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Episode 1219—Air Date: May 6, 2012

This week on National Geographic Weekend host Boyd Matson speaks with guests about surviving a military mugging in Indonesia, planting the seeds of democracy in Kenya, sight-seeing through the Arab Spring in Egypt, hunting big-cat poachers in Zambia, reintroducing real bison to the United States, collecting crafts safely in Liberia, and meeting the Azores' whalers 28 years after the ban.

HOUR 1

• Georgetown University's Francis Slakey is a failure, if judged by broken promises to himself: never get married, never have kids, never own a house. But he has climbed each of the continents' tallest peaks and surfed every ocean (except the Southern Ocean, which, Slakey tells Boyd, he excluded based on a National Geographic atlas). He shares his adventures, the story of how he met his wife, and the time in between in the book To the Last Breath.

• Social change doesn't come easy. But Wangari Maathai proved to be a transformative political force in Kenya after forming the Green Belt movement. She planted over 45 million trees and helped defeat President Daniel Arap Moi after a yearlong stand-off bent on saving Nairobi's Karura Forest, which earned her a Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. Filmmaker Lisa Merton discusses Maathai's impact on the country with Boyd, as portrayed in her film Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai.

• While revolution grew into open rebellion in Libya, the Arab Spring in Egypt stayed civil. Tahrir Square proved to be a center for protest, which continued well after Hosni Mubarak was pushed from office. Jeff Bartholet visited Egypt after to see the impact of the upheaval first hand and write about it in "Nile Journey" in the May 2012 issue of National Geographic. He tells Boyd that one year later, many Egyptians worry about a lack of tourism, which could be attractive to the intrepid traveler.

David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, joins Boyd to discuss the rediscovery of Burundi's long-fingered frog, 60 years after it was last seen.

HOUR 2

• Zambia is one of the more rugged outposts of conservation in Africa, which can make it easier to save lions says Dr. Matthew Becker, who works in the Zambian Carnivore Programme. But the country's legal male-lion hunt makes regulation very important in a place where there are only sketchy estimates of how many lions are left.

• Restoring grasslands might not be as compelling as preserving Yellowstone's geysers or Teton's jagged peaks, but Sean Gerrity, president of the American Prairie Reserve says that when you're able to re-introduce a herd of bison to the land where they belong, it can be very satisfying.

• Travelers to Africa often want to enjoy a safari where they can see great herds of wildebeest or lions lazing under a shady tree. But for sheer numbers of countries and cultures to experience, Ralph Hemmelbacher of Lindblad Expeditions, says there are few better ways than a cruise. Recently, Hemmelbacher joined the first large group of American tourists to visit Liberia since the 1970's.

• The International Whaling Commission agreed on a ban of the commercial harvest of cetaceans in 1982. Whaling was a way of life in the Azores, where fishermen still rowed after whales and harpooned them. National Geographic grantee Gemina Garland-Lewis is preserving the whalers' stories in the Azores, and she tells Boyd that many ex-whalers found employment as whale watching spotters after they hung up their harpoons.

• In this week's Wild Chronicles segment, Boyd reflects on his time at New Orleans' recent Jazz Fest and the state of fitness in the United States.

Listen to National Geographic Weekend

Episode 1219—Air Date: May 6, 2012

  • Georgetown University's Francis Slakey is a failure, if judged by broken promises to himself: never get married, never have kids, never own a house. But he has climbed each of the continents' tallest peaks and surfed every ocean (except the Southern Ocean, which, Slakey tells Boyd, he excluded based on a National Geographic atlas). He shares his adventures as well as meeting his wife and the time in between in his book To the Last Breath.

  • Georgetown University's Francis Slakey is a failure, if judged by broken promises to himself: never get married, never have kids, never own a house. But he has climbed each of the continents' tallest peaks and surfed every ocean (except the Southern Ocean, which, Slakey tells Boyd, he excluded based on a National Geographic atlas). He shares his adventures as well as meeting his wife and the time in between in his book To the Last Breath.

  • 00:06:00 Lisa Merton

    Social change doesn't come easy. But Wangari Maathai proved to be a transformative political force in Kenya after forming the Green Belt Movement. She planted over 45 million trees and helped defeat President Daniel arap Moi after a yearlong stand-off bent on saving Nairobi's Karura Forest, which earned her a Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. Filmmaker Lisa Merton discusses Maathai's impact on the country with Boyd, as portrayed in her film Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai.

  • 00:08:00 Jeff Bartholet

    While revolution grew into open rebellion in Libya, the Arab Spring in Egypt stayed civil. Tahrir Square proved to be a center for protest, which continued well after Hosni Mubarak was pushed from office. Jeff Bartholet visited Egypt after to see the impact of the upheaval first hand and write about it in National Geographic's May issue. He tells Boyd that one year later, many Egyptians worry about a lack of tourism, which could be attractive to the intrepid traveler.

  • 00:03:50 News - May 6

    David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, joins Boyd to discuss the rediscovery of Burundi's long-fingered frog, 60 years after it was last seen.

  • 00:11:00 Matthew Becker

    Zambia is one of the more rugged outposts of conservation in Africa, which can make it easier to save lions, Dr. Matthew Becker, who works at the Zambian Carnivore Programme, tells Boyd. But the country's legal male lion hunt makes regulation very important in a place where there are only sketchy estimates of how many lions are left.

  • 00:09:00 Sean Gerrity

    Restoring grasslands might not be as compelling as preserving Yellowstone's geysers or Teton's jagged peaks, but Sean Gerrity, president of the American Prairie Reserve says that when you're able to re-introduce a herd of bison to the land where they belong, it can be very satisfying.

  • Travelers to Africa often want to enjoy a Safari where they can see great herds of wildebeest or lions lazing under a shady tree. But for sheer numbers of countries and cultures to experience, Ralph Hemmelbacher of Lindblad Expeditions, says there are few better ways than a cruise. Recently, Hemmelbacher joined the first large group of American tourists to visit Liberia since the 1970's.

  • The International Whaling Commission agreed on a ban to the commercial harvest of the cetaceans in 1982. Whaling was a way of life in the Azores, where fishermen still rowed after whales and harpooned them. National Geographic grantee Gemina Garland-Lewis is preserving the whalers' stories in the Azores and tells Boyd that many found employment as whale watching spotters after they hung up their harpoons.

  • In this week's Wild Chronicles segment, Boyd reflects on his time at New Orleans' recent Jazz Fest and the state of fitness in the United States.