Reporters on the Job

YOU'RE BACK? Arie Farnam has noticed that people in the neighborhood where she stays in Skopje, Macedonia (this page), are beginning to associate her appearance with nasty events. "It seems that every time I show up after a long period of relative calm, there is an offensive by the ethnic Albanian rebels," she says. Two and a half years ago, she arrived just days ahead of the first offensive by ethnic Albanian rebels that almost sparked a civil war. Recently, she returned to report on the NATO/EUFOR peacekeeping mission - and three explosions rocked downtown Skopje the second night she was there. "Although no one was injured in the attack, the old atmosphere of fear quickly returned to the streets," she says.

NEVER SAY NO: While reporting on the clash of the traditional and modern in Botswana (page 1), the Monitor's Africa editor, David Hauck, got a taste of how seriously people there take time-honored practices. "When we arrived at the home of Imelda Molokomme for our 3 p.m. interview, I made the mistake of mentioning that I had been so busy that day that I hadn't had time to eat," Dave says.

Her daughter, Mabu, insisted on making him something. Not wanting to put her out, he politely declined. "She then turned to my more-seasoned colleague and said, 'You have to tell him that in Africa, when someone offers you something, you gladly accept it.'" Which he did, sitting down to a welcome plate of salad and meat.

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor

Cultural snapshot

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