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Reporters on the Job

Follow Your Spouse : Where do journalists get their stories? In the case of today's article about recycled BMW's sold in South Africa, staff writer Abraham McLaughlin turned to his wife.

She's getting her master's in Business Administration (MBA) at a university in South Africa. Recently, one of her professors took the class on a business- oriented tour of a black township near Johannesburg. "I asked if I could tag along," says Abe.

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"We went to three places: a day care that uses income from its paying customers to fund, on a shoestring budget, an orphanage for babies with AIDS; a 'sangoma' or traditional healer or 'witch doctor' - a woman who offers spiritualist counseling via supernatural conversations with a client's ancestors - for a fee; and the BMW fix-it shop," he says.

"Some people assume there's not much business activity in Africa - with all the wars and disease. But this tour was one more example of the intense entrepreneurial spirit I've found as I travel around the continent."

David Clark Scott
World editor