National Geographic

“Go Slowly, Work Slowly”

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 21°28'20" N, 39°14'8" E

Yacob Delamo has been on my mind lately.

I met him at PK-12, an infamous truck stop outside Djibouti city, a vast place possessed of an ugliness so extreme, so spectacular, that it circles, slyly, back toward beauty. This was, of course, back in Africa—already a continent ago.

More than 3,000 Ethiopian rigs sit idling at PK-12, a raw scar scraped from the desert. They await cargo offloaded from ships. They rumble. They exhale black exhaust. They squeal and hiss. Coming and going incessantly, the trucks churn up a lunar dust so fine it glows pink in the sunset, like cotton candy.

Over 2,000 trucks from Ethiopia parked at the PK 12 lot in Djibouti City, Djibouti, waiting to clear customs. Photograph by John Stanmeyer-VII

Trucks from Ethiopia parked at the PK-12 lot in Djibouti city, waiting to clear customs. Photograph by John Stanmeyer-VII

Bored drivers, a hardened and often bitter lot, walk leglessly through this warm, rosy cloud like truckers who have died and gone to some internal combustion heaven. One of them was Yacob: small, energetic, bombastic, appealingly self-contradictory. (“I am a clean man. A good Christian. I do not visit prostitutes. No. No. No. All three of my AIDS tests have been negative.”)

He spoke of the dangers of African trucking. (The blacktop to Addis Ababa is lined with rotting big rigs, many rolled over, wheels-up.) “Everywhere a problem,” Yacob said. “Donkeys. Sheeps. People. Especially on market days. Drive slowly! Not Fast! If you go slowly, it is very good. You will live.”

He climbed into his cab to retrieve the newsletter of the Ethiopian Government Truck Drivers Association. It was printed in Amharic. One headline read, “Drive Slowly to Live.” Another: “Go Slowly, Work Slowly.” There seemed to be a theme, a concerted campaign, a civic mission, a re-educational effort, to pry Ethiopian truckers’ feet off the gas pedal.

What, I asked Yacob, was the name of this hectoring publication?

“Move Slowly!” he said, beaming the smile of a convert.

The Out of Eden Walk, of course, is an experiment in slowness.

For seven years, this foot journey in the wake of our ancestors will push the boundary of long-wave storytelling online. By slowing down to walking speed, I hope to rediscover the physical world as the first wandering humans had, one step at a time, exploring it through their skins. The walk’s journalism is a hybrid. It embraces the latest technology. (The laptop, the GPS, the satellite phone.) But its frame of reference hasn’t changed since the days of the wandering bard. This project intends to render current events as a form of pilgrimage, as the story of a quest, perhaps the oldest genre in history. The trail demands patience. And this is why, in the weeks and years ahead, the intervals between dispatches may stretch beyond days to one week, or two, or maybe even longer than that.

The inaugural writing on this site has been intentionally accelerated. My editors at National Geographic and I wished to lay down a trace of words, a set of cairns, signaling the way ahead. But the rigors of walking 10 or 20 miles a day along meandering mountain ranges and coasts, through the cycles of cities and seasons to come—all while preserving the quiet that incubates words—will occasionally require slowing down further. So I ask you pause with me along the path. Anticipation. Waiting. A tolerance for silences. In our frantic, interconnected world, these human traits are vanishing from the gene pool like red hair.

I am stepping now into Arabia. From a cargo ship in the Red Sea I glimpse its parchment coast. A haze of shimmering dust. Then cranes, derricks, immense towers, offices, the right angles of the modern world: the Port of Jeddah.

The Saudi officials forget themselves. They expose their humanity. They move momentarily from behind their desks—the defensive barricade erected by bureaucrats everywhere—to gape, to stare in surprise. Why? Has an American never before disembarked on these wharves, long the marine gateway to the land of the two holy mosques? Perhaps it is the rancid cowpuncher’s hat. Or the vessel that brought me—a rust-scabbed camel and sheep boat from Africa. I raise my sombrero. The officials wave back. But they seem startled to be noticed. They slip back behind their desks.

The sky is dazzling—matte white. I am strangely exhausted. Disoriented. Feeble as an astronaut crushed by the unfamiliar weight of gravity. I must drag my camel saddlebags across the concrete pier.

And then I understand.

