S2, E9: North America’s Iceland

In this week’s episode of Unpacked by AFAR, journalist Liz Beatty—host of the North Americana podcast—explores the Viking hearts of New Icelanders, from Gimli, Manitoba to Mountain, North Dakota.

In 1875, immigrants from Iceland began settling in and around Gimli, Manitoba, known today as the Interlake region. This became the heart of New Iceland in North America. In this week’s episode, host Liz Beatty visits two towns divided by a border but forever linked by their surprisingly storied and deep Icelandic roots.


 Aislyn Greene, host: I’m Aislyn Greene, and this is Unpacked, the podcast that unpacks one tricky topic in travel each week. And this week, we’re heading to Iceland—well, kinda.

We’re actually heading to the Iceland of North America, where we’ll unpack the ways that immigration can unfold. Liz Beatty, host of the North Americana podcast, will be our guide. In this episode, she’ll explore the Viking hearts of New Icelanders, from Gimli, Manitoba, to Mountain, North Dakota. Two towns divided by a border but forever linked by their surprisingly storied and deep Icelandic roots. And bonus: We’re going to experience a Viking battle reenactment at Gimli’s annual Icelandic Festival, with journalist Robert Reid. It’s quite the show.

Let’s head north.

Lindy Vopnfjörð: Um, about 140 years ago, my family left Iceland and moved to the Interlake region of Manitoba, and so it’s really awesome for, to bring me back here for a, a warm welcome. Thank you.

[Singing] “You say you love her like a sister…”

Liz Beatty, host: In 1875, immigrants from Iceland began settling in and around Gimli, Manitoba—like the ancestors of this singer-songwriter Lindy Vopnfjörð—known today as the Interlake region. This became the heart of New Iceland in North America.

Now at the time, there was an exodus of up to a quarter of Iceland’s population. They were escaping starvation from volcanoes destroying farms and other economic woes. Many of these 15,000 or so Icelanders would make their way across half this new nation of Canada to the shores of Lake Winnipeg. That’s about 520 miles north and slightly west of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and about an hour’s drive north of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Life in Gimli in 1875 was not easy. There were epic floods, smallpox, but some say it was the bitter cold winters that drove some new Icelanders south to North Dakota. Yep, you heard me: Off to Pembina County, North Dakota, for some better weather. So fast-forward 144 years, the bonds between these two new Iceland communities remain stronger than ever, and today we find out why. Meeting the people and covering the flat rural expanses that define these descendants of Vikings on both sides of this remote prairie border. Come along.

Today we’re talking New Iceland and foam swords creating carnage on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, all while the villagers eat ice cream. And we’ll hear a live performance of an Icelandic children’s folk song that, frankly, no child should listen to.

We’ll explore the surprising and entrenched New Iceland roots that reach from Gimli to Mountain, North Dakota. But first a piece by Robert Reid. He’s on TV, on radio, on YouTube, but mostly he is just a lovely storyteller, and he’s taking us right now into the Viking Heart of Gimli’s Icelandic Festival.

Listen in.

Robert Reid: I am exploring Manitoba on four wheels and I’ve often wondered why doesn’t Canadian literature have an On the Road, basically an equivalent of Jack Kerouac’s road trip novel? Canada should have one. You see that in Manitoba’s back roads.

All of the rewards of Route 66 await. Mom-and-pop diners, little unexpected histories to track down, goofy roadside attractions. I mean, Gladstone has a happy rock that waves at you as you go by.

Yeah, I learned a lot in Manitoba’s back roads. For one thing, it’s not all farmland. Riding Mountain National Park has mountains. I took steep hikes through canyons and even took a wild leap into a clear lake. That was a bit chilly. I learned a lot even before leaving Winnipeg. A local music writer, John Einarson offers tours of the city’s musical past. We saw the house where the band The Guess Who wrote the song “These Eyes” and then tried Neil Young’s favorite doughnut.

Spoiler alert, it’s the chocolate-on-chocolate cake doughnut at Salisbury House just south of downtown. And Neil, if you’re listening, it’s still delicious. But my ultimate road trip destination lies ahead: New Iceland. You begin to see signs of it flicker by as you leave the Trans-Canadian highway, crossing the woodlands of the Canadian Shield, a gravel road that’s named Reykjavík Street after the Iceland capital, or the unmistakable red, white, and blue cross of the Iceland flag flapping in the wind.

