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Pulitzer Center

Reports from the field - an exclusive channel of Pulitzer Center reporting

Ethiopia: Tainted Ally?

U.S.-backed Ethiopian troops grabbed headlines this winter, invading Somalia to drive the Islamic Courts Union from power. Less known is the Addis government's massive persecution of its own people.

Zoe Alsop and Nick Wadhams spent a month in Ethiopia interviewing people across some of the country's least-visited regions, capturing the strains of a people under siege -- by their own government.

Their reports will be appearing in U.S. publications over the next few weeks.

Vasco Galante

Stephanie Hanes, for the Pulitzer Center

I exchanged a few emails today with Vasco Galante, the communications director at the park. He has been reading this blog, and wanted to share a story about running into a herd of elephants yesterday... It is still the rainy season at the park, which means it's extra special to see animals - the grasses are very tall and thick, and even elephants can disappear quickly.

Who took that picture?

Stephanie Hanes, for the Pulitzer Center
Gorongosa, Mozambique

Since we received a question about this... unless we include a caption that says otherwise, the pictures on this blog came from Steve. They're still images taken from his video footage. We'll try to post more soon!

Landmines

Stephanie Hanes, for the Pulitzer Center
Gorongosa, Mozambique

So we've gotten some comments about the whole landmine issue.

During the Mozambican civil war, there were landmines all over the place. And sometimes, at least according to what people on the ground have told us, nobody kept track of where the mines were buried. (And in a really cruel turn of events, big flooding in 2000 and 2001 moved a bunch of the landmines, making mine maps of the area all but worthless.)

animals

Stephanie Hanes, for the Pulitzer Center
Gorongosa, Mozambique

Hi. I realize there have been a couple of questions about animal reintroductions, and I haven't really answered those yet.

The whole question about how to bring animals back to the park has been the focus of a lot of research and analysis. See, ecosystems are super complicated. Every species has a role to play, and each animal impacts every other animal. So the park staff has to be really careful.

Answers to some St. Louis questions

Hi there. So Steve and I flew back to Johannesburg (where I live) this weekend, and then Steve went back to DC. I think we are finally feeling clean. We are still working on the story though, and are happy to continue chatting online. Also, if anyone has a question for someone at the park, we can try to get answers for you.

Here are some questions from St. Louis:

Gorongosa Day 6

Stephanie Hanes and Stephen Sapienza, for the Pulitzer Center
Gorongosa, Mozambique

So a question from St. Louis:
"I was reading about your time over in Mozambique and I was wondering if you could describe what exactly you are seeing and how it is affecting you physically and emotionally."

Gorongosa Day 5

Stephanie Hanes and Stephen Sapienza, for the Pulitzer Center
Gorongosa, Mozambique

Yet another complication for the Carr Foundation crew:

Officially, the rural communities that live around the park don't really exist. They've been around for generations, and have traditional rules about land use, but they've never registered with the government, and have never mapped out their land in any modern or formal way.

Stephanie responds to Georgetown Questions

Stephanie Hanes, for the Pulitzer Center
Gorongosa, Mozambique

Hi there.

Thanks so much for the great questions.

Q: My question is similar to those posted below. How do the local residents feel when Carr, who is an outsider, comes to give them a presentation about why they should change their way of life? You mentioned in a photo caption that some villagers were "suspicious." I'd be curious to hear more about the range of reactions. Thank you!

Georgetown Students Pose Questions

Nathalie Applewhite, Pulitzer Center

Hi Class,

Thanks for being such a good group last week!

This is a blog for our latest project. Check out the main project page for Mozambique (there's a video that introduces the issues and many other related resources) and then post your questions here for Stephanie and Steve who are in Mozambique now and ready to answer questions.

Thanks!

Nathalie