• He Reports and Chews Gum: The Farhuts, one of the families that staff writer Dan Murphy interviewed for today's story (this page), don't have much but greeted Dan with classic Arab hospitality. Drinks were found, and Dan and his translator were invited for lunch.
After chatting for a few minutes, Zainuba Farhut excused herself and came back with a dish of candies: Hershey's kisses, Tootsie Rolls, and Smarties (the tart American kind), all staple Halloween handouts from the US. Mrs. Farhut says that American soldiers come by from time to time and give the candy to the kids. They finished the interview while Dan contentedly chewed on a piece of Bubble Yum he pulled from the dish.
• Walking Tall in Sudan: At six-feet one inch, staff writer Abraham McLaughlin is relatively tall in the United States. But Sunday, while he walked around the stadium in Nairobi during the signing of the historic Sudan peace deal (page 1), Abe was feeling, well, puny.
"I was regularly towered over by southern Sudanese men and boys. One boy looked no older than 16 but was probably more than 7 feet tall. The Dinka tribe, which is based in southern Sudan, is famous for its tall men, including former NBA sensation Manute Bol. [In fact, it was Mr. Bol who inspired Luol Deng, the Sudanese forward now in his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls.] I hear the NBA is recruiting more in Africa these days, including in Nigeria," says Abe.
Now that the peace deal has opened up southern Sudan to the world again, perhaps NBA scouts will be arriving - along with relief workers and UN peacekeepers - in the quest for the next NBA sensation. "Since southern Sudan is one of the poorest places on earth, this could be one of the rather unexpected dividends of peace," he says.
David Clark Scott