Field Notes

May 4, 2020 

Well, it’s been a little while since I last wrote an entry and just a bit has changed, hasn’t it? Who would have thought a few months ago that today’s world would look like it currently does. I haven’t traveled since the end of February, and I have largely remained in my apartment (not too terribly hard for this #introvert, but I do miss patio drinking.)

Things have changed for so many people around the world. It can be too much to take in some days. My days, however, have remained fairly similar – aside from the above-mentioned day patio drinking and a few less responses from editors. In positive news, I received a grant from the Economic Hardship Reporting to report on a story related to coronavirus and my story from Ethiopia published in Ms. Magazine.

But this post is more about what can be done. In the U.S., many of us received stimulus funds. If you are in a position to do so, here are some ways to donate that money:

-Homeless organizations or street newspapers. I’ve been writing more about street newspapers lately and am really liking the model they have. Unfortunately, vendors aren’t able to sell on the street right now due to the coronavirus. But many papers across the world are still publishing and posting the issues online and are asking patrons to send money via a money app like Venmo. Here’s an organization that lists a variety of street newspapers all over the world.

-Humanitarian agencies. Refugees currently seeking resettlement are and will be some of the hardest hit, I think, because social distancing can be so difficult. Some organizations that are responding to the crisis include the International Rescue Committee, Plan International and Amnesty International.

-Shop local. For me, that means shopping and donating to local causes in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Look for unique stores, social enterprises and nonprofits in your town or city accepting donations.

I hope you’re staying healthy during this time. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at kristi.eaton@gmail.com.

 

Feb. 28, 2020

Here’s a quick update on some of the things I’ve been working on recently.

Where I just returned from: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

I traveled with a group of other journalists to learn about Punta Cana Promise, an initiative to highlight the area’s security and safety features. I’ll be writing some stories from my time there in the coming weeks.

 

What I’ve recently published: This story about refugees from Myanmar in Tulsa and the expanded travel ban in the United States. My piece in Ms. Magazine from my time in Iceland last fall also published, though there is no online link. Another story I wrote from my fellowship time can be found here. It examines gender equality in the work space.

What I’m reading: Scotland to become first country to offer pads free of charge.

What I’m looking forward to: The start of spring, my Kiplinger fellowship and continued travel and writing.

Questions? Feel free to reach out to me at kristi.eaton@gmail.com.

Monday, Dec. 30, 2019

I got an email last night that got me thinking about what I was preparing to do three years ago around this time. The International Reporting Project was a much-needed organization that provided grants for journalists to travel and cover underreported stories from locations across the world. Sadly, funding dried up and it shut down in 2018.

But I received a grant from them in 2017 to travel to India and write about menstruation and childhood marriage. Some of the stories I’m most proud to have written came from that trip, where I spent about a month in the country. I left for my trip on Jan. 1, 2017.

 

But before that, I spent a week in Helsinki at a residency with my friend Heather, who I went to middle and high school with. Anybody who really knows me probably thinks that Helsinki in January is my hell, but I actually enjoyed it immensely. It was great to spend time in the city and hang out with an old friend.
As 2019 comes to a close, I’m proud of all the work I did this year, and I hope to keep up the momentum going into 2020. I’m eager to travel more and am applying for various journalism grants and writing residencies to get the opportunity.
I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year’s Eve and start of 2020! Here’s to a new decade!

Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019

I’ve had a blog off and on since high school (hello, Xanga!) but find sharing too much personal information gives me heart palpitations nowadays. BUT so many places want to know that people can create content outside of the traditional journalism story. So in that vein, I’ve decided to devote a portion of my website to field notes – little anecdotes from my time in the field while reporting stories or working in communications. Hopefully it will offer some behind-the-scenes wisdom to journalism/communications and everything in between.

As many know from my social-media posts, I recently returned from a two-week trip to Ethiopia. I was staying along the Ethiopian-Somalia border and working in a refugee camp. I’m still trying to pitch those stories (please get in touch if you’re an editor and interested), but in the meantime, here are a few photos from my time on the road and a few more details.

After arriving in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, we took a UN plane to the eastern border with Somalia. It was a tight fit, but the views were incredible!

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We worked for about 14 days straight. Each day we’d wake up in the compound and head to the field in the refugee camp. Lunch was spent at the host community, which meant I ate A LOT of injera and drank A LOT of coffee.

 

It took about an hour to travel to the camp each day from the compound, but luckily on the way home, we would see some beautiful sights.

 

As I said, I’m still pitching the stories so I don’t want to share too much. But I met some incredibly talented and kind individuals who are seeking out ways to make a better world. Here’s some of the team on what we thought was our last day visiting the camp. Turns out rain kept us from flying back to Addis, but we were all smiles for this photo!

The trip was so rewarding and eye-opening – it’s hard to even tell people about my full experiences – yet exhausting and challenging, just how I imagined it would be. I hope to be able to go back again in the future. IMG-1058.jpg