Reporters on the Job
• Quiet Leadership: Staff writer Matthew Clark says that he was struck by the humility of aid worker Germain Lubango Kabemba as he went about his work in a camp in Chad (see story). "He is the head of the program and has dozens of Chadian staff," says Matt. "Yet, it seemed that there was nothing he'd ask a staffer to do that he wouldn't do himself. When we had to cross flooded riverbeds by inflatable boat, he was the one paddling in the stifling heat. When the women who normally cooked were gone one day, he toiled over an open fire to make a chicken dish for the staff."
No one did his laundry, says Matt – Germain bent over a bucket and did it by hand. And, because it was the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, he (as a Christian) made sure to eat breakfast and lunch discreetly. "He did not want to offend the staff, most of whom were fasting during the day."
• The Long View: Viewing Ukrainian politics from a distance produces the impression of irreconcilable polarization between the pro-Russian "Blue" east and West-leaning "Orange" west (see story). But up close, in the Orange bastion of Lvov, says correspondent Fred Weir, people have accepted that the process of democratizing and uniting the Ukrainian nation might carry on for quite a long time. "Most people seem to be ignoring the election campaign. Compared with the Orange Revolution, when there was palpable tension, lots of people are now talking about the things Ukrainians have in common rather than the issues that divide them. They don't seem to want to force another Orange Revolution-like confrontation over the key issues."
•Rare Rabbit: Peter Ford is a fan of agricultural shows because they exhibit unnaturally large specimens of what would otherwise be unremarkable produce or animals. In Buenos Aires, he once saw pigs the size of small cows. But he has never seen anything like the bunny shown in a poster, at China's fair in Langfang (see story). Its owner, a man who breeds giant rabbits and who was pictured holding the big bunny, said it weighed nearly 40 lbs. He invited Peter to visit his farm. Watch this space.…
– Amelia Newcomb
Assistant World editor