Accessibility links

Breaking News

VOA Connect Episode 160, Changing Life’s Direction


VOA – CONNECT
EPISODE #160
AIR DATE 02 05 2021
TRANSCRIPT


OPEN ((VO/NAT))
((Banner))
Teaching during the Pandemic
((SOT))
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
Give me a thumbs up!
It’s very rare that you get to see your child as a student and
it’s very rare that children get to see their parents as
workers.
((Animation Transition))
((Banner))
A Homegrown Business
((SOT))
((NATS: Customer))
I cannot stop eating it and I never liked peanut butter before.
((Radhika Murari, Owner, OmMade Peanut Butter))
Some of my customers send me videos. It makes me really
happy to see these videos and the customers loving the
peanut butter.
((Animation Transition))
((Banner))
A Higher Calling
((SOT))
((Jude Smith, Seminarian, Saint Meinard Seminary and
School of Theology))
That's what I did and packed everything in a car
and moved into a very small place over here at Saint
Meinrad. There's something rewarding in minimalist and
reduction of things.
((Open Animation))


BLOCK A


((PKG)) FIRST GRADE TEACHER
((TRT: 04:50))
((Topic Banner: Mother + Teacher + Pandemic))
((Reporter/Camera: Lisa Vohra))
((Map: Urbana, Maryland))
((Main Character: 1 female))
((Sub Character: 1 male))
((MUSIC/NATS))
Noah, do you want a turn?
Um, yeah.
((NATS))
Which is more, scared or terrified? What in? Show me the
one that is more. Scared or terrified?
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
So, teaching first grade virtually and having a child who is
virtually learning kindergarten has been pretty
interesting. Very chaotic. Not chaotic in a bad way, chaotic
as in there’s a lot going on under the roof of our house at
one time.
((NATS))
Go ahead and click that blue box.
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
I have 20 students learning and then I have a kindergartner
who’s also trying to learn.
((NATS))
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
Since he is in kindergarten, he does not know how to, pretty
much, login by himself with like the passcode and
everything. So, I have his computer on my lap and I’m
logging him in while I’m communicating with my students.
((MUSIC/NATS))
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
I’m very open with my students. So, I told the adults in the
beginning of the year and throughout that I do have a
kindergartner at home, and I’m here pretty much by myself
all day, while my husband’s at work.
((NATS))
((Robbie Ford, Kindergartner))
I have to meet with my Ms. James in ten minutes.
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
Yep, I have an alarm on my phone that’s going to tell me,
okay. All right, so you’ve got ten minutes. You have Brain
Flakes in there.
((NATS))
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
I am continuously trying to listen in on his learning as
well. So, I wear headphones and one headphone is always
out, so that I can hear what’s going on. Because if he
minimizes his screen, if something happens with his
technology, I need to be able to put my students on mute,
tell them give me a second, and fix it real quick.
((NATS))
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
Seven-year-olds cannot sit for 30 minutes or more. I can’t sit
for 30 minutes or more. So, there’s a lot more brain breaks.
((NATS))
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
So, we’re going to go ahead and start our 20 minutes break,
okay. Give me a thumbs up. Got it. All right. Go run
outside or something. It’s really nice.
((MUSIC/NATS))
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
It gives enough time for them to use the restroom, eat a
snack, play with a toy in their house and then come back
and be ready.
((MUSIC/NATS))
((Robbie Ford, Kindergartner))
Um, these crackers for you.
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
Okay.
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
The parents and adults of my students have been
phenomenal during this. They’re very supportive and
understanding.
((MUSIC/NATS))
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
So, what I want you to think about is, what emotions does
The Recess Queen have? And what does the word ‘bully’
mean?
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
They’re telling me things the students can’t tell me. For
example, “Ms. Ford, you’re talking to your son and you’re not
on mute.” Like, things like that. And I think it’s cool that
parents get to understand what you’re actually teaching. It
gives me a sense of confidence as well, and it makes me
stay on my A game at all times.
((MUSIC/NATS))
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
I need you to stretch your faces. What? You’re gonna
stretch your faces because we’re going to make different
faces to figure out if we’re happy, sad, angry. Show me
angry.
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
Being with him every day, I can support him. Also
understanding my child in a different setting. It’s very rare
that you get to see your child as a student, and it’s very rare
that children get to see their adults and parents as workers.
((MUSIC/NATS))
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
So, can anyone tell me what we are supposed to be
discussing?
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
He can go outside more. He can play more.
((NATS))
It’s lunchtime. We have to eat. We have 20 minutes.
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
And we just get to have a different relationship than we
normally would.
((NATS))
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
You want to share an apple with me?
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
There are difficulties, don’t get me wrong, with balancing
home life and work life. As a mom, I like to keep both
separate, but they’re now both one.
((MUSIC/NATS))
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
I’m planning with my teammates for our next part of our
day. I sent a group of books to them through the
computer. Online books for the kids to access that have to
do with what we’re learning and reading.
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
Kids are very adaptable. I think that is something, as an
adult, I need to also understand.
((NATS))
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
Mozzarella pizza.
((Janessa Ford, First Grade Teacher, Kindergarten
Parent))
They all have different backgrounds, different things going
on at home, but trying to give them a support in one place
and give them encouragement and knowing that they can do
this and we can do it.
((MUSIC/NATS))


