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Reporters on the Job

Welcome in a Slum: Correspondent Robert Crilly says that none of his friends in Nairobi, Kenya, has laid eyes on Kibera, one of the slums where most of the city's population lives.

"Kibera is not exactly on the tourist route. It has a reputation for crime, disease, and misery," he says. "But every time I visit, I am struck by the optimism and hospitality of the slum's residents.

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"There is always someone who takes pity on the mzungu – Swahili for white man – and leads me through the maze of muddy streets and open sewers to whichever clinic or school I am trying to find. They wave away pickpockets and con men to make sure that their guest arrives unmolested," he says.

On his latest visit, Robert went to see a bathhouse built with proceeds from the 2005 movie, "The Constant Gardener."

No Photos, Please: If you're going to write about a dairy truck driver, you've got to rise with the cows. Staff writer Ilene Prusher left her house a 3:15 a.m. to get today's story, part 3 in the series about "The New Walls of Jerusalem."

"One of the few perks of rising so early is that you get to watch the sunrise," notes Ilene.

But she found neither Palestinians nor Israelis were supportive of photography along the way. "At Beitunia, in the West Bank, the Israeli soldiers at the checkpoint wouldn't let us [Ilene and her interpreter] through or let us take pictures. They said the crossing was only for commercial truck drivers and Palestinians visiting relatives in prison."

At one point, their dairy truck driver, Rajaee Sultan Tamimi, stopped to pray. Ilene took a photo of him in front of the mosque. "Someone saw us, and started to complain to Mr. Tamimi. He replied that we were just trying to portray the daily realities of Palestinians.

"It just reminded me of how hard it can be to be a photographer," she says.

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David Clark Scott
World editor


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