June 19th, 2008
01:39 PM ET

It had to be the chicken...

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/19/art.pip.friends.jpg caption="Some of the Planet in Peril team- Anderson Cooper, Neil Hallsworth, Phil Littleton, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta"]

Editor's note: The Planet In Peril crew is back stateside, and some are doing better than others... and by 'others' we mean Cameraman Phil Littleton. Seems he caught a stomach bug. He writes us this blog:

Phil Littleton
Senior Photojournalist

For the past five weeks I’ve been in Africa, the land of my birth, the continent I love. We traveled from Chad, through Rwanda, and into Cameroon. We ended our journey deep in the forests of the DRC and all along the way, there was plenty of hospitality. The folks of the continent have always given of their hospitality, even if it were meager, they were always willing to share. The fare at times did not seem palatable, when dressed in its original clothing, once cooked, it was quite enjoyable… and so not to offend our hosts, we ate everything…

We were filming for Planet in Peril II, looking at the battle lines between the dwellers of the earth, asking is there a way to co-exist? All we can do is bring you what we see and listen to the voices we hear, leaving it up to you to decide…

My short discomfort will subside, but how ironic it is that when I got back into the mass transit system, and onto a United flight from Brussels to Washington I am reminded of how quick we forget the fragile balance between nature and humans.

I cannot wait to get back to the front lines…

Here is a Hutchens photo me in the middle of truly great colleagues

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Saera El Paso, TX

    geez Phil...
    bugs just love you

    feel better soon

    June 19, 2008 at 11:05 pm |
  2. Annie Kate


    That really stinks that you got sick; hope you feel better soon. I looked forward to your pictures and your blog posts while you were in Africa. Thank you for sharing your adventure with us; I can hardly wait to see the finished PIP 2.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    June 19, 2008 at 8:57 pm |
  3. Ratna, New York, NY

    Dear Phil,

    You are doing an amazing job with those photographs! I hope your stomach bug gets better. I don't eat redmeat anymore, so I would not last in Africa. Back in my country (Suriname – South America) -as a child – I have tasted bush rabbit, bush pig and tasted exotic parrot. (now that I am aware that these animals becoming extinct, I am hitting myself over the head for eating them).

    June 19, 2008 at 7:39 pm |
  4. Diane N.

    Your work is amazing. Sure hope you feel better soon.

    June 19, 2008 at 6:57 pm |
  5. Sam

    Ah, Phil you should know better... It's like when you certain places you don't drink the water, always be careful of eating the chicken!!

    June 19, 2008 at 6:43 pm |
  6. deborah, OH

    P.S. Phil, hope you are feeling better soon.

    June 19, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  7. deborah, OH

    Thanks for another informative post.
    Don't know if I could eat the things you guys did, as you described them, but I would sure give it a try.

    You are right about that fragile balance, & how soon we can forget–that's why we are lucky to have you, Anderson, Sanjay, Neil, & the rest to remind us. And bring it all closer to us & our undestanding.

    Our bubbles are pretty comfortable, but like Anderson said, & I am paraphrasing, 'this Afirca is right next door'.

    Again, thanks for posting. Stay in touch.

    June 19, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  8. Hannah Storm

    Wow didn't you get sick or some sort of bug laid eggs in your leg or something during PIP1......nothing like keeping the tradition. Thank you again for your dedicated work to bring us these stories

    June 19, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  9. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    I was wondering if you all take prophylactic meds on these trips, especially since you eat the local fare that may or may not be safe. I consider Cipro 500 once a day to be one of my best friends when traveling in third world conditions. That and Snickers bars. Anyway, I know I sometimes forget how fragile the balance between humankind and nature is, how blessed we really are in America. Then I just have to look at the photo on my laptop screen of the kids I helped to remember how good we have it. And how much I want to be back there in the grit and parasite infested dirt helping on a basic level no one can comprehend here in our "bubble" unless they've lived it, too. Hopefully your work will translate to people understanding better how delicate life is for us all. Feel better!

    June 19, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  10. Janna

    I cannot thank you enough for your effort, expertise and hardships endured in in order to continue this important series. The blogs from you & the crew have been a great preview... I cannot wait until it airs!
    On a personal note, as much as I consider myself a tree hugging animal lover & have long dreamed of visiting Africa, I believe my vegetarianism could pose a roadblock....Drink some peppermint tea and feel better soon.

    June 19, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  11. Susan


    I can not wait until PIP2 comes out later this year. The black & white images that we have seem so far have been awesome.

    It is always the meager that give the most, a smile or story that touches your heart. These emotions are what it means to be a human being. It does not matter where you live. It is a kind of universal currency.

    Good Luck on the front lines !!!


    June 19, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  12. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Hi Phil,
    Sorry to hear about the "bug" you caught. Hopefully, it will be a bug with a short life span. You're right, we do forget the fragile balance between humans and nature. Out of sight, out of mind, is the way we view most things in life. However, that's what is so good about the work you and your colleagues do. You help remove the blinders we all wear, to see a crystal clear reality, that we need to see. Now, the porcupine thing? I could have lived without that snippet of knowledge, but I guess that's life, at least life in the bush.

    Lorie Ann. Buellton, Calif.

    June 19, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  13. Jerrell Darby

    I hope that they don't put us in a black'n'white picture.


    June 19, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  14. Lilibeth

    Hi Phil, I hope you feel better. Glad to have you back. Can't wait to see the final product.

    So you ate everyting, huh? Yikes! Hope that's not what gave you your stomach troubles.

    Take care.

    June 19, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  15. Cindy

    I really enjoyed your posts while you were there in Africa. I hope too that you can get back out there and blog with us some more.

    Sorry that you caught a bug. But it will pass! Just be glad that it wasn't some bug or spider eggs living in your leg like what happened last time to one of you!! LOL Do you all ALWAYS bring things back with ya!? LOL


    June 19, 2008 at 1:49 pm |