For three days my boat has sailed 600 miles north from Djibouti: a snail’s pace in the age of jet travel. But it was still 10 times faster than walking. Night after night, day after day, unable to read or write, to concentrate, I prowled the deck for hours. I could not sit still. I could not sleep. There was something amiss with the world. The surface of the Earth—the sea: It slid by too quickly.

After walking 400 miles up the African Rift, I am glutted with unearned distances. I am overdosed with speed.

There are 93 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. jeff ludlum
    May 21, 2013

    So glad you mentioned the embrace of anticipation and tolerance for silence that will be needed to follow you for the next seven years. Since being introduced to you and learning about this project, I find myself impatient for the next dispatch — so, I will attempt to model the truck drivers’ newsletter (and one of the maxims of your journey) – will allow you to go slowly, work slowly, and not expect. Godspeed, Paul!

  2. Linda Hoernke
    May 21, 2013

    “Stepping into Arabia.”Welcome to land and yes, step slow. I am following you with every step. Your writing not only brings the land and people to me but the smell of adventure. Thank you!

  3. jeff ludlum
    May 22, 2013

    Another fine dispatch, and lesson too, as you settle into your journey and we settle in to follow: Be comfortable with “Anticipation. Waiting.” Develop a “A tolerance for silences”, given “our frantic, interconnected world, these human traits are vanishing…” — looking forward to these next seven years, and Godspeed to you, Paul, as you travel on!

  4. Ferial
    May 22, 2013

    Live slowly – a wonderful and pertinent – so pertinent – message for today. Oh that we could all physically experience your pace!

  5. Arati rao
    May 22, 2013

    What you speak of, Paul, resonates deeply. Late last year i mentioned to my editor of a yearning to slow my own journalism down to the human pace of life. Of what it must have been like once, and of how it was perhaps always meant to be, in order to appreciate the interconnectedness of nature. I had spoken to him then of an assignment i wanted fo do … Walking. And then, days later, boom! Out of eden and your words burst on to screens. It had me singing, as if you’d endorsed my thoughts :) And sure enough, i’m enjoying it all with you. And slowing down in my own journalism, finding that throughly satisfying as well. Good luck, and thanks for the inspiration!

  6. ljmurphy
    May 22, 2013

    Your first sentence is so outstanding I have to reread and reread. I have see places like that. Also the quotes from the truck driver about his being clean, so real. I am traveling beside you in spirit.

  7. ljmurphy
    May 22, 2013

    my comment should have said second sentence!

  8. Pam Butterfield
    May 22, 2013

    It will be interesting to see if your perception of the passage of time changes with your current backdrop – I am thinking of when you are in an area (perhaps parts of asia) where life passes more slowly (contemplative?) you will also slow your life and perceptions down to match your surroundings. not explaing this too clearly, perhaps.

    • Paul Salopek
      May 28, 2013

      Pam—I get you. I’ve been finding interesting timescape differences already between Saudi Arabia and the Horn of Africa. A trivial but telling one: I’m rediscovering the anxieties of the clock. When time is parsed with rigor—as opposed to squinting at the sky, and judging forenoons and afternoons—there seems to be a paradox of diminishing of returns. The more we cut the pie of our hours, the less pie there is to enjoy.

  9. Jerzy PL
    May 22, 2013

    I am overdosed with speed on daily basis. With speed of life, which binds us to collide with each other. With amount of media and information, which deprive us of slow perception. Your dispatches and ability to absorb more from the world around give me relief from everyday pace. Thank You for that and hope to hear from You soon.

    • Paul Salopek
      May 28, 2013

      Thanks, Jerzy. And to adopt our common thinking on the fading virtues of slowness, “soon” will be an elastic concept with the writing. Daily, weekly, or even less periodic: It will depend on the inclines in the storytelling topography that I’m traversing.

  10. Mike H
    May 23, 2013

    Hey Paul – Great interview with TEDxMidwest – It was a big hit with the audience of 700. We will post it in the next few weeks…Most everyone is now a fan of slow journeys and slow storytelling. Thanks to you – and thanks to the Nat Geo photography group and communications folks for the fast help in getting this wonderful story out.

    • Paul Salopek
      August 3, 2013

      And thank you, Mike, for offering the chance to reach a new audience. You’re a true Chicagoan in the Whitmanesque sense—you are building something distinctive, something that’s going to last.

