By Chibuogwu
Nnadiegbulam
It
was one of the back to back match-free days in this week but most importantly,
it marked one week and a day I’ve been here in Jordan with the days flipping
through like the frail pages of a book succumbing to breeze.
I
had forgotten to set my alarm again, but I was up in time to get ready for the
new day which will see us visit the Jordan Media Institute after class.
As
usual, I helped myself to breakfast where I sat alongside the only boys in the
programme, Pedro and Pablo – the Japanese, Masamichi, is expected on Friday.
Pedro
who prefers to be called Victor, is from Brazil while Pablo is a Spaniard.
They
do not necessarily look alike but some of us have had to think Pedro was Pablo
and vice versa. Not me anyway.
There
was also Rayane, from Lebanon on the same table. Pablo then jokingly told Pedro
to change his alarm tune because it makes him want to jump out the window.
He
insisted that Pedro played it there so that we could understand what he had to
go through every morning. When Pedro played it, what we heard was the sound of
a fire alarm.
Imagine
that sound being the first thing you hear in the morning. Rayane and I
sympathised with Pablo and laughed out loud at the same time.
In
class, Andrea, remember him? He is from Italy, a proud dad, a former athlete
who now trains athletes and is also a Sports Commentator.
He
is in charge of anything that has to do with video at the AIPS Young Reporters
Programme.
Andrea
gave his thoughts regarding the videos that have been produced thus far and
told us that we must always know how we want to build our video story.
Riccardo
who has had quite an adventurous experience as a journalist then told us about
DECISIONS, explaining that they are key in our lives as journalists.
He
reminded us that we are still in the world where our story needs to be sold and
in the end, whether you publish a story or not, boils down to decision making.
We
had a visitor today. FIFA Television Commentator, John Helm, whose journalistic
journey started on August 17, 1959.
Fifty
Seven years and counting, Helm is so bubbly and enthusiastic as far as his job
is concerned.
He
has been a commentator since 1981 and has been to 87 countries, nine World
Cups, five Olympic Games and a lot more tournaments. “I want to make it to
100 countries, I want to make it to 10 World Cups and I want to make it to
another Olympics,” he said.
Helm
warned us to “never abuse the fact that we are in a privileged
position” as journalists. He spends six to seven hours to prepare for
every match he does and makes sure he gets two new INTERESTING facts for every
player on the team sheet; from the starting eleven to the substitutes.
One
thing that has kept John Helm going ever stronger is his ambition. He was the
commentator for the Nigeria vs England match the day before and he admits he
still makes mistakes because for “every single time you put on the head
phone, you learn something new”.
After
class, we went to the Jordan Media Institute, where our mentors told them about
the AIPS (International Sports Press Association) and how the association
works.
We
got to know some of the students better after the session and exchanged numbers
with them.
We
went back to the hotel afterwards and that was when AIPS President, Gianni
Merlo told us he would be leaving us the next day. We had a kind of round table
discussion that evening where he gave us lots of advice, and asked us
individually what we thought about the AIPS Young Reporters Programme and how
it has affected our lives.
The
testimonies were amazing.
We
went to our rooms when we were done at past six, to converge at the lobby by
8pm for our trip to Downtown Amman.
AIPS
Young Reporters night out, I called it. It was the first time we were all
hanging out and it was fun. We first had dinner at ‘Hashim’.
Some
of us had eaten at the hotel and I was one of those, so all I did was taste
some of what was in front of me and drank a can of Fanta. And yes, I tasted the
Jordanian version of ‘akara’, bean cake. It is called ‘Felafe’.
After
dinner we took a walk down the street and eventually entered a shop of mostly handmade
Jordanian souvenirs and while some admired, some bought stuffs.
Then
at about 12 midnight, we were back at the hotel. Sonja insisted that we all
played a game called “Never-have-I-ever” aka “abadan,
abadan”.
It’s
a drinking game and we were allowed to drink even water. It was a team building
game that saw us revealing a lot about our private lives as we laughed and
drank.
And
when we were done with that, we played another game that required us calling
names of countries and cities starting from letter A, where you failed, you
drank and restarted the game with the next letter.
While
we were at it Sonja told us that Roselyn had arrived safely in Australia, then
she took a photo of us and sent to her.

Christine
was the first to say goodnight some minutes after 1 am, then I followed about
30 minutes later.

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