Tuesday, April 12, 2016

the balkans live on!

Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina

At long last, the account of the Most Excellent Balkans Road Trip has gained more airtime courtesy of the most excellent folks over at Blue Dot. Check out the article, and while you're at it, sign up for their email list to have each weekly article delivered right to your inbox. No websurfing needed!

Exploring the Balkans the Accidental Way

"...Following a road-trip pit-stop along the route through Montenegro, as we reclaimed the highway, my eyes drooped into an unable-to-be-fought post-lunch siesta. But I was soon awakened by the click, click, click of my friend Olivier’s camera. I dredged my eyes open to find out what had attracted his lens.
As they focused, my eyes found before them a natural marvel that the word magnifique was created to describe: a long, sunlit bay ringed by picturesque villages that were squeezed between the calm water and the steep, rocky, scrub-brush-covered mountains that plunged down to meet it.
What was this beautiful place?..."

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

practicing journalism

Last night at my fave café I met an American couple and a Scottish woman here for this big oil company trade event hosted by French company Total which has headquarters here in Pau. They mentioned a protest that would be happening today at their event very near my home. So I went to check it out and learn a little about the other side of the story.

By the time I arrived, the biggest excitement was apparently over, as I learned that the protesters had blocked the entrance to the conference that morning. But I still made like a reporter and infiltrated the climate justice protest. (It wasn't hard. No girl scout badge for sneaky infiltration was earned.) Apparently the international energy industry conference was focused on strategies and practices for extracting oil from ever harder to reach places, and the protesters think they're damaging the earth in the extreme measures they're taking.

I'm not positioned right now to have easy outlets for reporting on real-time breaking news, but for practice, I still interviewed the president of Les Amis de la Terre France (Friends of the Earth) who had handcuffed himself to the handrail in front of the main entrance to the venue. I added the interview and photos to the Twitter-verse, and this time that had to be enough.