This blog is your invitation to join me on a TV and radio news coaching adventure in a Muslim island nation that is about to conduct its first experiment in democracy and a free press.
Before you can understand WHY I’m going on this journey, you need to know WHERE I’m going. The Maldives are a popular vacation spot with European honeymooners, wealthy South Africans and scuba divers, but most Americans have never heard of the place. It’s a chain of nearly 1200 islands with about 900 uninhabited. It’s in the middle of the Indian Ocean and right smack on the equator. Sri Lanka and India are the nearest neighboring countries. It’s halfway around the world from Los Angeles with a time difference 13 hours ahead.
It takes three full days to get there. I left Los Angeles at 8 p.m. Wednesday and and 17 hours later it will be 7 AM Friday in Singapore when I get off the plane to wait 14 hours for the connection to Male, the capital of the Maldives. That’s another flight of about four hours. I can hardly wait to meet Noora, my contact in the Ministry of Information and Arts. After emailing for three months, I will finally get to see her!