REPORTERS ON THE JOB..

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE: The Monitor's Scott Peterson says he rather enjoyed his four-hour trek to meet the rebel fighters into the hills of western Macedonia (page 1). At the first Albanian village, just outside Tetovo, Scott, another journalist, a guide, and interpreter got out of their car, and sent word ahead. (There were no Macedonian security check points anywhere along the way.) The UCK rebels sent word back through a local villager that the journalists were welcome. They started walking up a trail, hitching a ride part way on a tractor. They had to wait in a second village before a guide arrived to escort them through a series of foot trails that led to a meeting with a UCK commander. "It was warm. The spring flowers were in bloom, and there were snow-capped mountains in the distance. It was like a scene out of 'The Sound of Music.' It would be great to bring my wife and children up here when this all calms down," enthused Scott.

MIR WATCHING: When asked if he plans to watch "fireworks" Friday in Australia as the Russian space station burns up in the atmosphere (page 1), reporter Shawn Donnan jokes: "I think I'm going to find a good bomb shelter." But then he adds: "Sure, I'll be out there watching. It's a good excuse for an evening walk on the beach with my wife."

HISTORY IN THE MIRROR: Reporter Philip Smucker had to travel half-way around the world to understand what his own ancestors might have witnessed. For today's story about Sudanese slaves (page 7), he interviewed several liberated Dinka boys who had been crippled by their masters. "It's one thing to hear about the horrors of slavery on plantations owned by relatives in Virginia, and another thing to witness it first hand," he says.

Let us hear from you.

Mail to: One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115 via e-mail: world@csmonitor.com

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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