Cultural Dissonance: Yesterday, I ate a “chicken cajun sandwich” [sic] at a Muslim fast-food place called Strictly Halal. In Zambia. I’m not sure what made the sandwich Cajun, per se — no peppers, no “blackening,” no crawfish (mmmm…crawfish). All I saw were mayo and pickles. Maybe pickles are, like, underground Cajun and I didn’t get the memo.

Why Journalists Can Appear Evil to Outside Observers, Part 3,637: When I got a phone call this morning saying that a teenaged girl had died after a long bout with tuberculosis, my only thought was, “Yes! Woo hoo!” (See, I’m writing a story on Zambian funerals and I needed to do some reporting and…never mind. I am evil.)

My Ever Declining Story Count: It appears that one of the five stories I was planning on writing is about to fall through. I had hoped to write a profile of Nevers Mumba, the vice president of Zambia. Mumba is a televangelist who got his theological training in, of all places, Dallas. Would have been such a fun story to write, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to get an interview. Alas. The religion section of the DMN would have ate it up, I bet.

18 November 2003


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    Remember Me?

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