By Chibuogwu
Nnadiegbulam
Since
my arrival in Amman, Jordan, it’s been me trying to manage my time in such a
way that I can satisfy as many persons as possible, with the AIPS being top on
my priority list.
I
understand perfectly that my being here is not just one of learning but also of
service however the reality is that I definitely cannot please everybody.
In
other words, this is me sending out a sincere apology to the hurt and probably
the ones waiting for me at a particular junction.
I
mean, what do you do when you literally have your wardrobe mirror always
staring at you every time you open the door (coming in or going out) – more
like a reality check.
After
quite a short sleep in freezing conditions, I sprang up from my bed at about
7:30 am remembering that we were supposed to have breakfast with our AIPS Young
Reporters Programme mentors at 8:30am.
My
Mexican roommate, Paloma who had arrived the previous night was already set,
though she was still in bed.
So
with an “na only you still remain” mentality, I hurriedly got ready
and we were down for breakfast right on time.
Before
Jordan I can relatively count, on one hand, how many times I used an elevator,
but now I’m in it for about five times a day because it is the only way to my
room.
So
at breakfast – my first in Jordan – after picking a seat, I began my journey
around the buffet table, and when I located bread, I heaved a sigh of relief.
After
my tour I got back to my seat with four slices of toast bread, two hot dogs,
butter and a glass of orange juice. I had no reason to complain afterwards and
was satisfied to have found the perfect breakfast combo for my stay in the
Hashemite Kingdom.
My
lunch and dinner has also been stereotyped. It has got to be rice, beef sauce,
chicken, cream salad, sweet corn.
Rice
is basic, for the rest, it depends on which is on display. And yes, most times,
I go straight to the point with my meals.
The
meeting room of the hotel was where we introduced ourselves during the informal
meeting we had with our mentors for the first time, Keir (the good cop),
Riccardo (the bad cop) and Andrea who is the one to take us through anything
that has to do with video.
We
were given two key words that will guide us in the AIPS programme and our jobs,
punctuality and deadline, and was told that we are here to work just as it is
in the real world.
Then
we were given an assignment to write from any of the day’s events, either the
Opening Press Conference or the trip to the Al Baqa’a refugee camp inhabited by
Palestinians, where former Barcelona star Xavi visited as part of his new role
off the field as a Generation Amazing ambassador.
But
first we had a ten minute walk to the accreditation centre close to the Amman
International Stadium, and it felt so good to finally have a FIFA tournament
tag around my neck.
With
that feeling, I took photos with my fellow AIPS Young Reporters and we headed
back to the hotel quicker that we had come so that we can get a taxi to the
Four Seasons hotel where the Press Conference would hold.
We
got there a little late, but did not miss much. However for me, from the moment
I entered I started imagining myself in those high-profile press conferences I
have only been watching on TV.
I
sat down, had my headset for translation on, while I recorded, so I could have
exact quotes for my story, and the sound bites I could send back home.
When
we were done, a few of us were selected to go to the refugee camp, while the
rest of us headed back to our hotel, and while we took a walk down to the bus
stop, we kept observing and taking photos.
The
Jordanians do not need a policeman standing by, for them to use their overhead
bridge. Also, it should be cliché to say “smokers are liable to die
young” in Jordan.
We
finally got cabs and went to the hotel. I had dinner, developed my article from
some of the quotes I got from the press conference, and paid other dues
including writing my Day 1 diary before going to bed at about 4am.



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