Reporters on the Job

DANCING WITH A COUNTRY SWAIN: Reporter Dale Fuchs went to Spain on a three-month Fulbright fellowship - and has stayed for five years. For most of the past four years, she's worked for El Mundo, the Madrid daily newspaper. Her story about caravans of city women going to the countryside to find a husband came out of a typical assignment at El Mundo.

"The editors will say, 'Let's let the American do this one.' They give me things like the traditional pig slaughter or send me to a nudist beach and I'll write a first person account in Spanish."

For Monday's piece, she rode a bus with 30 women, mostly from Latin America, to a rural town of about 200 people. "We were met by sheep, beet, and wheat farmers, as well as construction workers and truck drivers. I let it be known that I was a journalist, but I wanted to experience everything from the women's vantage point," says Dale.

So, she danced with a truck driver. "He was the most articulate of the men. I had trouble understanding the local accent of most of the men. He began quizzing me about American imperialism," she says.

The men organized a meal of roast lamb for the ladies. But they forgot the forks. "It was a rather medieval scene with everyone eating with their hands."

But Dale also experienced the downside of the courtship caravan.

"My date got a little too friendly, and I became anxious about getting out of there. A nice respectful farmer took me to get a bus in the nearest city, Segovia. He'd never seen Segovia before in his life. But I was grateful for my knight in shining armor."

David Clark Scott
World editor

Cultural snapshot
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