PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - City lights glistened as far as the eye could see. There is a crescent moon above. It is an hour before 12 midnight. I had just landed at the airport of Malaysia. I hail a taxi for the 45-minute ride to Petaling Jaya where I will be staying.
For the first time, I am out of the country not on assignment or pleasure but for a different kind of experience. I am here as one of the winners in TH!NK 3's round one of reporting awards. I am excited but nervous, too. I hope to be able to bring justice to the lives of the people that we will encounter starting Monday when we visit their communities.
It's going to be a full schedule with a two-day reporting trip and a journalism conference. The two-day reporting expedition will bring us to a forest reserve, a women's indigenous people's community, a mangrove and nature park. The journalism conference, meanwhile, will look into the challenges facing online journalism. There will be lots of interviews and I am certain, many stories that are crying out to be written.
The week long activity will start tonight. I am sitting in a cafe, looking out on a rainy afternoon. I am excited to meet my fellow TH!NKERS who are part of this trip. Hopefully, we will all be able to highlight the issues of the communities we would be visiting.
It is indeed an honor and a pleasure to be part of this endeavor. I will be posting updates as often as I can but the lack of (free) Internet access in the hotel will likely make it quite a challenge.