TEASE ((VO/NAT))
Coming up
((Banner))
Peanut Butter!
((SOT))
((Radhika Murari, Owner, OmMade Peanut Butter))
I actually absolutely love being in the peanut
butter business, even though I never visioned that I would be
selling and making peanut butter for a living.

BREAK ONE
BUMP IN ((ANIM))

BLOCK B


((PKG)) ARTISANAL PEANUT BUTTER MAKER
((TRT: 07:26))
((Topic Banner: Peanuts with a Twist))
((Reporter/Camera: June Soh))
((Map: Reston, Virginia))
((Main character: 1 female))
((NATS))
((Radhika Murari, Owner, OmMade Peanut Butter))
I normally make about 120 to 150 jars of peanut butter a
day. So right now, I am getting the spices ready for the Chai
Nirvana peanut butter. We start with cardamom. Then we
add a little bit of cloves, and just a touch of
cinnamon. And then last, we add a little bit of ginger.
((NATS))
So, we put all the peanuts in there, add the spices at the
same time, so they all get ground together. And then we
start.
((NATS))
((Radhika Murari, Owner, OmMade Peanut Butter))
I actually absolutely love being in the peanut
butter business, even though I never envisioned that I would
be selling and making peanut butter for a living.
((NATS))
((Radhika Murari, Owner, OmMade Peanut Butter))
My name is Radhika Murari. I live in Reston, Virginia. And I
founded a company called OmMade Peanut Butter.
((Courtesy: OmMade Peanut Butter))
I started making peanut butter when my son was about five
or six years old. He is 14 years old now. He is a swimmer
and he wanted easy to eat and tasty protein, which normally
peanut butter is. But a lot of the peanut butter in the
marketplace has many unhealthy ingredients, including a lot
of chemicals and added oils. And so, I
((Courtesy: OmMade Peanut Butter))
started to make my own peanut butter, which is really
delicious. It’s all natural and it’s really healthy and my son
loves it.
((Radhika Murari, Owner, OmMade Peanut Butter))
And then one day, someone was helping me do
a fundraiser, and she tried my homemade peanut butter,
and she said, “You need to start selling this because you're
sitting on a gold mine.” And so, that's how the business
began.
((NATS))
I have a home-based kitchen that's been inspected by the
state of Virginia. And they come routinely to do
inspections. And we have a list of procedures we have to
follow.
((NATS))
So now, all we do is pour it very carefully into the gift jars.
((NATS))
((Radhika Murari, Owner, OmMade Peanut Butter))
So, that's it. We just made Chai Nirvana peanut butter. I
know it seems very simple but when you have good
ingredients, you can just put them together in a good ratio
and you'll have magic like Chai Nirvana.
((NATS))
But it starts with good peanuts and Virginia peanuts are the
best peanuts out there.
((Radhika Murari, Owner, OmMade Peanut Butter))
We have 10 different flavors right now. I am of
Indian heritage. I am actually an immigrant to America. And
so, I took a lot of the influences of cooking Indian style when
I was a kid, and I just combined them. So, I just love peanut
butter and I love everything to do with peanuts. So, I took
the chai spices from my Indian culture. I make Vibrant
Turmeric. I took that from India as well.
But the bestselling peanut butter is not my idea. My friend
kept telling me, “Put coconut in your peanut butter. Put
coconut in your peanut butter.” And I didn't listen to her for
many months and then I finally listened to her. And I came
up with Coconut Bliss and that one is my best seller.
((NATS))
((Radhika Murari, Owner, OmMade Peanut Butter))
My business has been quite successful. And people outside
my community always say, “Oh, Radhika, you’ve done such
a good job.” And I always say, “This is not my
business. This is a business of a village
