Thursday, May 12, 2016

TBT: Working the Radio in Africa

When I first arrived in Malawi, I had a job with the Director of the United States Information Agency and the Voice of America, Lillard Hill.  We had a small office with just three of us and it was good to have a job in a country with very little to do.

My boss was an old newspaper man and a cigarette holder smoking sweetie. He had a daunting job in a country ruled by a dictator and no freedom of the press. Censorship was severe with criticism of the government leading to a disappearance. Moral censorship was also rampant and magazines or books always had images or words blacked out by an airport censor. I suspect that was an interesting job!

As for me I did a variety of things including monitoring a short wave radio. Mr. Hill was patient, explained my duties carefully and then let me get on with it. It was my first, but not last government job.

Betty Hill was also a Texas sweetheart and we traveled together by Land Rover to Zambia when the chance came up, in attempt to see the Big 5 of Africa, the African lionAfrican elephantCape buffaloAfrican leopard, and White/Black rhinoceros. The Hills were a couple to remember!

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