Civics & Politics The Environment Health Economics Social Issues Full Archive
NOW on Demand
Week of 5.25.07

Producer's Q & A: Dan Logan in Kenya

Producer Dan Logan talks about his experience covering "Health Care Franchise"

NOW: Was there anything about Kenya or its people that surprised you or defied your expectations?

Producer Dan Logan in Kenya Dan Logan (DL): Reporting from Kenya was an incredible experience. The people we encountered were friendly and laid back.

One thing that I wasn't prepared for was the incredible natural beauty of the country... and how jarring that natural beauty is alongside the awful poverty that you often see. One minute, you'll drive past an incredible vista with a view of Mt. Kenya... and the next you'll pass through a town where people are burning garbage by the side of the road. It's pretty surreal.

NOW: How were you and David Brancaccio treated while in Kenya? Do you feel you were treated differently as an American?

DL: Being abroad as an American is always interesting these days but just about everyone treated us with only kindness and respect. There was some uneasiness surrounding our visit to the Kibera slum in particular, because, we were told, there is a particular sensitivity there to cameras and picture-taking. We were careful to be as respectful as possible while at the same time going about our jobs and telling the story.

NOW: While in Kenya you visited a number of medical facilities. How do they compare to the medical treatment we're accustomed to in the West?

DL: The lack of infrastructure and access to running water definitely makes providing medical care a challenge. It's incredible how people in Kenya deal with those issues and manage to overcome them.

NOW: Did the trip change you or your perceptions?

Kenyan children DL: It was the first time I had witnessed developing-country poverty on a large scale. Going to Kibera especially, with its estimated one million people, was devastating to see. It's shocking and awful and makes you wonder why you're not devoting your life to ending it.

Kids wearing rags walk up to you giggling, curious about your camera, wanting to play, and you smile and shake their hand and maybe make a funny face to make them laugh... but then you feel awful, because soon, you'll be on your way back to your hotel, and they'll be stuck in Kibera, facing hardships that we can only imagine.

While I was there, I tried not to focus on those feelings so that I could do my job. But after the trip, when I had my first moment of down-time while waiting for the train on the way back home from the airport, the experience really hit me and I got pretty emotional.