of people, especially women behind me.” In fact, even the
name of my company, OmMade, my mother came up with
the name because she said, everything I do is homemade,
and then she put the Indian symbol Om in front of it. So,
even down to the name, it’s other people’s great ideas, and
they give them to me, and I implement them.
((NATS))
((Courtesy: OmMade Peanut Butter))
((Radhika Murari, Owner, OmMade Peanut Butter))
I sell my peanut butter through the Whole Foods chain of
grocery stores, and through some select museum stores in
the Washington, D.C. area, and also online through our own
shop.
((NATS))
((Radhika Murari, Owner, OmMade Peanut Butter))
Until COVID struck, one of our main places to sell was in
farmers’
((Courtesy: OmMade Peanut Butter))
markets in this area, and actually my son and
his friends, because they grew up eating the peanut butter,
they are some of my best employees.
((Courtesy: OmMade Peanut Butter))
They run farmers’ market booths. And they're very
enthusiastic about having other people share in their love of
the peanut butter.
((NATS))
((Radhika Murari, Owner, OmMade Peanut Butter))
Because we are in the middle of the pandemic and so many
people are stressed out, I am seeing more and more orders
from people who want to use this as a gift to comfort their
family or their friends or, in this case, their neighbors.
So, during COVID, I am even more grateful that I am running
this company.
((NATS))
((Radhika Murari, Owner, OmMade Peanut Butter))
We have actually sent our peanut butter to 41 states in
America so far. And we’ve also, on special order, shipped to
three countries internationally. So first, I would like to hit all
50 states, and secondly, our online business is really robust.
((NATS: Radhika Murari))
Have a good day. Thank you.
((NATS))
((Radhika Murari, Owner, OmMade Peanut Butter))
Recently, the state of Virginia and Fairfax County, which is
the county I live in, gave me a grant to support the
agriculture industry in Virginia. And all of my peanut butters
are made from locally-sourced Virginia peanuts. And the
grant is for 50,000 dollars and it's to start a storefront and a
commercial production facility within Fairfax County. And
through that grant, we are also going to create jobs in Fairfax
County and have a storefront in front of our
commercial kitchen, so that we can sell our products and
also have pop-ups for other small businesses to get
exposure to potential customers.
((NATS: Customer))
A perfect peanut butter. I cannot stop eating it and I never
liked peanut butter before.
((Radhika Murari, Owner, OmMade Peanut Butter))
Some of my customers send me videos. It makes me really
happy to see these videos and the customers loving the
peanut butter.
((NATS))
((Radhika Murari, Owner, OmMade Peanut Butter))
I measure my success in two ways. One is, of course, a
business-oriented way. And since I founded the company,
our sales have increased 80 percent year-over-year. But the
true measurement, for me, of success is the joy that my
peanut butter brings people. Today, I am delivering peanut
butter to the grocery store.
((NATS: Radhika Murari))
These are heavy.
((NATS))
((Radhika Murari, Owner, OmMade Peanut Butter))
In five years from now, I hope my business is a roaring
success. I hope we’ve created lots of jobs inside
Virginia. And I hope we’ve sold peanut butter, not only
across America, but around the world.
((NATS))


TEASE ((VO/NAT))
Coming up
((Banner))
Horses for All
((SOT))
((Erin Wheeler, Volunteer, City Ranch))
Bear likes to have a very confident rider, another reason why
I put you on because you seem like you had a lot of
confidence. Let him know what you want him to do. Talking
to him is very, very important.

