With Clinton in Africa

We woke up in our luxury airliner to the smell of coffee. The crew served breakfast before touching down in Malaga, Spain, for fuel.

The second leg of the flight sped us over Libya and the Sahara Desert toward the setting sun.

On the ground in Addis Ababa we boarded buses directly from the aircraft. A member of the advance team told us that President Clinton was waiting for us in the hotel restaurant. It was already past midnight in Ethiopia, seven hours ahead of New York time.

“What a nightmare for you,” Clinton said when we finally caught up with him. “We’ve been working hard to bring you to us.”

The staff briefed us about the program for the day. We had about five hours to sleep and then we were to accompany the delegation to a rural clinic. From there we would go directly to the airport for an afternoon program in Rwanda.

I spent one of the five hours in the hotel business center trying unsuccessfully to access my email and upload to my blog.

Changing Planet

Meet the Author
More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn