This is Paul Salopek. He has embarked on a 7-year journey–all of it walking–from east Africa, up through the Arabian Peninsula across Asia, through Alaska down to Chile. It will span 21,000 miles. He’s retracing the migration of ancient humans and writing about it for National Geographic. This is a piece from his latest dispatch:
At our last camp in the Dead Sea Valley, I asked Hamoudi if he was ill. He had been lagging all day, sometimes by more than a mile. He replied that his favorite niece was dying in a faraway hospital. The news had come that day by cell phone. He had needed to weep alone, so he slowed his step, but that was over now. Across 300 miles of trails in Jordan, I heard not a single complaint from this man.