Saturday, January 12, 2008

A slight change of plans

An email from JHR headquarters has arrived in my inbox. It is an email sent to those in my wave of current (and about to expire) interns. It tells of an internship at a newspaper in Sierra Leone. The person selected has decided to drop out at the last minute. The email states that anyone interested is invited to apply.

I call my long suffering, recently returned to Canada, girlfriend to see what she thinks. To my surprise she encourages me to apply. It is an opportunity that I cannot let slip by. There are no jobs quite like this one waiting for me in beautiful Hamilton, Ontario.

I throw caution to the wind and throw my hat in the ring.

I am asked if my lack of work experience in the medium could be overcome. I say, with confidence, yes. I am ready. They tell me that there are a few candidates being considered. They will let me know.

I hear the next day that I have been selected to fill the position. I'm going to Sierra Leone to be a print journalism trainer with Journalists for Human Rights.

So, life as I had planned it is now quite a bit different.

I will not be traveling after my current JHR contract in Ghana. No Timbuktu or Ouagadougou. No Serengeti or Kigali. No Dakar, nor Djenne or Zanzibar.

I will be returning home for a month before starting my contract on March 15, 2008.
Home to Toronto in the middle of February after spending 7 months in equatorial West Africa. Home to see friends and family. To eat big, juicy hamburgers and drink micro-brew beers. To either play in the snow or hibernate - I haven't decided which.

It's a well deserved respite from the daily news grind. I'll rest, recharge and do research.

I'll be listening to The Refugee Allstars on repeat.


Kate said...

so proud of you, darling!!

B. Scott Currie said...

Hey Kev,

Congrats on the new position, I'm sure the transition to print will be smooth. Judging by what I've read from Danny, there's some amazing stories to be told over there.

If you ever want to get together for a micro-brew in February, I'll be around the GTA. Drop me a line.

Take care,

hard_vark said...

we're all proud of you. And I admire your courage.

Chris said...

Hey Kevin, didn't realize until now that you were going to Sierra Leone. Congrats! And good on ya-- you'll do fine with the change in medium and have a great experience in a new setting. I won't be back in Canada until late April so unfortunately won't be able to cross paths with you before you set off. Regardless we'll have to keep in touch.