GETTING THERE: The Monitor's Danna Harman says that getting to and traveling around northern Uganda was the hardest part of of today's story about government efforts to oust the Lord's Resistance Army (this page). "I was advised against going to northern Uganda because it was unsafe. There were no flights, no aid groups going into the area. But I knew someone had to be going to Gulu," says Danna.
"I bought a bus ticket in Kampala and rode with the locals for five hours. The driver sped along so fast that I was more afraid of the bus turning over than I was of the rebels in the area." Once she arrived, she borrowed a rickety bicycle to get around town. "I'm sure the locals found it amusing to see me rattling past with my computer disk in hand." To conduct interviews outside Gulu, she took the World Food Program up on its offer of an armored car.
GROWING PEOPLE TOO: Reporter Nicole Itano first heard about the conservation farming techniques in Zambia (page 1) while doing research for another story on the threat of famine in the region. "Someone mentioned this program at the US Embassy, then it came up again in a USAID interview, and later in a visit to a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) offices," she says.
Nicole met with some of the farmers involved in the program in Lwimba, Zambia. "Several of us hopped in a car to go see the field operations. One woman, Cecilia, kept pestering the program officials for her reading certificate. What impressed me most was, when given an opportunity, how much she'd milked the program for what it offered. She not only improved her crop yield, but this woman in her 50s learned how to read," says Nicole.
David Clark Scott