BREAK TWO
BUMP IN ((ANIM))


BLOCK C


((PKG)) HORSE CAMP
((Previously aired October 2020))
((Banner: Horses for the City))
((Reporter: Marsha James))
((Camera: Philip Alexiou))
((Editors: Philip Alexiou, Marsha James))
((Map: Baltimore, Maryland))
((Main characters: 1 male; 1 female))
((Sub characters: 2 male; 2 female))
((NATS/MUSIC))
((Ahesahmahk Dahn, Owner, City Ranch))
When I was early childhood, my mother would take me to my
uncles who were sharecroppers. They had mules and we
rode the mules and that was it. And then when we moved to
Baltimore, I got involved with Nixon’s Farm, where we did a
summer program and I got involved with the horses.
And that was in the early 60s and so I've been just at it ever
since.
((NATS/MUSIC))
((Ahesahmahk Dahn, Owner, City Ranch))
I had a favorite. It died and it was the genesis of this whole
program. The program is City Ranch and our mission is to
make horseback riding accessible and affordable to the inner
city, the Baltimore community that may not have the
opportunity to do it.
((NATS: Ahesahmahk Dahn and a Volunteer))
Well here, get, you know what the password, the code is,
right?
((NATS/MUSIC))
((Volunteer, City Ranch))
I’ve been here since February, so not too long, but I couldn't
imagine my life without horses. So, I'm very thankful to find
this place.
((Volunteer, City Ranch))
I love it. I wouldn't come here if I didn't.
((Ahesahmahk Dahn, Owner, City Ranch))
The one thing that I focus on is taking the horses to where
the children are,
((Courtesy: City Ranch))
because if they don't have financial resources, getting out
here, whether it's on a bus or an Uber or whatever the
current method of transportation is, is difficult.
((end Courtesy))
So, we want to take the horses into their community.
((NATS))
((Danielle, Volunteer, City Ranch))
I really like being here at the farm. This is one of the most
accepted like places that I feel…..
Oh, I’m sorry Bear…..
just because I've never really had a barn buddy until came
here and I've been riding for 10 years. Everyone here is so
nice and welcoming and I feel like a part of the family even
though I've only been here for a few months. And this little
dude is Lucky. Mr. Dahn was explaining how he was born
here, and he came as a surprise, so they named him Lucky
Surprise. And then this is Bear. I think he is one of our
oldest horses owned by the Ranch.
I know, you see my food.
((NATS/MUSIC))
((Erin Wheeler, Volunteer, City Ranch))
So, just letting it all hang out.
So, what got me involved since 2009 was, I was fresh out of
high school. I've always loved and worked with horses. And
when I went to Artscape in the summer of 2009, I was totally
encapsulated, and Mr. Dahn was able to give me
that outlet. And I've been able to work with so many
students, so many children, so many adults and really, just
share my passion with other people.
((NATS/MUSIC))
((Erin Wheeler, Volunteer, City Ranch))
Bear likes to have a very confident rider, another reason why
I put you on, because you seem like you had a lot of
confidence. Let him know what you want him to do. Talking
to him is very, very important. Remember, leg yield. I want
to see you be able to get him over those rails. There you
go. Get him to pick those feet up all the way
through. Excellent, excellent, excellent. Stop your horse.
((Ahesahmahk Dahn, Owner, City Ranch))
Erin is a very knowledgeable person.
((Erin Wheeler, Volunteer, City Ranch))
Keep the pressure. Keep the pressure.
((Ahesahmahk Dahn))
She has taken on a lot of responsibility here. She knows the
program probably best than anybody else because she's
been here so long. And now she's doing the instructing,
working with the youth.
((Erin Wheeler, Volunteer, City Ranch))
Roll him up and turn him in, turn him in, turn him
in. Excellent. Pull him out.
((NATS))
((Ahesahmahk Dahn, Owner, City Ranch))
A situation in life happened in our family that made me look
at what I was doing and how I could be a part of the solution.
What's going on in Baltimore as opposed to part of the
problem. And there were no horse programs. And I said,
“Well, you know, I ain’t the smartest guy in the world but I
know there's no competition.” So, it was an easy one to get
in and grow the business. And that's what has
happened. No other programs in Baltimore do
this. Right, Benji? Where are you going?
((Erin Wheeler, Volunteer, City Ranch))
Let's get them all the way up top. Take that bit out and we
can give them some apples.
((Ahesahmahk Dahn, Owner, City Ranch))
Okay. Creating an institution that outlasts me when
I'm gone, there is still a City Ranch. It doesn’t necessarily
have to be the same name, but there's still an
equine program dedicated and focused toward the
community of Baltimore City.
((NATS/MUSIC))


