My name's Josh Benton. I'm a reporter and columnist for The Dallas Morning News, where I usually write about education.

In fall 2003, I was lucky enough to win a Pew Fellowship in International Journalism. The Pew allows reporters to spent time studying foreign affairs at The School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington. It also includes a grant to spend six weeks reporting in the country of the reporter's choice.

I chose Zambia, where I spent October 12 to November 22, 2003. I reported on a variety of subjects, but primarily on HIV/AIDS and its impact on Zambian society — particularly its impact on the Zambian school system. (About 20 percent of adult Zambians are HIV positive.)

While I travelled, I maintained this weblog — a sort of online journal of my thoughts and observations. It's not the same sort of writing I'd do for a newspaper — it's more personal, more episodic, and more subjective. (If you enjoy this site, you may like, the personal weblog I maintain year-round.)

If you want to follow my travels, the best way is to read from bottom-to-top, since the first (and hence oldest) entries are the bottom of the site's main page.

I hope you enjoy reading about my journey even 1/10,000th as much as enjoyed writing about it.

Welcome to, the online journal I kept during the six weeks I spent in Zambia in 2003 as part of a Pew Fellowship in International Journalism. The entries below are in reverse chronological order — most recent on top, oldest on bottom.

To learn more about my trip and this site, check the About page. If you have any comments or questions, email me.


11 Jul 2004: Where the only growth industry is death; AIDS destroys scarce resources as well as family members

12 Sep 2004: A lesson in dying; Once a refuge from AIDS, Zambia’s schools are now its latest victims



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10 Oct 2003: Leave for London
11 Oct 2003: Leave for Zambia
12 Oct 2003: Arrive in Lusaka
22 Nov 2003: Leave for London
22 Nov 2003: Back to Washington


Any opinions expressed here are solely mine, and not those of my employer.

© 2003 Joshua Benton