Reporters on the Job

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT IN ANGOLA: Journalists seldom travel first class. And in many cases, they're just grateful that they've arrived. For today's story (this page), the Monitor's Danna Harman climbed aboard a six-seater Beechcraft leased by the World Food Programme in Luanda, Angola, and flew to Kuito.

"I sat next to two nuns who were crossing themselves and pointing to the snowflakes outside the window," says Danna. The plane flew at a high altitude and went into a steep spiral at the end of the flight. "They don't want to be hit by mortar rounds, something that has happened twice in the past month," she says. The plane that landed after Danna's flight completed the "thrilling" descent, only to have the landing gear collapse on the bumpy runway.

Danna's flight was followed by a three-hour ride on a road that, until recently, was controlled by UNITA rebels. To travel it, one has to call 48 hours ahead so the Angolan government can send out troops to clear the road of land mines.

"There are refugee camps on either side of the road, and the kids wave and smile as you go by.Our driver was humming to a tape of a Cape Verde singing group doing its renditions of 'A Hard Day's Night,' 'Imagine,' and other Beatles songs. It was bit surreal, to say the least," says Danna.

A NEW YORK MINUTE IN OSAKA: The Monitor's Ilene Prusher had her journalist sense of reserve and skepticism firmly in place as she toured the new Universal Studios theme park (page 7). But then she turned a corner and found herself in a section that replicates New York City. "I saw the Guggenheim, and suddenly felt quite homesick," says Ilene, a native Long Islander. Her Japanese guide observed that the park "looks like America, but feels like Japan." Ilene asked him what he meant. "For example, there's supposed to be no smoking in the park, but people do it anyway."

David Clark Scott World Editor

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