A typical day in the newsroom before South Africa:

Enter the newsroom around 9am, hit up the AZcentral website and search for a good story for the day. As soon as I find one that looks interesting, pitch it to Mark and head out with a camera, a tri-pod, and follow-up on work reporters had done the night before. I may have also searched other media outlets for stories, as well as asked Emily Graham if anything had gone down the night before.

Reality Check in South Africa:

I don’t have a cell phone. I don’t have my own car. I barely have transportation. And I’m half way around the world in a country I know very little about. Plus, I’m usually carrying a giant/awkward tri-pod and camera which attracts curious stares. I spent the first real reporting day with that feeling in the pit of my stomach like, oh geeze, how am I going to do this… Where is AZcentral when I need it?!?

Thank God AZcentral was no where to be found, because I was forced to learn how to really report. I started researching different agencies online, talking to real people, and developing my own little South African network to help tell the stories of people who were living through the Xenophobia.

Since then, I met a woman who takes care of orphan children who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS, been inspired by a married couple that lost everything but still found time for a good laugh, and met a man who was part of the mob responsible for killing and injuring foreigners… (They told him if he didn’t join, they would kill him too).

Needless to say it has been an eventful week, and I can’t wait to see what we find the rest of the time we are here.

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