Reporters on the Job

Ajay Verma/REUTERS
That's funny: Members of a laughter club in Chandigarh, India, participated in a rally to commemorate World Laughter Day on Sunday, May 4.

Let's Interview the Gringa: Staff writer Sara Llana Miller was in the main plaza of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, as the results of the autonomy referendum came in Sunday.

She was interviewing a press officer for the Civic Caucus, a political opposition group, when a radio reporter interrupted. "She started interviewing the press officer, but then turned to me," says Sara.

"I'm a little self-conscious about my American accent when I speak Spanish. My instinct was to run, but I did the interview. They wanted to get the foreign media's perspective and I've had enough help from local journalists here and in other places that it seemed only right to swallow my pride and cooperate," she says.

Just when Sara thought her 15-minutes of fame was over, she found herself in a photo shoot. "I was in the office of a politician at the provincial parliament when suddenly a magazine photographer and reporter appeared. They said they just wanted a few shots of me interviewing the politician," she says.

Lunch With Major Abbas: When reporter Howard LaFranchi finished up a second day of reporting recently for a story on the south Baghdad sector of Saydiyah, he was at an Iraqi Army camp. Howard was exchanging thank-yous and salutations as he prepared to leave when the base commander, Major Saad Abbas, invited him to stay for lunch. Knowing it's rude to decline an invitation in Arab culture – and curious as to what lunch at this dusty outpost would be – Howard said yes. He wasn't disappointed.

"We sat around a table on plastic stacking chairs, and a soldier brought in a large tray of lamb ribs on a bed of rice with raisins. Khubbus, round Iraqi bread about the diameter of a deflated mylar balloon, served as utensils. The major and I took turns pulling off pieces of the bread to use as a scoop for the rice and meat. It was a great meal."

David Clark Scott

World editor

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