Tag Archives: parasites

The trick of global media ethics

I asked Jeremiah (the photographer who traveled with me) a few days ago to make sure that everything in my story was truthful to what we saw. Global ethics are a tricky subject for a first time international journalist.

Unlike most stories that I have written, the sources in the story will probably not ever see how I portrayed them. My memory, my notes and the few post-trip translation checks are all that I have to make sure that I’m telling the story as it is.

For example, I talk quite a bit about parasites in some of the small villages, but there was no doctor present and no way for me to 100 percent confirm that these children were afflicted. I had to make that judgment call with the evidence: A local social worker had given them parasite pills, there were big bellies and scrawny arms on many children.

This is the most impossible fact checking I’ve ever done.

Story Update: We turned in the “final” draft to be graded by our writing coaches yesterday. It took me about three hours just to get up the courage to hit the print button. It’s hard to let a story go. Luckily, I’m not yet submitting for publication, so I have plenty of time to continue making updates. I’ll post the excerpts in a week when they have been chosen.

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Filed under International Journalism, My Story

The water (and story) cycle

I’m so glad we decided not to take the extra trip to Honduras and to work on our story instead.

We realized that the children with big bellies have parasites in their stomachs that are eating all their food. And where do the parasites come from? The water!

This makes our story fit in with the class theme of hunger and malnutrition even tighter.

Issac, Jeremiah and I got so much good stuff this morning. We watched a water truck come in and deliver fresh water door to door. Then, we went into a village where lots of the kids had parasites. One of the boys was 2 years old and still couldn’t walk because his legs were too weak!

Today, the community leader, Efraim, happened to be giving out a pill for the first time that is supposed to get rid of them.

The parasites come from the creek water. The water truck can’t get to their village sometimes because it’s rained too much and the roads are muddy. That’s when they drink water from holes they’ve dug in the ground near the creek. Often, the water comes from runoff on cliffs that have cow manure.

They drink this water sometimes too.

A woman washes her laundry on a wooden block by the creek.

They also use the water to take baths and wash clothes. Right now, though, it’s been staying dry enough that the truck can get through to bring them water.

We’re going to leave in an hour to talk to a nutritionist about parasites.

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Filed under Guatemalan Social Issue, My Story