(I've changed the name from "Rants" given that I can't really rant about many things that frustrate me here, at least not without getting into some sort of trouble. As such, you'll have to wait for the book.)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Quick Week in NY

I’m sitting in JFK Airport after a busy week in NY. It’s been good to be in the US but I’m very happy to return to Burundi.
visiting our friend Liya (in front of Madison Sq. Garden)
One thing that always amazes me is how American media fixates on stories and they just go on and on. I’ve never seen this anywhere else. The Wall Street protests (which I visited) have been replaced by the Penn State football scandal which was momentarily replaced by Rick Perry’s gaffe and now we’re back to endless commentary about Penn State’s scandal. It’s not that these are not news stories; it’s that they beat the story into the ground. CNN, which I presume would have access to lots of other interesting stories, is at this moment interviewing a former Penn State cheerleader. Sorry. That’s not news.
the Wall Street protestors
My week in NY was fortunately not filled with time in front of the TV watching recycled news stories. Loads of meetings filled my days and work dinners filled my evenings. One exception was our gala event on Wednesday which included David Gregory (60 Minutes) as MC and David Letterman doing a bit of comedy.
apparently some recycled jokes from the night before, but still funny
He was followed by Colin Powell who gave a rather impressive speech about the work our organization does and encouraging some of NY’s wealthiest to cough up some funds for our work around the world. Powell was followed by Tom Brokaw and family who received our award this year. As I did two years ago, I was able to chat with him a bit afterwards. He’s particularly attached to our program in Rwanda to I have a connection with him. Very cool guy and a wonderful family.
Tom flanked by family and Colin
The evening was wrapped up by a couple of songs from John Legend. He’s become a big supporter of our work and has even visited some of our projects. I’d like to get him to Burundi or Rwanda. Be good for our programs and probably for him as well.
It’s nearly time to board. Anxious to travel halfway around the globe to see my wife and baby. I arrive at around midnight tomorrow and by 10am I need to meet our British actress visitor to Burundi. Going to be some fatigue and jet lag.
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So I wasn’t successful in getting this posted before the flight. I’m not on the other side of the Atlantic getting ready to head south. That’s one thing that is on my Christmas list: direct flights to the US. Speaking of flights, after we boarded our Air France flight in NY, they started playing the James Bond theme. Caught my attention but I didn’t think too much about it until the pilot came on and said, “Welcome aboard Air France flight 007 destination Paris Charles de Gaulle.” Mais oui, the French do have a sense of humor.

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