But I’m not just covering miles to experience New Iceland roots; I’m about to embark on a journey back through time.

[Sounds of battle]

The Manitoba sun casts a weary eye over an unsettling scene. At first glance, the wide, sloping field off the western shores of Lake Winnipeg looks like a death metal convention that’s gone very, very wrong.

Look closer. The raging men with thick dangling beards, and the few bare-faced women, aren’t here for any music. They’re clad in chain mail. They wear steel conical helmets and face off in two long furious lines, thumping their weapons against wood shields and letting out blood-curdling war cries as they charge forward to clash swords in the August heat.

Robert: Do you learn how to do that? Is there a class?

Participant: It comes down to—it takes practice without your voice cracking. It really does.

Robert: Groans follow as a handful of bodies fall into a lifeless heap.

Announcer: Ready? I can’t hear you. Are the kids ready?

Robert: Look: Now a rush of children, hoisting foam swords over their heads, are charging the field to finish off any survivors. The results are devastating. There will be no mercy in Manitoba today. This is a mock 11th-century Viking battle and very possibly the most enjoyable and fun battle reenactment in the world. I’m watching it in comfort behind a rope barrier with a couple hundred others, mostly local families who laugh along and eat ice creams as the Viking bloodbath unfolds.

Welcome to Gimli, Manitoba’s Icelandic Festival, which is celebrating its 130th anniversary next August. This four-day festival has been held here in the lakeside town of Gimli, about an hour’s drive north of Winnipeg. This town swells by the thousands for the festival when visitors come in to enjoy amusement park rides, Icelandic food, fireworks, folk music shows, parades, quirky games like pushing each other off long poles into the lake water, and of course the star event, the Viking battles. Now, these Vikings aren’t here just because Vikings are great and everyone loves Vikings, which of course everyone does love Vikings. But because Gimli is the heart of Canada’s New Iceland, home to the biggest Icelandic population outside that Nordic island nation. Why this is here is an interesting story.

About 150 years ago in the 1870s, Iceland was a tough place to live. Earthquakes, erupting volcanoes, measles outbreaks, and famine eventually drove about one in five Icelanders across the North Atlantic to seek a new life. Many eventually settled in Manitoba as part of Canada’s controversial program to promote agriculture by encouraging resettlement in the prairies.

The new settlers received a grant of 60 square kilometers west of Lake Winnipeg, which became briefly known as the Iceland Reserve. It didn’t go well though. Winters were rough here too, and the reserves soon returned to Canada’s hands but not before Icelandic culture had taken root. And today, Icelandic culture makes up a notable part of Manitoba.

At least 26,000 Manitobans, or about one in 50, have some Icelandic heritage. In Winnipeg, you’ll find a weekly newspaper published in Icelandic and the University of Manitoba offering degrees in Icelandic language and literature. But I can’t help but feel it’s in the historic lakeside communities where New Iceland still thrives the most.

Arriving at Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Park, you could easily mistake New Iceland as more maritime than prairie. Old wood homes and boats line a windswept shore of Lake Winnipeg, a body of water so large it was long mistaken for a sea. There’s a lone shop here that sells gas to locals and fresh filets of smoked goldeye fish, the perfect snack to take on hiking trails along the limestone cliffs. Ninety kilometers south is the big city of New Iceland: Gimli. Its compact center is a fun place to walk around. There’s a gold-sand beach with a pier lined with local art works. Manitoba’s oldest running shop, H.P. Tergesen and Sons, is here too.

It’s been open since 1898 and a great place to pick up Viking T-shirts and Icelandic souvenirs. The town’s landmark nearby is a statue of a stoic Viking facing the west. Its neighbor is the New Iceland Heritage Museum, which tells the tale of Icelandic settlers moving to the area in the late 1800s.

And it’s here you can learn the story behind the name Gimli. According to Norse mythology, a series of natural disasters and wars called Ragnarök led to mass deaths. Even Thor couldn’t survive them. The few that did went to Gimli, which means “fire shelter,” and was considered the most beautiful place in the universe. Even, as the story goes, more beautiful than the sun.

Announcer: We’re fighting the hot Manitoba sun with no shade. Give it up, c’mon!

Participant: We will kill them all!

