Coffee & Geography Podcast Season’s end: “Baamaapii”

Season 1 of the Coffee & Geography Podcast has come to a close. It’s been my first full foray into podcating as a host and producer and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Sure, the production side of things has been taxing at times, but I’ve loved developing new skills. But without a shadow of a doubt it has been all the guests that have given me the most pleasure.

I’ve spoken to teachers, students, actors, authors, activists, scientists… dotted across the world from a range of different backgrounds. I set myself high expectations with regards to the diversity of guests – I don’t think I quite got what I would have hoped, but this only the first season of the podcast, hopefully of many, and I’ve only just started building connections.

Rather than giving my highlights and favourite moments, I thought I’d put together a piece of poetry, where I have threaded together all of the ‘We are all Geographers’ keywords chosen by each guest. ‘We are all Geographers’ was a little game I played where a guest had to link a word to ‘geography’ (in the loosest sense) and then chose a word for the following guest to do the same. I put all those words into this lovely piece of WordArt.

Head over to the main Coffee & Geography Podcast page to catch up on all the conversations if you have missed or indeed listen back to your favourites. Please consider liking, rating and subscribing to the podcast via your preferred platform or app (it really does help!). And last of all… enjoy the poem!

“Baamaapii” (Coffee & Geography season 1)

It's just me
Sitting hear with my cup of tea
Thinking about the souls I've connected with
The minds I have explored
And the stories I have listened to

What is it about geography
That makes me want to take to poetry?
And journey from one end of the line to the other?
Pausing at each stop
To ponder
To observe
To find a community
Unfamiliar and outside the experience of me
To hear how they would battle a flood
Dance to a beat
Meld intersectional cultures
And act so motherly

Now I do talk a lot
As I seek and discover melting pots
Maybe it's FOMO?
Or maybe it's finding hope
Within the geography
To restore a faith in humanity?

Now on from a teacher trio
I recall fondly a soul from Rio
Who can paint words exquisitely as she can birds
A challenge it should not be
For girls to aspire to STEM
Many examples have been set
Such as a friend with bouquets
Delivered with passionate jazzy upraise
Lesson taught true and
Through a feminist gaze
It's no threat...
Have faith
Look inside yourself to dimiss
Demons and wraiths
To emerge from the coal mine
Of disconnect
And dispassion

I, too, often need a map
To find my way or escape a trap
Be it by ladder or (heh) trampoline
Getting creative also helps find a path
Helps communicate and translate
Talking through baking cakes and crocheting scarves
Chatting to fellow geeks
About various GIS techniques
Both exposes and breaks the north-south divide
We can meet in the middle and
Not be fearful of the 'abnormal'
Or paranormal
Because those angels do exist
Even though they may be sorely missed
Causing one to be discombobulated
Comfort is found by sharing stories
Of loss, of what might have been
But also acknowledging what's come to pass instead

Conversations are key
And these have certainly enlightened me
How language is more that just words
It can be unspoken, felt
Transcending and connecting places and people
India, Portugal, UK and beyond...
Comedy can cut through too
Take stories of exploding leeches and leopard poo
And yet I still learned a thing or two!
So did the mini-geographer
Who thought it quite fun
Clearly inspired by this art!

Now while I have certainly had laughs
Talking about people's crafts
Privilege checks and eye-openers I've had too
Justice without equity is no justice at all
Climate reparations mean nothing
Without the leadership of the global south
Admittedly my platform is western bias
Without being nefarious or impious
I'm curious about everyone's story
Especially of those proven allies
No cover-up, no secrecy
My intentions to spy are true
To gaze closer, to look deeper
Decipher nature's secrets, a keeper
Of primordial knowledge
The aroma of Assam tea
And embodiment of one's soul
Conducive to finding happiness within

Happiness need not be elusive
When engaging in conversations inclusive
Of experiences outside of your own
Even connecting with another outside the binary
The pictures taken and share with me
Sharpens my spatial awareness

From photographs to musical tunes
Getting down to the beetroot
In the afternoons
We're down with the kids, right? Right?
Ok, we'll settle for empowering them
Enabling youth to fight the good fight
They are saplings to be nurtured into
Forests of strength anew
Watching these plants grow into STARS
And listening to them illuminates 
Our surroundings
Let's be more attentive
There us far more contrast than I realise
When I simply open my eyes
How much more could we see
If we slowed down, uncaged ourselves
Got on our bike
Or kept our head up as we walk
We'll notice the colour and flair
Within what we build and wear
If a boy could harness the wind and
We could chikondi chili m'anga in friendship
Together there is nothing we can't achieve
Even between the ends of east and west Africa

My discourse has been graced
By an everyday Yorkshire lad who embraced
The role of President
His lineage documented digitally
(Amongst a treasure trove of other stuff!)
Dusted in fresh chalk

*Sigh* How I could squirrel myself away
Recalling these chats day after day
But there are so many voices that we must hear
Lived experiences that I could never have
But maybe some I might share
All in common humanity
And when voice become
A chorus we'll never succumb
To the impossible
Students teach the teacher
And remind me why I'm in the game
Bonding over mountains and more

The purpose Geography gives us
Allows us to deeply discuss
Our sense of place and time
So let us slow down and
Take the scenic route
Become rangers of our own space
Treating it with grace
Like a ballet dancer with soft base
View it through each lens
And angles never considered
A young teacher does well to become wise
Through listening

It is in this way 
We stop becoming astray
We understand the unnatural is invasive
Let's reconnect, keep and share
Cree, Métis, me, we...
For if we don't then
Forever it'll be us and them
Any connection remains
Crypted and alien
It's not a performance, it's science!
It's human, it's natual

These conversations have been dear
All profund, enlightening, queer
Did you know, Brer Rabbit isn't who he really says he is?
Well, Disney's... anyway
(Like fresh untrodden soil captured under toenails
I've picked up a thing or two!)
Although I'm sure in my identity
I've enjoyed hearing life's complexity
I'll take this into stewardship
Freshly reverent
Thank you all


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