The Rod Blog

17 September 2006

Sinking in the deep end

Well that was interesting.

There’s nothing like jumping right into the deep end. Let’s not start with L-plates, I’ll hope straight into the sports car, and hit the first corner at 200kph.

I conducted my first ever radio interview yesterday. I might have started by going to the church fete, and interviewing somebody about their flower arrangements. But no, it had to be the communications director of a major international aid agency to discuss the most dire topic of the crisis in the Congo.

There’s nothing like a bit of naivety… correction…did I say a “bit”?...make that a truck load. Good ol’ Rod, here he comes. Knows little about interviewing, stuff-all about the Congo, and even less about international aid. Launch him towards a long-time media veteran. French, patronising, somewhat arrogant, and clearly annoyed by the simple fool interviewing him.

And I thought the worst I could get would be the single grunts of someone not talkative. But the problem wasn’t his lack of words. Instead, it was the little gems like the one when I asked him what is the budget of his organisation. This was the only time he paused. Then he said “that is not a clever question”!

I’ve got to say it was not a pleasant experience.

I may have been – be ignorant, but he was completely unhelpful about one of the key things I wanted to understand. That is - how do you sustain any sense of hope when things are so utterly bleak.
Of AIDS, and of child soldiers, and tragic circumstance. It is hard enough look into the face of a starving child, but when you feel powerless to help it becomes unbearable.

And of course, through all my chewing over a bad experience I know there are people out there who are really suffering: people who would gladly swap a little ego-anguish for a good meal.


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