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Reporters on the Job

Jamaica's Two Worlds: Staff writer Danna Harman had never been to Jamaica prior to this assignment. Her perceptions of the place were largely framed by friends and tourism ads. "If you had asked me my associations of Jamaica, I would have said something like 'laid back,' 'reggae music,' 'nice beaches,' and 'pineapple drinks.'"

But that's not what she saw in the capital of this Caribbean nation, that had one of the highest murder rates in the world last year. "Kingston struck me as a hard, poor, and angry place. It reminded me of Lagos, Nigeria, another city with complex social dynamics and a threat of violence in the air," she says.

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But over the weekend, Danna drove through the lush mountains to the sugar plantations and to the beaches of Ocho Rios - away from Kingston and into another world. "I was able to get the pineapple drink I had imagined," she says. "Jamaican's know that they can't let the violence spread, but the solution is not clear yet."

David Clark Scott
World editor