I once spent 72 hours on a train between Lusaka, Zambia and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. During the course of the journey, I endured the humidity, the noisiness of the locomotive, the "bathrooms" that must have been a violation of human rights, smelly feet and aggressive hawkers. I also indulged in delicious tiny bananas, playful children, pretty sunsets, striking views of Tanzania's Great Rift Valley, and amusing exchanges with locals and foreigners alike.
I love to travel for the same reasons I love journalism; I'm led by a curiosity to see, experience and understand people and places, a commitment I credit to my family's move from Yonkers, New York to Homosassa, Florida when I was 11 years old. Journalism became a tool for understanding my community, and it's developed into a profession whose application I also seek to understand around the world.
I am a South Florida-based freelance journalist. I have been published in The Boston Globe, The International Business Times and Tampa Bay Times. In 2014, I reported from Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on a fellowship from the International Women's Media Foundation. I honed my online journalism skills as a Web Producer for The Seattle Times, with whose staff I shared the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Reporting.
In addition to journalism, I am invested in Media and International Development. As a 2010-11 U.S. Fulbright Scholar, I freelanced for U.S. media outlets and taught Media Studies at the University of Botswana, where I researched the development of online news media. Currently, I'm a staff writer for a global development charity, for which I travel to Central America and the Caribbean to report on extreme poverty. I earned my Master of Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science and my Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Smith College.
As for that backpacking trip, despite the bumps I took along the way, discovering the narrow streets, crystal waters, spices and Muslim influence of my final destination, Stone Town, Zanzibar, was well worth it. I had a ball.