Robert: The sun certainly shines on Gimli. And every August when the festival’s buzzing around, the green at Harbor Park, where the Viking camp is set up, is where the 11th century lives. Dozens of reenactors set up camp as authentically as possible. That means no horns on the Viking helmets. They stir cast iron cast pots filled with stews made of bacon, apples, and nuts.

And inside tents, they demonstrate how to make arrows and axes the Viking way. A few concessions are made to modern times, though. They will pose for Instagram pics and they yell a lot. And during battles, a few warriors even wear TED-talk-like microphones to parlay to the crowd as the pillaging begins. I’m watching all this hilarity next to a middle-aged woman who seemed particularly interested.

I asked why, and it turns out her son’s making his debut in the battle today. “He worked so hard to do this,” she says, with the kind of pride only a Viking mother could know. I look up and see her son. He’s a little guy, still barefaced and quite thin, and he’s being carried lengthwise by eight husky men in chain mail.

They’re planning to use him to ram into the wall of attacking children. Of course, the plan fails. And soon they all join the array of Viking corpses strewn across the field. If this sounds silly, it is a little. But in Gimli talking with a reenactor and Icelandic Canadian locals, you see this isn’t just for games, it’s a true tribute. And the local history, once experienced, becomes infectious.

Now visiting Gimli may not make you Icelandic, but be forewarned, you might leave a Viking. Because next time, I’m packing chain mail.


Liz: So the Gimli Icelandic Festival, or Islendingadagurinn. Oh, I’m so sorry for murdering that pronunciation, but I thought the effort was important. This festival is one of the oldest continuous running cultural festivals in North America, followed closely by the Deuce of August, celebrated by the Iceland community of Mountain, North Dakota.

That’s about three hours due south over the border from Winnipeg. These two communities have supported each other in these celebrations for a very long time. All this made me wonder, what is it that defines or entrenches this New Iceland identity over centuries, over hundreds of miles, even over national borders?

Well, at least half the answers to all this were in Mountain, North Dakota.

A couple of hours now south of Winnipeg, Manitoba, approaching the border, and this misty rural panorama is completely unchanging. The landscape could not be more flat, the roads could not be more straight. There is an aching rural beauty here, but it could not be more different than Iceland, a land I have often described as the love child of the moon, the Arctic, and Western Ireland.

On the other hand, Icelanders are defined by vast, unpeopled spaces, so perhaps it does make sense that Icelandic immigrants would feel at home here.

We’re about an hour south of the border, and fog has really socked in as we approach Mountain, the result of temperatures rising suddenly after a freak early October winter storm. We almost missed the town, but you know, that would not be hard to do. There’s less than a hundred people who live here.

Finally, our destination: a simple but stunning white clapboard church emerges out of the mist, the oldest Icelandic church in North America. There’s a stained glass Icelandic flag in the round window of its central spire. Inside, Loretta Thornfason Bernhoff is playing the organ. Vikur is her home church.

Loretta: I was baptized, confirmed, married, and expect to be buried here. So it’s very near and dear to my heart. I’m a, a native of the Mountain area, and I’m currently serving as an honorary council of Iceland to North Dakota and, uh, vice president of our Icelandic communities association.

Liz: Built in 1884, the church was the center of community, and in fact, it still is. But for Loretta and others, Icelandic roots here reach far beyond the boundaries of Mountain.

Loretta: Definitely. We actually have planned our annual Icelandic celebration to be coordinated with the Gimli celebration so that visitors from near and far, Iceland included, have the opportunity to spend maybe Friday, Saturday here and then travel up to Gimli to experience that Icelandic celebration as well.

They’re very, very, very closely related in that aspect. Many of us have relatives up in Canada.

Liz: So, so genealogically, you’re still very much interconnected.

Loretta: Oh, absolutely. We all share the love of our Icelandic heritage and, and enjoy celebrating that once a year at least.

Liz: Loretta makes it clear, too, what their ancestors went through still defines them today.

Loretta: Well, when the Icelanders came over, uh, they first immigrated up to Canada and they had some very difficult winters up there, and so they opted to travel further south hoping that . . .

Liz: Like others we’ll talk to, Loretta immediately wants to share just the unimaginable hardships endured by these Icelandic immigrants on both sides of the border, arriving without the right clothes for prairie winters, lacking the skills to survive in a climate like this and then disease.

