14-01-2007

In Mailbox this week we talk about QSL cards and what to do to get one. We find out how many letters were delivered to Radio Prague in 2006 and we also meet two new voices on Radio Prague.

Welcome to Mailbox, Radio Prague's weekly programme which tries to answer your questions and comments. Today, we'll, of course, repeat our competition question for January, we are also going to meet two new - or not so new - members of the Radio Prague team but first of all there is some QSL cards business to clarify.

As every year, Radio Prague has a new set of QSL cards to send out to our listeners in exchange for reception reports. Last week we reported on the new collection, this year featuring lookout towers from around Bohemia and Moravia. In response to the report, a number of e-mails have arrived from across the world, asking for a set of cards. Now, I'm afraid, the way it works is that these cards can only be posted to listeners who send us a letter or an e-mail stating where in the world, when and on what frequency they heard Radio Prague's broadcast. You also need to specify what the programme was about and what the quality of the reception was. It is also important to say whether the time you are using is your local time or universal time. Most importantly, you need to include your postal address so we can send you the card. To make it easier for you we also have a special form on our website www.radio.cz/en/report which you can fill out online if you are not entirely sure how to structure a reception report. So please keep them coming and you'll get our cards in return.

On a related topic, we now have figures for last year's incoming mail. In 2006, Radio Prague - that is all six of its language sections - received 21,233 letters, which is 2,000 more than in the previous year. The English section did by far the best with 7,361 letters and e-mails. Our thanks to you for keeping in touch with us wherever you are in the world!

Now, over the past weeks and months you will have noticed a couple of new - or maybe not so new - voices on Radio Prague. They belong to Ilya Marritz and Coilin O'Connor who are now with me in the studio. Coilin, I'm sure our listeners are quite familiar with your voice because you've been contributing to our programmes for a few years now...

"That's right, Pavla, I have actually been contributing to Radio Prague with the odd report for about three years now but I am delighted and honoured to say that I am going to be working full-time for Radio Prague from hereon in, so you will probably be hearing a lot more of me in the future. So I hope the listeners won't mind my Irish accent too much.

"I've actually been in Prague now for more years than I care to remember but I came initially after college for a holiday and kind of got stuck. I was supposed to be Interrailing around Europe. Prague was my first stop and I haven't really moved on since. I now live here with my girlfriend and three cats."

And the other new voice, with an American accent, belongs to Ilya Marritz who's also in the studio. Ilya, would you like to tell us a few words about yourself?

"I'm Ilya Marritz and I'm from New York City actually and I'm really happy to be at Radio Prague. It's been really a delight to work here and to discover the city this way. Unlike Coilin I haven't lived here very long, I've been here only since about September though I've been coming here since 1990. My mother was born here in 1944, her family went into exile in the United States which is how she met my father and how I was born an American in New York City. But in 1990 we started coming back periodically and I always knew I wanted to spend longer here and so this was the year that I decided to do it."

Thank you very much, Ilya Marritz and Coilin O'Connor.

 

All that remains now is to repeat our competition question for January. This month we would like to know the name of a Jesuit missionary, born in Brno, who worked as a botanist and pharmacist in the Philippines where he also died in 1706. Half a century later, the Swedish scientist Carl Linne named a genus of flowering plants after him in his honour.

Please send us your answers by the end of the month to English@radio.cz or Radio Prague, 12099, Prague, Czech Republic which are also the addresses for your reception reports. Till next week, thanks for listening.

14-01-2007