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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 1999-07-21

Leading Off: Take Kosovo...Please!
By Robert Hanashiro

Contrary to popular belief, my work doesn't involve just sports. And sometimes I find myself in a place I'd rather not be, covering something that isn't as pleasant as an afternoon at Candlestick Park.

With that in mind, take Kosovo .... Please!

Photo by
I recently returned from a two-week assignment covering the United Nations peace keeping effort in Kosovo and also the return of refugees after the retreat of the Serb Army. I could devote several issues of this newsletter to the politics of the Balkans and my adventures throughout Kosovo, but the short story is: I survived getting shot at the first day by a Serb soldier and a bout with what I called "Milosovic's Revenge."

I came home wiser, thinner and more appreciative of the job journalists do in warzones. Vini Vidi Vixi!

People asked when I returned, what I missed most about home and I must say without hesitation my wife Deanna and daughter Emma. But in keeping with the spirit of Sports Shooter, I give you "Hanashiro's "Hanashiro's Top 5 Things I Missed About America":

#5) Outback Steakhouses
#4) The Los Angeles freeway system (never thought I EVER say that!)
#3) Covering the NBA Finals
#2) Marriott Hotels

And the #1 thing I missed about America while I was in Kosovo was: the comfort and privacy of my own bathroom!

My second list is a companion to the above, Top 5 Things I Won't Miss about Kosovo":

#5) The NBA Finals at 2:30am and in Turkish
#4) Liverwurst in the morning...every morning
#3) Potholes and bomb craters in all of the roads
#2) Machine guns on every street corner

And the #1 thing I won't miss about Kosovo: Lomotil in the morning!!! (Ask your doctor and don't leave the country without it!)

Photo by
I can't write about my trip to Kosovo without briefly saying that there are a few pleasant things I will remember about the trip. I will always be grateful for the kindness of the Ajazaj Family who took us in and opened their home to us and also the hard work and companionship of Ardi Panajoti who worked for me as a guide and translator and also was the person who kept me out of trouble, especially steering me away from landmines!

On a technical note, survival in Kosovo would not have been possible without the flawless performance of the digital cameras I used and my trusty satellite phone.

* * *

This month's issue of Sports Shooter is an eclectic collection of material that I think everyone will find interesting. Scott Wachter, a Phoenix-area freelance photographer tells us about his move into the travel business, several reports about the recent Women's World Cup, an exclusive look by Brad Mangin at Canon's new long glass, Bruce Kwitney from Roberts Distributors has a couple of specials for Sports Shooter readers and of course, there is much, much more.

So sit back, adjust the brightness on your monitor, turn down the Pearl Jam and enjoy!

Robert Hanashiro Editor/Publisher


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