And through all this, they endured and eventually thrived. At least one of her points: North American Icelanders come from very tough stock.

Loretta: You know, we’ve been accused of being obnoxiously proud of our Icelandic heritage. My grandparents all came over from Iceland, so I heard stories about their travels attempting to—not wanting to leave, but having to leave because of the harsh conditions at that time.

And so I, it just made us all that more determined to succeed and [be] proud of who we are and where we came [from]. Um, you know, in the last eight years we built a $1.75 million community center and café over here. And so often we’re asked the question, “How in the world did you think a little community of less than a hundred people could do that?”

And one of our, uh, gentlemen on the board said, “Well, nobody told us we couldn’t.” So the attitude is that we can and will prevail. Our ancestors did it, and so we will as well.

Liz: As my colleague Kate and I have bacon and egg sandwiches with Loretta at the café at the community center, Loretta shares that, as a little girl growing up in Mountain, she dreamed of being an interior designer and leaving Mountain for the big city.

She said, “I only wanted three things. I don’t wanna live in Mountain. I don’t wanna marry a farmer, and I don’t wanna be a teacher.” And of course, all three happened, and happily so for Loretta. She’s now a mother and grandmother, and in her role as a community leader here, she has hosted Icelandic prime ministers and other dignitaries.

She’s traveled far and wide representing the Icelandic community here. This is definitely a woman with no regrets.

Loretta: Whether it be the celebration in Gimli or the celebration in Mountain, um, it—there aren’t many communities that celebrate their heritage to that extent, and maybe that’s why we’ve been called obnoxiously proud of our Icelandic heritage. That’s fine with me. That works.

Liz: Loretta is awesome. And by all accounts, so are all the residents of this little northeastern North Dakota town, but it’s time to head north to Gimli, the big smoke of New Iceland at about a little over 6,000 residents. We’re off to get a few more answers about the DNA of these New Icelanders.


Gimli in late October seems, I guess, an unlikely destination. On the other hand, locals do have ample time for unrushed conversations in which little gems of local life and culture emerge. For example, my visit to H.P. Tergesen and Sons’ general store. [Doorbell sound] Love that old-timey general store doorbell sound.

August is a zoo here, but in October, I’m the only one in the store, and there’s plenty of time to shoot the breeze with the fourth generation of Tergesen to run this store, Stefan. His mother, Lorna, is involved too.

Stefan Tergesen: This is a beaut. This is the 1910 cash register. I actually have the original one before this. This cash register goes to $99 and 99 cents. Uh, and of course it has the beautiful ring on it every day. So this is why I teach children, that’s why they call it ringing in a sale. Cashiers just don’t ring anymore. They beep, buzz, or talk to you, you know.

Liz: Established in 1899, it’s the oldest operating general store in Manitoba. Stefan likes to joke that they outlasted the Canadian department store icons, Eaton’s, run by another family with Iceland roots. For sure, this store is a living history of Gimli, and Stefan brings it to life from the carbon stains on the side of the cash register, where he says, back in the day, locals would strike a match to light a smoke and talk politics or the bits and bobs of old wares like Vogue cigarette papers or Red Rock cola, stuff that sits on display behind the counter, not for sale.

But after a while, the conversation just moves to what it was like to grow up with these strong Icelandic roots.

Stefan: We were, for a short time, I mean, we initially were the republic of New Iceland. We were a country of our own for, for two years there.

Liz: Stefan is referring to those early years when the government of Canada had set up almost an Icelandic reserve of sorts. And while that arrangement didn’t last, the sense of self-determination absolutely stuck. Stefan echoes the stories of hardship and perseverance shared by virtually all New Icelanders, but he adds, too, that this is a culture propelled by literacy and knowledge.

Stefan: The Icelanders have always had a, a strong, uh, need for news amongst themselves. They had a newspaper up and running, you know, I think before they had a town hall built, like within no time that was, that’s how important that was. Uh, most of the Iceland families brought over, amongst all the stuff they had to bring to survive, they also brought a trunk of books. You know, it was like information was important and knowledge, you know, and education and so I—we—got really lucky growing up in that. You know, it’s like I said, as you grow up, you take it for granted that you have a house full of books and . . .

Liz: And along with the love of literacy, they brought over Icelanders’ belief in fairies and sprites, many with quite a delinquent streak.

