When the Prime Minister is in town, Blackfoot doesn’t get to run
This week has been the opening of the next session of the General Assembly, opening with the General Debate, that all of us United Nations-related governments, staff, diplomats, companies, etc. must endure. A majority of the world’s and nation’s leaders gather in New York to deliver speeches, discuss global challenges and concerns face-to-face, and announce new policies, even perhaps appeal for UN membership and recognition as a state. Japan’s new Prime Minister Noda and Foreign Minister Genma also came to New York, and, as a part of the Press Team at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the UN, needless to say, I had to sacrifice my running to make sure the press could cover what they needed to at the UN.
I found out that I would much rather run 10 miles than stand for 16 hours straight. However, I accomplished a lot – I was able to, though my experience, familiarity, relationships, and friendliness, get the national press who came all the way from Tokyo to cover the events, everything they needed. I missed running, I missed taiko, but they didn’t miss anything if they were on my shift.
My crowning moment – also the moment I almost had a nervous breakdown – was when there were no more tickets for the pen press to sit on the balcony of the General Assembly Hall to follow the Prime Minister’s speech. We had a bad slot sandwiched between Palestine and Israel. Most of our pen press could not go to the Media Center to follow it because they would have to follow it in English, and they only speak Japanese, thus needed to hear it in the floor language. After wheeling and dealing and asking HUGE favors from people I can’t even mention or their jobs would be on the line, I got most of them in. We got to watch President Abbas’ speech live but unfortunately, afterwards when Prime Minister Noda was speaking, everyone was up in a rabble, leaving, talking, etc. so much that the President of the General Assembly had to bang his gavel to get some order. I almost cried. We worked so hard to get to this moment and no one was listening. And the speech was SO GOOD. He spent time to thank all the countries who supported Japan during the multiple disasters which struck Tohoku, and recounted stories he had heard from children in developing countries doing what they could to help “their friends who are suffering in Japan.”
That was my week. I have more follow-up work to do and will still be very busy but I should be able to start running and taiko-ing again for the most part. I had some very difficult times with the press team and sometimes the press themselves, but overall, I think they finally realized what I was worth and I got told I had a fan club in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Thank you!!!
And don’t forget to ask me about the Turks.