Episode 5 – Part 1: Betsy -Taking the Girl Out of Wyoming


Betsy and I grew up in the same small Wyoming town of Casper. She and I, we didn’t know each other growing up though. She is quite a bit younger than me and I’d moved long before she entered junior high.

But, through a chance reunion between her and our mutual friend and former Casperite, Devo Was Right, while he was walking down a Denver street, Betsy and I met. I will be forever grateful for that moment because Betsy is an extraordinary woman and a wonderful friend. She also has a tale to tell – a crazy, beautiful, heart-wrenching, terrifying, tale…the kind Hollywood salivates over.

Episode 5 then, in two parts, is Betsy’s story.

Beautiful Betsy with a bloody mary and a microphone

In 2004, Betsy, freshly graduated from the University of Utah’s Middle East Studies-Arabic program, and her new husband, Tom, embarked on an adventure of a lifetime when the two of them accepted positions as teachers at an Egyptian school offering an American curriculum in Cairo, Egypt.

Part 1 focuses on Betsy and Tom’s move to Cairo, their experiences there and around the region, and how Betsy fell in love with the Middle East – the culture, the religion, the people, the art, the music, the chaos.

Part 2 is posted in a separate entry for podcast enclosure purposes.

Jane, in her infinite wisdom

PS While this first part is safe for work, it’s probably not good for children as we discuss geography, cultural differences, and political and religious references specific to the region.

Egypt from the CIA World Factbook

Episode notes and links:

Coptic Christians
Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt (Google image gallery)
Maadi, Cario, Egypt (Google image gallery)
Baalbek, Lebanon
Yasser Arafat’s funeral  (Google image gallery)
Beirut, Lebanon (Google image gallery)
Rafic Hariri
Arabic language
Yad Vashem – World Center for Holocaust Research, Education, Documentation and Commemoration

7 thoughts on “Episode 5 – Part 1: Betsy -Taking the Girl Out of Wyoming

  1. Fascinating episode! Brings back memories of Cairo- many wonderful, and many many not as much. I visited a former Austrian concentration camp and it was one of the most profoundly moving experiences of my life. Don’t know that I could handle a whole museum. Great work Jane and Acronym, looking forward to the second installment:)

  2. I finally got a chance to listen to this today and I’m so glad I did! I loved it. It brought back so many memories of living in China during the Cold War.
    Seriously, Jane. You’re a pro. It was like listening to NPR.

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