[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/15/art.bettydarkness.jpg caption="By nightfall, we were stowing away like fugitives."]
There are your tough assignments and then there are those that border on the impossible. Myanmar is one of the world’s most secretive nations for a reason.
Foreign journalists are banned from the country. Tourists are even finding it difficult to get a visa, especially Americans. So the odds were already stacked against us.
I can’t say how we got in the country but that was only half the battle. Devising a plan to get down to the area devastated by Cyclone Nargis in May would be much harder.
The junta government has sealed off all entrances to the Irrawaddy delta. Checkpoints are set up in nearly every town. For days we pored over maps and scouted out the safest routes.
Spinning with frustration, we finally came up with an idea. It was risky. If caught, we could be deported and the locals helping us faced prison time. We had to move quickly and carefully.
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