Today (April 29) was a less busy day compared to yesterday, but there were things to be very happy about. The Deputy Minister for Education wanted me and Juan to meet her at 4 pm. We reached there before time and had to wait for some time to see her. The place was a relatively unimposing building, but there were some security people were posted. But I thought it was so much more accessible than the office of a minister of the Kerala government (which itself is simpler than those of other states). Nicolas Cabellero, who was apparently close to her, and Gladys Canese from MMSL were also present and it was he who mainly talked to her.
The minister turned out to be rather young for a senior politician, but she was very pleasant and informal. The discussion was mainly in Spanish because the Minister apparently was not fluent in English. It was mostly Nicolas and Juan who spoke. Nico put forward some suggestions to the Minster that she apparently favoured. It was all about introducing Free Software in the high schools, something on Free Hardware and about introducing some high level IT. I am not clear about all of them, but Nico is supposed to send me a mail where he will describe the main thrust areas.
Discussing with the Vice Minister of Education. Lucho sits separately, disinterested. Nicolas Cabellero did most of the talking. Gladys is next to him.
The Minister is all attention, and Juan is relatively quiet.
One for the records. The Minister next to me, with Nicolas, Gladys and Juan
The next place was the TV station where they had scheduled a programme with Juan and me. Going to the TV station was just like going to any other place, unlike in India where one has to go through security checks. We just walked in and told them who we were and why we were there, and we were asked to wait till the studio was ready.
Waiting in front of the TV studio. It was rather cold that night.
After some time, a lady invited us inside and dis a minimal make up on us. Though Lucho was person who took us there, he opted not to be in the programme. We then went to the studio where the news was being telecast. We waited on another side where the programme was scheduled to be shot. The programme started after the news and the first item was an interview with an agriculture guy. He was talking about GM crops in a favourable way and Juan was getting angry with him.
The agriculture guy promoting GM crops
After his interview, we were invited and Juan and I sat opposite each other with the interviewer on my left. Since the programme was in Spanish, most of the discussion was with Juan, who was brilliant. He started by saying that it was good to speak after a person who favoured GM food because that was the wrong thing to do. And that seems to have got the favour from the interviewer (who turned out to be quite a senior guy in the TV company, the Executive Director, in fact). His questions to me were mainly about the IT at school programme. But at one point, he asked me why anyone should be afraid of freedom. I couldn't understand why he was asking such a question (I still don't), but answered, after some initial fumbling, that people who come out of a long period of control could be afraid of freedom because there was no one to tell them what they should do, and they were not able to take their own decisions. Later, Juan told me that my reply was good. The interviewer gave us his cards and we left quickly because the shooting of the next programme was to start. Later, Juan told me that there were several mails to the station during our programme and they were all in favour, even wanting to get in touch with us (so apparently our emails were shown on the screen). On the other hand, the mails that they go when the first guy was talking were all negative. Good reason for the Executive Director to feel happy with us.
Juan and I at the TV show
That is me on TV in Paraguay
"after some initial fumbling, that people who come out of a long period of control could be afraid of freedom because there was no one to tell them what they should do, and they were not able to take their own decisions"
after Paraguay ..which is next?
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