Sunday, November 11, 2007

Like Sands Through the Hourglass...

People! I've just made a stunning discovery!
One that has made me want to yell at the top of my lungs from this multimedia mountain top
to the masses congregating below!

I have only 100 days left in Ghana!

My work plan with JHR, as well as my plane ticket, currently has me leaving this wonderful country on February 18th. Which means I have but a dollar of days left to make sense of my time here.

It also means I've spent more than 100 days here already and have more than half of my placement completed. Perhaps this is a good time to review and look forward.

So, what have I done?

I've worked in the newsroom almost daily, participating in editorial meetings, helping to form story ideas, editing scripts for grammar and content, following reporters around on their stories, offering a question or comment or two. I've been a camera man, field producer, interviewer and interviewee. I've done one-on-one training with reporters and group workshops on effective communication, newsreading, news sourcing and the importance of human rights stories.

I've also made a short documentary video on the Abandoned Refugee Children's Home, which has been airing on SKYY as filler for the past couple of weeks. I even received a phone call from Regina saying that someone from Takoradi has made an anonymous donation after seeing the video on SKYY. I've also heard from numerous friends and family that they have made, or plan to make, donations based on seeing the video on the web. To all of you, thanks so much.

I've also gone on many adventures, to Kakum National Park with SKYY Kids, walking in a parade in Tarkwa, playing basketball for the SKYY team against high school teams, with Jessie and Mia to Lome in Togo, Amodofe in Volta region and Big Mama's Back Yard just outside of Accra. To Cape Coast with Doug and Mark and most recently to the Green Turtle Eco Lodge, just outside of Dixcove, with Jessie and her Mom. I've spent many weekends in Accra, living it up and getting down, visiting Buduburam and getting to know some refugees living on the edge.

What's next?

I'm giving two documentary filmmaking workshops at the Ghanaian Institute of Journalism and the African Institute of Journalism and Communications, finishing a documentary on basketball in Buduburam and hopefully completing a few others. I want to go up to the northern regions of Ghana, explore Mole National Park and visit my new JHR friends up there. A friend is also coming to Ghana - Esther, a woman I met just before leaving, who was a great source of inspiration that filled my head with some real information, filling in the blanks of what Ghana is actually like. She's a PhD candidate who has agreed to share her story for a little documentary. It will be a lot of fun hanging out with her here.

Finally, in two weeks my girlfriend Kate arrives in Ghana! She is staying for 6 weeks, and will be doing a placement at a local hospital which I, after many meetings, letters, faxing and networking, was able to help organize. Her arrival ends a 4 month separation, and my pseudo-bachelorhood. I will have remember to clean the apartment (to girl standard levels of cleanliness) before she gets here!

When her stay is done I will have but 6 weeks remaining.

Unless, of course, I change my ticket...

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