I've arrived in Takoradi!
Now my new adventure really begins.
The house I live in has no address, the road leading up to it doesn't exist.
I've just begun making my somewhat spartan apartment into a home.
It's really quite big. I have a floor of a house to myself.
My bed is cocooned in mosquito netting, and when I go to sleep I feel like I truly am in Africa! The night time is a symphony of crickets, frogs and cats in heat. I am awoken by calls to morning prayer at competing mosques - between 4 and 5 AM! I get up a few hours later and have a cold shower in a walk-in water closet. Did I mention it's really hot and humid here... and it's only the comparatively cool rainy season.
Work is a ten minute walk away. Still, you're soaked in sweat by the time you climb up the big hill where Skyy Power FM sits. Towering over Takoradi.
Today is my first day at Skyy. At 8:30 the editorial story meeting starts. A dozen or so reporters are responsible for 2 stories a day. Even if they don't all make it on air. One by one journalists pitch their ideas. The group then take turns criticizing, expanding, relating previous experiences and suggesting new angles.
The rest of the day in the newsroom is phone interviews, collegial ribbing, editing scripts and recording voice overs. There are news broadcasts for radio and television at 6AM, 1PM and 6PM. Lots of work. It takes about 80 people to make this fully functioning broadcast empire run. There are 4 TV channels; 3 are relay, 1 is original programming; a radio station and a periodically produced newspaper.
I've already had the opportunity to meet everyone, getting a great tour of the TV studio, radio booths, edit suites and even management. The people of Skyy are very friendly and welcoming. I feel like I am in very good hands. The journalists already have a good handle on the human rights angles of stories. It seems to be a matter of tweaking analysis, as opposed to having to get down to the basics.
JHR has done a great job here, the previous interns and trainers are spoken of in high regard. It also helps to have seasoned broadcast veteran Doug in the fold.
My cell number in Ghana is +233 20 794 9074
If you want to send me a care package, its best chance is to send it to:
c/o SKYY Power FM-TV
P.O. Box MC 1231
Its's 6 PM and the news broadcast is about to begin.