Stefan: Oh, the Huldufólk. Well, the Huldufólk are little spirit people from Iceland. Uh, and some of them came over with the original settlers, uh, and they, uh, originally settled in and they were in the store here. Uh, there was always stories of the trouble. There were, you know, people coming in and finding stuff in the morning messed up and things like that, that were always playing the . . .

Liz: I learned this in Iceland and I relearn this in Gimli. Do not assume that this is a quaint bit of tongue-in-cheek folklore. Though they don’t discuss it openly, to many Icelanders and New Icelanders, the Huldufólk are real. So it occurs to me that maybe this capacity for suspended disbelief, along with Viking toughness and an insane work ethic, well, all this combined makes for a culture capable of quite extraordinary visionary thinking.

Here’s Juliana, who heads up the New Iceland Heritage Museum.

Juliana Roberts: Iceland is a very female strong society. Um, you know, of course the Icelandic women don’t take the men’s name when they marry and they keep their own. They—did you know that?

Liz: No.

Liz: And many of us know this about Iceland: You might have heard in the news about Icelanders entrenching legally equal pay for men and women.

Of course, they’ve had female prime ministers, but New Icelanders have taken this to another level. Meet Maxine Engels of Hecla, about an hour north of Gimli. Maxine, like Lorna Turgesen, is of a certain age and both have been honored in New Iceland as the fjallkonan.

Maxine Engels: The fjallkonan is called the Maid of the Mountain. In Canada, the fjallkonan is a woman who is usually an older woman who has contributed to, or the encouragement of, the Icelandic culture and heritage.

Liz: There are very cool robes and headgear that go along with this highest of community honors in New Iceland, and it’s a tradition that Iceland has now copied from New Iceland and Canada. But bottom line, I’m sort of struggling to think, is there any other culture that, nevermind notices, but actually reveres older women? Wow, that’s big.


Liz: Mountain, Gimli, Hecla. None of these are big places, but they swell by thousands in the summer months, definitely during festival time. In a strange way, I’m kind of grateful for the glitch in production scheduling that had me here, not in late August but late October with the shores of Lake Winnipeg all to myself.

It’s chilly. Waters are a bit angry and the sky a bit volatile, but that’s why it’s so much easier to imagine the ungilded version of New Icelandic roots here.

And that’s just the way good trips go sometimes. You can plan all you like, set up all the events, but you’ll never really know when that moment of gestalt comes, that instant when you get a place in a way that you just didn’t before you left.

Weirdly, for this trip, that moment came right after I got back to Ontario, in this conversation with singer-songwriter Lindy Vopnfjörð. Lindy is tall, slim, fair, 40-something with a distinctly still-waters-run-deep vibe. He starts off by singing a commonly dark Icelandic children’s folk song.

Lindy: This is a song about a man riding on a horse as fast as he can towards the sunset. Cuz when the sun sets in Iceland, the Huldufólk come out and the outlaws come out and they will get you.

Liz: Then I asked, “What was it like to grow up in Manitoba’s New Iceland?”

Lindy: Uh, yeah, so, uh, I grew up in the Iceland community in, in Winnipeg and in Gimli. And, uh, just totally steeped in, in the, uh, the beauty of that and, and the songs and, uh, singing, um, with my parents in a folk singing group, and we were called the Hecla Singers.

We played all the Icelandic folk festivals. The first, uh, um, time that I got up on stage when I was, uh, just a little kid, um, was at the Islendingadagurinn and, uh, toured in a little yellow school bus as a child. And . . .

Liz: Lindy returned a couple of years ago to the Icelandic Festival in Gimli, but this time as parade marshall.

Lindy: . . . Parade, um, which was an extraordinary experience because, uh, I got to be the person leading the parade in the car or waving to everyone, with my name on the side of the car, and 60,000 people turned up. And, and finally I got to be the guy that everybody was wondering, “Who the heck is that guy?” And so I got to be the Who the Heck Is That Guy guy.

And uh, for like a couple of days I could, couldn’t move my arms cuz I’d waved so much and my face was hurting for days from smiling. It was just . . .

Liz: Lindy’s grandfather ran a fishing camp in Gimli. So Lindy grew up on these waters. And winter or summer, frozen or not, I asked him how this landscape, its harshness and its beauty, shaped him.

