Public Relations Video Star

The president’s press office is producing a video version of my strategic communications workshop, starring… me! My dear friend and colleague, Mohamed Hilmy, also happens to be one of the most respected film makers in Maldives, so I know the material is in good hands. We recorded the standups in the courtyard of the president’s office, and Hilmy will edit them to include some of the video examples from the training course.
Preparing the script gave me a chance to spend a little time in one of my favorite places: Hilmy’s house. Like most Maldivian families, several generations live together. Old time Maldivian families had huge blocks of land which have been subdivided over the years, with each child getting their share.
During my visit here, Hilmy’s wife served delicious coffee and his adult sons built a huge bird cage that is now filled with rare finches. The family’s cats spend hours licking their chops and fantasizing about the meal on the other side of the wire. There’s also a new litter of kittens; there are no veterinarians in Maldives so spay/neuter is not an option. The garden is a little slice of island life in the city. The small bananas from their trees are unbelievably sweet. There’s even a parrot who speaks English!
Update: after the recording session, I learned that Hilmy’s mother was hospitalized in serious condition. I send all good wishes for the recovery of this remarkable woman. Among other things, she is the poet who wrote the lyrics for the “Think Nation” song for our team’s voter education program in 2008.