Reporters on the Job

Cultural snapshot

• A WITNESS TO HUNGER: The Monitor's Danna Harman was moved by two scenes while reporting at a camp for Ugandans forced to flee their homes (page 12).

"The delivery schedule of the World Food Program truck is a closely guarded secret. They don't want the rebels or thieves to steal the shipment of food. I was there when the truck arrived, and it was a total surprise," says Danna. "The camp suddenly awoke. Kids turned cartwheels. Women yodeled. Somebody started pounding on a drum. But while they were unloading bags of corn, beans, and vegetable oil, two men tried to steal a bag of corn. The crowd was filled with rage. It was scary. The men stood trembling with fear. It brought home to me how desperate and frustrated the people in the camp were.

"This is a camp filled with farmers. They all wanted me to write down exactly what crops they had grown. At the camp there are no seeds and the ground is too hard. One old man was so desperate, he was trying to dry seeds in the sun, putting them on the gravestones of his children who had died there."

• PRESIDENTIAL SIDESTEP: Getting gubernatorial candidate Fernando Collor de Mello to speak on the record proved an exercise in futility. Since his impeachment 10 years ago, the former president of Brazil has gotten a hard time from the press. Reporter Andrew Downie spent the better part of a day chasing him on the campaign trail (page 1).

After following him to a second campaign stop in the state of Alagoas, Andrew tried to corral him at his campaign headquarters. As Mr. Collor was coming out, Andrew approached him and stuck out his hand. "I'd love to get a chance to speak with you," Andrew told the candidate. Collor shook Andrew's hand. "Oh yeah, let's talk, let's talk," he said as he moved away. It was the last time the two spoke.

David Clark Scott
World editor

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