a dream. Annenberg has got to update their editing software.

    There were serious, emotional moments too. If you’re not familiar with the history of Youth Day and the Soweto uprising (like I wasn’t before I came here), take a moment and read some of the history.

    Then, take a listen to our show.

    Radio Workshop: Youth Day remembered and reinvented by childrensradiofoundation

    I love the music we used in the show this week. You can listen to the full versions of the songs below.

    Miriam Makeba – Soweto Blues

    Hugh Masekela with Malaika – Open the Door

    We do a weekly show out of the CRF Cape Town office. If you know people who would be interested, please consider sending them a link to the show or our Facebook page. You can also download the show as a podcast on iTunes for free.