Joanne Silberner reflects on the logistical challenges of reporting from Haiti, Uganda and India–and the deeper challenge of meaningful global health reporting.
The Common Language Project
For a journalist covering poverty-related health issues, what is the price of cancer in Uganda?
5:30 a.m. and still dark. But the rooster knows the sun is coming and his crow trills up past the sulfurous street lamps into the still night sky.
He’s woken the dogs, and suddenly their frantic howling seems to come from the top of every hill in Addis, making the city seem surrounded by their feral packs.
The sharp barks are soon undercut by the rising moan of the muezzin. He sings the same words that have woken me around the world, but his melody here is unique, more of a monotonous chanting than the sung declaration I’ve heard before.
Some of my toughest times growing up in Kenya were those spent on my way to and from the village river. I call it the village river because it was by and large the only source of water for my village. Never mind the fact that the river was four miles away and was shared among scores of villages along its course.
Close to 40 hours after leaving Athens, Ohio, I arrived to my destination in Addis. My Emirates flight was not exactly that long...I had two stopovers - four hours in Hamburg and 12 in Dubai. It is the kind of thing you have to contend with when you make a decision to fly cheap.