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Reporters on the Job

• DEALING WITH HUNGER: The Monitor's Danna Harman has noticed that when she's working on stories about the food crisis in Africa, she eats more. "I know it's terrible, but in Angola, where I literally saw babies dying of starvation, I managed to gain about five pounds." She says that she doing it again in Malawi where she is working. "I find myself snacking all day on peanuts as we drive from one feeding center to the next."

Danna thinks she's internalizing their fears. "When I see people who can't afford anything it is frightening. I guess I deal with by reminding myself – through buying and eating a lot – that I can still get anything I want. It is painful to hear people express this basic need for food, and not be able to do anything but write about it."

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Danna says she's fighting her food-coping response – and working out. The head chef at the motel restaurant where she's staying (page 7) has ambitions of becoming a trainer at a South African gym. "Every day, I go jogging with him. Yesterday, he had me doing sit-ups in the 102 degree heat."

• RUSSIAN BOOT CAMP: Reporter Fred Weir served with the Canadian armed forces reserves, and did a six-week basic military training course when he was 17. "It was pretty rough," he says. But compared with the experience of the Russian recruits he spoke with (page 1), "I had, in hindsight, a gentle experience. The sergeants who trained us were sympathetic and well-trained, and obviously had a lot of experience with young people and knew how to relate to you. But these Russian boys had been sent into a completely lawless cesspool and exploited in ways that have nothing to do with the military system."

David Clark Scott
World editor

Cultural snapshot

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