I wish I could report that all has gone smoothly in preparation for the IAC, but I can not. Several of my friends and I were among the press delegates who were stuck in line for upwards of 4 hours while trying to register. Fortunately that ordeal ended and we managed to obtain our press passes and conference materials. Despite the initial roadbumps, my praise goes out to the International AIDS Conference for their decision to grant press access to members of the new media such as myself.
Traveling also had its difficulties. My flight out of Tampa International Airport was scheduled to depart at 6:30 AM and so I heeded the (link) suggested guidelines of allowing an extra hour for added security measures. But when I arrived at the airport at 3:15 AM - having not slept at all the night before - I found that the airline counters didn't open until 4:00. Things were made worse when one of our delegates was denied entrance to the airport for not having a passport or birth certificate, when she had been told previously that all she would need was a driver's license. Fortunately she will be able to arrive tomorrow morning, without having missed much.
Yesterday was spent training youth activists from TimeToDeliver.org on how to be effective bloggers. I also attended be attending the star-studded opening ceremonies, and my post on that event can be seen at TimeToDeliver.org. I've talked with people from organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and the Ghanan Ministry of Health. I've come to appreciate the Canadian people, who are, generally speaking, just as friendly as their reputation suggests. Finally, I've been pleasantly surprised that some people here have visited my primary blogging site, AIDS Combat Zone. Overall this stands to be an affirming experience on many levels, even if the first few days have had their rough spots.
More to come.