About three hours ago the world proved, yet again, that I can't control it.
My visa fixer informed me that I wont be able to get my paperwork for South Sudan hammered out until about 4pm on Friday. The plan was for me to get it today and then fly out tomorrow. So instead of getting into Juba tomorrow afternoon (Thursday), I'll be getting in on Saturday. This cuts my time in South Sudan to exactly two weeks.
On paper it shouldn't really effect anything (I was already expecting that my work over the day and half that I've lost would mostly be about getting adjusted to the timezone and culture and less about shooting) but if I'm being honest, it shook me for a few minutes and tossed me off the noble steed of self confidence that I had been riding all morning. I couldn't think past it, I couldn't see what I should do next.
I expect it had a lot to do with the jetlag. Yeah, it was the jetlag….
I mostly spent the next hour or so sitting out on the balcony of the iHub with an amazing americano, trying to relax for a second while my Assistant Producer tamped the situation back under control.[/column]
[column]My AP is Martin Kariuki and he's exactly the right guy to have on my left flank right now. Martin is a Nairobian who grew up in a situation that left him incredibly street smart, savvy, and realistic; while at the same time remaining kind, funny, and optimistic. It's a powerful concoction and I suspect it's the reason Erik put him as my point man the last time I was here. Erik Hersman brought him on as my go-to while I was in Kenya last year working on projects surrounding the Kenya Referendum for Ushahid. We immediately clicked.
Martin got off the phone with the fixer, called the hotel, my driver here in Nairobi, and the local airline I'm using and got everything adjusted. All I had to do was focus on maintaining perspective. That might sound decadent, but when you only have a couple of weeks to shoot a documentary, it's really valuable to be able to remain at 10,000 feet, or at least 5,000 feet, when you can.
Martin has been the difference between juggling 10 things in my head and juggling 5. That difference results in perspective and maintaining perspective is how you make a documentary.
With out that perspective you follow events like a cow being lead around by the nose, you are the captive of your environment and you tire easily. Martin, my AP, is a liberator.