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Thursday, February 23, 2012


Well, it was a wonderful week in St.Petersburg , Florida in the USA, (Feb 12 to Feb 18) - the city of beaches and sunshine though the weather was not exactly as warm as we had expected and it rained on our last day at the state.
The Media Project did a wonderful job of bringing together 18 Christian journalists from across the world in the premier Poynter Institute of Journalism to train them on management and leadership issues.
I met a wide variety of people who had personalities as diverse as the colors of the rainbow.
I made good friends like the ever effervescent Irene Akoto from Ghana, Anna-Liza Kozma from Canada who was always brimming over with enthusiasm and energy, and Caroline Comport who was a top manager and adept at handling people and deadlines. Emeka Izeze from Nigeria and Jennifer Arul from Chennai had the advantage of experience and in-depth knowledge, and of course how can I forget the quiet and humble Aramide Oikelome also from Nigeria? I told her while departing, “Quiet waters run deep.” The same applied to Promise Hsu Hong from China and Victor Lugala from Sudan who with their silent presence made a substantial contribution to the workshop.
Baby Lyn Resulta from the Philippines and Dorothy Teoh from Malaysia with their expertise kept the conference room alive with discussions. So did Lekan Otufodunrin (Nigeria), David Sseppuuya(Uganda), and KL Chan(Malaysia) – our techno-expert.
Then there was Kristanto Hartadi from Indonesia and Mauricio Avila from Chile who had two things in common: salt-pepper hair and a silent sense of humor and maturity.
Dismas Lyassa from Tanzania acted very much the Prime Minister he was ordained to be! (Sorry, Dismas, for the joke!)
And of course, there was Rexford Johnson from Sierra Leone doing all the monkey business (he likes apples) and mischief while I was teased for being soft-spoken and timid. “The Princess of Bhutan” was an epitaph that stuck to me throughout the workshop. I just smiled and said I was “common royalty”.
I also evoked a lot of surprise, and horror from some quarters for saying we did not have “dessert” in Bhutan.
I once also evoked uproarious laughter from Romania’s Cristi Tepes, arguably the nicest, funniest and largest guy in the group, when I patted his very apparent belly and said “Gross National Happiness”.
Then the leaders: Jill Geisler – nothing beats the lady! She knows her stuff; and Arne H Fjeldstad – He is TRULY “the bishop” (I found my spiritual mentor in him and I consider myself blessed. TRULY blessed).