  11. Dianne
    May 23, 2013

    Thanks for reminding me that sometimes we need to be still and listen, that life tends to ‘hurry up’ and steals precious time with our family, God bless you on your journey and thanks for sharing your adventure with me.

  12. Betsy Moize
    May 24, 2013

    Paul, you still write as beautifully as you always have. All the senses respond to your story. Stay safe.

    • Paul Salopek
      August 3, 2013

      Thanks, Betsy.

  13. iole bada
    May 24, 2013

    Thank you for briefly suspending our busy lives by bringing us to another place that we can only experience imagine through your words and pictures. What an experience! Awesome.

  14. Rob Hirsch
    May 25, 2013

    You truly are on the road less traveled…no one in my workday world observes the speed limit. They race toward and then past me with questions and answers that require attention now, not later. It is a mindful act to not get caught up on their chaos and frenzy. Your posts of people and places help me to remember that slow is good. Compassion and empathy are even better for those moving at lightening pace. I will continue to wait for each post…they have become part of a Saturday morning routine that involves slowing down enjoying a cup of coffee and reading your latest dispatch. Even if they are weeks apart.

    Peace, Love and Adventure on your travels.

    • Paul Salopek
      June 25, 2013

      I used to grind motorcycle footrests on curves. Speed is beautiful. It’s getting stuck in high gear that I question. Thanks for waiting, Rob.

  15. Alexis de Vere
    May 25, 2013

    Paul – every word you write is worth waiting for and every word deserves long and considered digestion. I feel very privileged to be able to share your journey and your beautiful insights into our at times unfathomable species. I hope the speed disorientation passes and that your journey continues safely.

  16. R j ardavin
    May 26, 2013

    it is just amazing what you are doing, and at the same time I feel closer to the places and people you contact. Congratulations

  17. Martin Blandy
    May 26, 2013

    Sat down with NGM this morning, reached the Risk article & discovered the out of eden walk.

    Have spent the 3 hours since reading every post from the start and examining your route through google earth. Amazing idea and such a great writing style.

    Thanks for sharing.

  18. Fatimah Mitchell
    May 26, 2013

    Wishing you all the best from the tip of Africa (CT)

  19. em
    May 27, 2013

    Greetings Paul. I just learned of your quest and am so glad that I did! Welcome to Saudi Arabia, I wish I could have met you while you were in Thuwal. I look forward to future stories.

  20. Gary Boivin
    May 27, 2013

    No matter, Paul. You are sure to move slowly along the West Coast of Saudi Arabia, and surely Jeddah itself will be fodder for at least a week’s worth of stories.

  21. Brandon Earp
    May 29, 2013

    Hi I was reading and you do like great things along the way!!!

  22. Jean Thompson
    May 29, 2013

    From the map, it appears you are always heading east and intend to cross to N. America and make your way to S. America. That isn’t the way my ancestors went. Having done my DNA through the NatGeo Genographic project, I know that my ancestors came north out of Africa into Europe. Nevertheless, I admire your drive to accomplish this feat.

    • Paul Salopek
      August 3, 2013

      You are absolutely right, Jean. A branch of the human river flowed north and west into Europe very early in the human diaspora. The latest thinking, based on genography, is that the first modern humans to reach Europe emanated from South Asia. I thought about a European leg. But it would add at least a year to my journey, and I don’t know if my knees will hold out. Also, I figure that Europe’s prehistory is probably the best-studied of any region in the world. So I chose to explore the lesser-known margins of human restlessness.

  23. Mark Herwig
    May 29, 2013

    You mention slowing down, watching, listening, contemplating, silence and anticipation as disappearing skills among homo sapiens, who spent most their history as hunters skilled in those very arts. I invite anyone desirous of a return to these ancient skills to walk the hunter’s trail today, as I and many others do. Sit in a deer stand and you will rediscover these skills; you will find your ancient rhythm. Kill a deer, butcher and feast on its flesh and you will come a big step toward understanding what ancient humans were all about. I hope on your trek you go hunting.

  24. Ali Pretty
    May 29, 2013

    Live slowly, enjoy every moment, we are only here for a finite time.

    Loving your walk
    Ali

  25. Aidan
    May 29, 2013

    A Saudi visa is notoriously difficult to obtain. How did you manage it and how long did it take?

  26. Jenny Mackintosh
    May 29, 2013

    Thank you, Paul for your wonderful word pictures and the reminder to slow down. The older I get (78) the faster life rushes by! There is so much still to do but I will now try and do it more slowly.

