Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Heck-Tick, Heck-Tick

Alright, so im hitting a bit of a rough stretch until the elections so bear with me. The elections are in about 25, 26 days or so. This week, what am I doing at the CDD?

  • Helping to organize a press conference for those who will be involved in election observation for Dec. 6th
  • Helping to Prep the election observers spokespersons for dealing with the press and media
  • Helping to organize the Parliamentary candidates' debates in Accra for next week
  • Travelling to Tamale again next weekened with the Media Policy project for a review session with the journalists
And then theres still my project with the radio. When I can, I go to the radio stations to interview/observe. Every morning, I try to record audio from the phone in shows, but lately its been hard, so I am a little concerned about how that is going to work. Last night I went to observe the presidential debates from the CITI FM newsroom, but I was so tired I couldnt really think straight to take good notes or offer any good feedback. Tonight, there is a press dinner I will attend hosted by Nana Akuffo Addo, the NPP candidate for the presidency, and the incumbent. I mean, its awesome that I find myself having access to some of these things. .

But at the same time, its a lot of work. I'm gaining a reputation for being a work-aholic! I dont have time much to spend travelling or with family and friends. I'm banking that post election time will be less hectic. Im doing what I can to stay healthy and full of energy to push through the next 3 weeks or so.

Monday, November 10, 2008

To date on a Fulbright year or Not to date on a Fulbright year...

Uh...... I guess the question could speak for itself without going into too much detail! ;)


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Part 2....

Barack Obama.......

Nov. 4th, 2008 was a day I will never forget. Chicago, Washington, New York, we were watching you here from Accra. We here in Ghana, Ghanaians, Americans, Europeans, every one of us, we were watching. We cheered with each state Obama picked up. We were beyond elated when Republican strongholds such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio went to Obama. When CNN projected Obama as the winner, I saw people hugging, kissing, and crying. Then the crowd rushed to the front of the large projector screen and began to dance to Blakk Rasta's Barack Obama song. It was incredible. When McCain conceeded, we hushed to listen. Although some members of the crowd attempted to boo, the majority of the crowd hushed them up. I wanted to hear McCain's speech because in a democracy, elections are just as much about the losers as they are about the winners. I found McCain to be more gracious and classy in defeat than he ever was duiring the campaign. Although members of the audience were obviously upset, you could tell that McCain had had enough of the negativity from his own party. And when Obama took the stage, we cried. When the crowd in Chicago chanted, "Yes we can!", we in Accra were chanting, 200 strong, right with you. When Michelle and the kiddies came on stage, we squealed and clapped. When you guys in Chicago applauded, we were applauding right with you. It was truly a moving moment, a global moment, and I was so so so proud to have the opportunity to watch it from across the Atlantic, in the continent of Obama's forbears.

I was ALSO SUPER GEEKED TO BE A GUEST ON JOY FM'S election COVERAGE PROGRAM FOR THE NIGHT! I was also a guest panelist on Citi Fm's show the next my analysis of the election results and what it would mean for Americans.

In the eve of Ghana's elections, I see that Ghana views the US elections as an example of change coming to a country. Every politician with the obvious exception of the incumbent party sees themselves as the "Obama" candidate." The NDC, the main opposition party is allegedly is using Obama's image on party paraphanelia.

I have the pictures and video to prove it, but not the fast internet connection to handle the transfer......So check my Facebook page for now.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

LONG TIME.....and so much has happened.. (Part1)

....that much is obvious.

Let me start out by saying that my schedule has gotten even crazier. I have really been meaning to take time to write and digest all thats been going on with me here in Ghana. There are times that I am at the CDD til 7 pm at night. But let me begin by detailing the past two days, Nov. 3 and Nov. 4th, days I will never, ever, ever forget and I can say that I am truly blessed to be alive during these times.

Nov. 3rd- I got a call from the Embassy to give a presentation on Election day, Nov. 4th. I was asked to speak about my perspective as an American comparing the Ghanaian and American debates. I agreed, excitedly. I went to work in the Afternoon, and attended an election reporting conference in the evening. I didnt get home until 9 pm, and I did not have much time to prepare. I think I was up until 3, 4 am.  The next day, I went to the office in the morning to print my notes and make some changes. I left for the Embassy at around noon. I was thinking this event was going to be a small, in-house embassy discussion. 

Boy was I wrong. 

I got to the room where the panels where and immediately saw TV crews, radio personnel, and reporters from the Ghanaian media crowding the room. At the front of the room, the panelists sat with microphones and recorders. I immediately freaked out and ran to the Internet resource center to really prep my notes, since I arrived early. Why the Embassy failed to tell me that the "in-house discussion" was really a media centered event escapes me. But I was glad I did it. I sat on the panel with Jean Mensah, director of the Institute for Economic Affairs, the organization that organized the Ghanaian Presidential debates, and Ebo Quansah, with the Ghanaian Times, who covered the debates in Oxford, Mississippi. I was nervous at first, but I got through the panel. My mother, fellow Fulbrighters, and CDD colleagues were in attendance. But that was only the beginning of my 48 hour minor celebrity status in Ghana.....