I love my job! Have I ever said that out loud? Well, being in the middle if the action and capturing special moments to share with the world is exactly the thrill that keeps me going.
Prince Harry’s arrival to Belize was a bit nerve racking at first, but as the adrenaline built up I forgot about all the big dogs of the international media covering the event and got to doing what I do best. I was rubbing elbows with the likes of CNN, NBC, ABC, Nine Network Australia and Sky News from England. There were tons of them with huge camera lenses that could easily intimidate anyone. Events as big as these do not occur a lot in Belize, but one thing I can tell you is that I was not intimidated at all.
Being amongst the people who made it to Belmopan to see the Prince was simply amazing. It was a mad crazy rush of running ahead of the Prince, dealing with uptight security, getting in and out of small vans packed with journalists, videographers and photographers and all the while working on getting the perfect shot and absorbing all of what was going around you in order to put it all down in writing so that your readers got a clear picture of what went on. WOW!
Having the opportunity to meet HRH was amazing and having access to so much more than others was super awesome. But it’s hard work – there was much lack of sleep, little eating to fuel up, plenty of waiting in the hot sun and little time for anything else. At one point I felt like I was in a herd of cattle being driven from one point to the next. I, along with a group of unlucky journalists, almost had to walk/run all the one mile, uphill road to Xunantunich because security did not want to send the scheduled shuttle buses to pick us up. It was a minor glitch that had me climbing up hill with almost 40 pounds of equipment on my back. In the end I got to the archeological site in time to capture the most important moments.
I also met and made great contacts with the international media who were the friendliest, like these two amazing gals who are working with the BTB on the Road Warrior program. Julie Collazo of Matador Networks and Kristen Simmons, Belize’s latest Road Warrior were excellent company and made Ambergris Today’s trip that much pleasurable. Then there are the more serious guys from ABC News, Sky in the UK and Manuel from Reuters in Mexico who were great contacts to know. How about those nasty reporters that nobody liked? We just did not talk to them; it’s their loss right?
Following Prince Harry was definitely exciting. They called him the Party Prince and some reporters tried to use the worst pictures that they took to make him look bad. Prince Harry was very down to earth, his speech was very honest and he definitely connected with the Belizean crowd. He was drawn to the young children and gave them his special attention; definitely genuine. The Prince is a young man and his drive for adventure and excitement is understandable. I can say that he made his grandmother proud in representing her in Belize.
Interacting with people who came as far away as Cancun, seeing all the children waving their British flags and feeling the energy of the people who were as excited as I was to meet Prince Harry was fuel enough to forget all the gear I was carrying and just keep on enjoying the experience.
Amidst all the chaos it was a learning experience that’s up there in my Top 3 of my career as a journalist. I love my jobAmbergris Today!