Lindy: It’s just very dangerous. I remember my brother and I, we were, you know, really into sailing. And, and, uh, we would wait till there was a small craft warning to go take the boats out so that we could get airtime, uh, when we were teenagers and it was pretty dangerous stuff. And one time, uh, one of the sailboats got turned upside down. And the mast got stuck in the, in the bottom of the lake. And, uh, we kept swimming to the other side of the boat and each one were, you know, kept missing each other. And then I just went into the middle where it was calm underneath and just waited there. And eventually he found me there. But that was pretty scary.

And he had to, uh, swim down on the bottom, he was an amazing swimmer, and, and pull the, uh, mast out of the bottom of the lake and then we made it back. Yeah, I think there’s like a real sense of, uh, um, rugged individualism or, or like, um, you know, the sense of, of exploration and determination to, uh, carry on . . .

Liz: Like so many others we’ve met, the lore of his roots is on the tip of his tongue. Their impact is palpable.

Lindy: So all these stories of where from once we came and what it took to, to get there, you know, it really, uh, empowered me, I think, as a young songwriter, as a, as a young, uh, uh, person who wanted to go and explore and tour, uh, and, and play these shows and do it all on my own.

And, um, just that, uh, spirit of adventure.

Liz: Throughout this trip, we’ve heard about the broader New Iceland community that, like Lindy, has ventured off to far flung places away from Manitoba and North Dakota, and yet their connections to these communities remain powerful.

Liz: Do you, do you miss the incredibly tight sense of community there?

Lindy: Yeah, yeah, I do. I often wonder what it would be like to be back there or to, to never have left.

Liz: This is a song that Lindy credits to his brother. He says it captures best the essence of what it was to grow up on the shores of Lake Winnipeg.

Lindy: [Singing] I was only three years old when they threw me from the window of the house/ wherein my parents felt the place. Raised in a family where they did the best they could for me/ at the age 13 was on the lake/they call me Jumbo cause I swam from ice to ice floe/on the Lake Winnipeg/I hauled the fish into the whitefish boats/on the Lake Winnipeg.

Liz: You know, clearly I don’t learn from experience because I had to ask Lindy too, “So what about these sprites, these Huldufólk?” He said, “What do you mean, what about them?” I said, “Do you believe in them?” He said, “I think it would be very unwise not to.”

But really, who could argue that there wasn’t some otherworldliness at play in the place that created the artists that created this track. Soon to be released, this is a song Lindy wrote for his young daughter.

Lindy: [Singing] I’ll help you learn to ride a bike. Run alongside you, holding onto the handlebar so tight. Teach you how to move your feet and watch out for the cars. Even though I know you’re gonna skin your knee on the dusty gravel out on the road, hold on as long as I can till I have to let you go. I have to let you go.

Aislyn: Who needs to go to Iceland when we have Mountain and Gimli? (Just kidding, Iceland. We still love you.) Thanks, Liz. Liz is busy working on her new podcast season, which I can’t share too much about right now other than to say it’ll drop soon. In the meantime, you can listen to North Americana wherever you get your podcasts, and you can find out more about Liz—and her upcoming projects at northamericanapodcast.com.

And trivia heads, I have your answer to last week’s question—and a new one for you. Last week’s question was: Which country has the most islands? Canada, Indonesia, Sweden, or the Philippines. The answer is Sweden! The country has more than 250,000 islands, of which 24,000 are open to the public and fewer than 1,000 are inhabited. Norway is a close second.

OK, this week’s question: Where does the word “map” come from? Is it sanskrit for “road” or “path”? Is it Arabic for “view or horizon”? Is it Greek for “disk or plate” or is it Latin for “napkin or towel?” We’ll reveal the answer next week.

Ready for more unpacking? Visit afar.com, and be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter. We’re @afarmedia. If you enjoyed today’s exploration, I hope you’ll come back for more great stories. Subscribing makes this easy! You can find Unpacked on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast platform. And be sure to rate and review the show. It helps other travelers find it. This season, we also want to hear from you: Is there a travel dilemma, trend, or topic you’d like us to explore? Drop us a line at afar.com/feedback or email us at unpacked@afar.com

This has been Unpacked, a production of AFAR Media. The podcast is produced by Aislyn Greene and Nikki Galteland. Music composition by Chris Colin.

And remember: The world is complicated. We’re here to help you unpack it.