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Spokane Teacher To Talk About His Life as Adventure TV Host

Hazen Audel Artworks

Spokane teacher Hazen Audel has an interesting summer job. He’s the host of a program on the National Geographic cable channel that takes him to exotic places all over the globe. And, along the way, he takes on adventures some people might consider crazy.

On Thursday evening, Audel will share more about his adventures during an event at Spokane’s Fox Theater.

In Audel’s modest Spokane home, there’s not much that tells a visitor that Audel is an internationally-known adventure TV host. There are no pictures of him posing with a family that lives in the bush. No photos of him with his camera crew. There are several spears hanging on the wall over the couch, but nothing audacious.

This is where he spends his down time and recuperates from his world travels. For the last four years, he’s spent about three months a year on the road. For his program “Primal Survivor,” he went to Kenya and learned how the nomadic Samburu people find water for their animals. Here they’ve discovered a well. A Samburu man is down in a hole, filling a bucket and handing it up to his American visitor.

“Here we go. Whoa! These walls just keep caving in on us. Cows need a lot of water and getting it out of the ground and up to the trough is serious physical work,” Audel said in a scene from his TV show.

“When I’m doing all this traveling, the take-home that people get to see is this sort of adventure survival program. And that’s just one aspect of my experience," Audel said later in an interview in his living room.

"What I really want to share are these really intimate moments that I have with these people that I’m living with. A lot of times I’m living with a family for two weeks and you get to know the kids and you get to know the elders and you see how Mom’s cooking dinner and how Dad’s bringing home dinner. Those are the sort of experiences that I really wish I could have a program about. But right now in the TV genre, that’s just not happening,” he said.

Instead, the focus is on the physical aspects of the adventure; for example, the scene is we find Audel waist high in a hole filled with mud.

“I’ve been watching out so closely for predators that I’ve run straight into something else life-threatening: quicksand. Actually, this is a little bit more serious than I thought,” Audel said as he tried to pull himself out of the muck in a scene from his TV show.

He got himself out after a few minutes, just one in a series of harrowing experiences.

“It’s pretty high adventure and, unfortunately, it’s about my struggles,” Audel said.

But that’s apparently what TV viewers want to see.

Besides being an adventure TV host, Audel is also a high school biology teacher in the West Valley School District and a sculptor who works in metal and other media. That’s the part of his life most people can relate to. On Thursday, Audel will tell more stories about the more unusual part of his life.

“I grew up here. I’m a Spokane boy. I have lifelong friends, a lifelong community too, and I just want to share that sort of aspect of my lifestyle that a lot of people can’t really identify with unless I really sit down and show some pictures and my experience,” Audel said.

Audel’s Thursday evening event is entitled “My Lives with Tribes.” It starts at 7:30 pm at the Fox Theater.