((PKG)) CONNECT WITH – A PRIEST IN TRAINING
((TRT: 03:24))
((Topic Banner: Connect With – Jude Smith))
((Reporter/Camera: Deepak Dobhal))
((Locater: Patoka Lake, Indiana))
((Main character: 1 male))
((MUSIC/NATS))
((Jude Smith, Seminarian, Saint Meinard Seminary and
School of Theology))
My name is Jude Smith. I'm a seminarian in the Catholic
Church, studying to be a priest.
Plans change, you know. Even though I was, I kind of
thought in my back of my head,
you know, I would like to retire in Mexico by age 40. Well,
things change, you know. Here I am, giving up the rest of
my
life for something, which is not giving up, giving the rest of
my life for God.
((MUSIC/NATS))
Well, I was in real estate for about 20 years but for most of
my life, I've felt calling to
the priesthood. And since, I’d say, the recentpassing of my
mother about three years ago, that I decided
to go ahead and move forward with that calling.
((MUSIC/NATS))
I'm comfortable financially and I'm comfortable with what I've
made, and that's just not important to me anymore.
Maybe, if I had a wife and children and more responsibilities
in that
sense. But being single, you know, my house is paid for.
I still
have a place in New Orleans. You know, my mom
had just passed away, and there's some property and some
finances that she had left to us. So, that rat race is kind
of over for me, in that sense.
((MUSIC/NATS))
When I moved from Louisiana, and kind of the motto,
even the Glenmary (Home Missioners)
missionary, “your life needs to fit into a car.” So, that was
a pretty big difference from having a house in New Orleans,
my mom's house, 3,000 square feet [278 square meters]
full of stuff, a lot of it
mine, you
know, and reducing your life to what you can fit in a car and
pick
up at any given moment and go on to your next mission and
what
not. So, that's what I did and packed everything in a car
and moved into a very small place over here at Saint
Meinrad. There's something rewarding in minimalist and
reduction of things. So, yeah.
((MUSIC/NATS))
And at 48, and like I said, having life experiences, I'm not,
I don't have that thought of, “Oh, what am I missing?”,
you know, “What's
the relationship like? What is romance like?” So, I am, I
know what
it's like, you know, and I know that I'm giving that up, but I
also
know what I'm giving it up for.
((MUSIC))
Do I have full support from everybody? No, you never do.
I mean, I didn't have that much support of
my own family with taking care of my mom, you know.
So, but
I have, I know I have their love and support, you know,
at least somewhat. But, is that's, it's not, my life isn't based
upon what other people think, you know. I have to move on,
you know,
make my decisions for myself. So,
it's good to have that support though. So, yeah.
((MUSIC/NATS))


NEXT WEEK / GOOD BYE ((VO/NAT))
((Banner))
In coming weeks….
A Newsstand’s Last Stand
((SOT))
((Benny Platt, regular customer))
This, happiest day of my life. Los Angeles Dodgers, world
champions after 32 years. Awesome.
((Eduardo Becerril, Salesman, Al’s Newsstand))
Mr. Jens. Good morning, sir. How are you?
((Customer))
Good.
((Eduardo Becerril, Salesman, Al’s Newsstand))
Everything OK so far?
((Alan Brooks, Owner, Al’s Newsstand))
I started selling papers when I was eight because I wanted
extra money in my pocket. And here I am. I'm seventy-nine
years old and I'm still selling papers.
((Eduardo Becerril, Salesman, Al’s Newsstand))
The other day came one family from overseas and I
remember one of the kids, about maybe seven years old,
told his dad, “Hey dad, what is this? What is a
newsstand?” So, very funny.


BUMP IN ((ANIM))


((PKG)) FREE PRESS MATTERS ((NATS/VIDEO/GFX))
((NATS))
((Popup captions over B Roll))
Near the Turkish Embassy
Washington, D.C.
May 16, 2017
President Erdogan’s bodyguard attacks peaceful protesters
“Those terrorists deserved to be beaten”
“They should not be protesting our president”
“They got what they asked for”
While some people may turn away from the news
We cover it
reliably
accurately
objectively
comprehensively
wherever the news matters
VOA
A Free Press Matters


BREAKTHREE
BUMP IN ((ANIM))


SHOW ENDS




XS
SM
MD
LG