Reporters on the Job

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Surfing Out of Troubles: Muizenberg Beach in Cape Town, South Africa, seems an unlikely drug rehabilitation center, says contributor Ian Evans. With its golden sands and stunning views of the Cape Peninsula and Gordon's Bay, the choppy waters attract the best surfers (see story).

But every Monday and Wednesday, the waters play host to a very different group of surfers. "Among the dudes on their boards are those who are surfing to help break their habits and dependencies," he says.

With the exception of a one-legged Ghanaian, they look no different from the other surfers. "But speak to them, and they reveal a checkered past of troubles, addictions, and family strife," Ian says.

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The only element more unlikely is the surf coach. Lenny Stolk's appearance belies nearly a lifetime of heavy drink and drug abuse. Bronzed and fit, he says he wants to help others through surfing. "You have plenty of time on your hands once you've given up drugs. To me, surfing is the best way of filling the gap," Lenny told Ian.

Art, Then Obamamania: Correspondent Ben Quinn had heard about an exhibition of the works of 19th-century British artist George Frederic Watts in London. Wanting to see both the art and the gallery where it's displayed, he strolled over. "I was looking at the postcards they were selling of this 'Hope' painting, the one that inspired President-elect Barack Obama. When I picked it up, the cashier said, 'You're another one?' "

He told Ben, with some amusement, that a lot of people not normally keen on art exhibits had been visiting and making a beeline for the painting. He also made sure that Ben knew that art, rather than current events, was his first love.

Deputy World editor

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