  27. jeff ludlum
    May 29, 2013

    So glad you mentioned the embrace of anticipation and tolerance for silence that will be needed to follow you for the next seven years. Since being introduced to you and learning about this project, I find myself impatient for the next dispatch — so, I will attempt to model the truck drivers’ newsletter (and one of the maxims of your journey) – will allow you to go slowly, work slowly, and not expect. Godspeed, Paul!

  28. Judith krantz
    May 29, 2013

    I gobble up your posts in one big splurge, then wait awhile. I’m in no hurry. I’m a retired psychologist, age 70. But I am furious at the pirates’ stopping all the research!!! I want to know stuff! Glad you got out of Djubouti. Bet there’s some cool archeology buried around there!

  29. pedro
    May 29, 2013

    i wish i could walk next to you
    what an adventure Gods speed
    all the best from an other 77years
    admirer step by step i am there .
    all the best

  30. Chuckie Van Natta
    May 29, 2013

    I’ve always felt that subtle slowing down of time, or how I perceive it, when I’m on the equator. People think I’m nuts, but I can honestly feel the pace of the clock winding nearly to a halt in comparison with life at 38 degrees North. As the sweat drips down my skin, I dream as though each grain of sand through the hourglass of my life’s passing hovers before it truly falls into the pile of days that has become my memories. Thank you for this generous confirmation of how time has affected us all.

    Aloha and Mahalo Paul, may your journey be safe and fulfilling…CV.

  31. Brad J
    May 29, 2013

    Paul, your character sketches of the East Africans you have met bring added depth to my understanding of the Ethiopians and Eritrians that I have gotten to know in their diaspora here in Rochester NY. Fascinating people with much to offer us. And the details of your experience so far remind me of time I spent in the in (then) North Yemen in the mid-1970′s; a pre-oil and quite peaceful sojourn. I remember dark, dark skies (almost no electricity around) and road-less mountains. Did I mention I was mistaken for being Chinese by a local? (Chinese road building crew was in the region; the fellow put two and two together.)

  32. Robert Flores
    May 29, 2013

    Paul, thank you for this. I am 56. I will be 63 when we finish our journey. I say “our” because you are taking us all with you, and that, my friend, is quite a gift.

    • Paul Salopek
      August 4, 2013

      It is indeed everyone’s journey. All you have to do is dig back far enough in your family roots: Somebody in your genetic past meandered along parts of this routing. The walk belongs to you as much as me.

  33. Susan McAdams
    May 29, 2013

    Informed by your plan and progress, how silly it was of me to have ever wondered at the fact that humans spread across such vast distances. What they had tens of thousands of years to do (albeit with a bit more baggage — families, villages, etc.), you are able to contemplate doing in a mere 7 years. Never again will I think it improbable that humans reached Australia so early, for example. You have already made a sea change in my thinking … not unlike the “aha” moment we experienced here in Washington State when Mt. St. Helens erupted and, suddenly, it became clear that major geologic changes do not necessarily take place in tiny increments over geologic time. Thank you for awakening my perceptions and confounding my assumptions.

  34. Loretta Bowden
    May 29, 2013

    Thank-you for allowing us to trail behind.

  35. michael geboy
    May 29, 2013

    I have been following you since you began this journay, and I still cannot believe that your are doing this. I did not think there were still adventures in this world-mapped and traveled as it has been, yet you have found perhaps the greatest adeventure of the 21st century. I hope to be able to follow you for the entire journey. Thank you so much for adding some new adventure to my life!

  36. Carl Mario Nudi
    May 29, 2013

    Tread slowly, carrier of my vicarious dreams.

  37. Bill Stober
    May 29, 2013

    Can we access a map showing your planned track and your progress?

    • Paul Salopek
      August 4, 2013

      Click on the “Map Room” window on the lower right of the page, Bill. Or you can access it directly at http://www.outofedenwalk.com/map-room/. The “Planned Walk Route” button in the legends section of that map will show the projected forward routing.

  38. Joann Lee
    May 29, 2013

    I wish I can see what’s in front of you all the way on your trip. But I think I smell the dirt you touch, air you breathe with my imagination.

  39. HikerBob
    May 29, 2013

    How exciting! A new continent!

  40. beverly
    May 29, 2013

    An incredible privilege to receive your posts. Can’t tell you how grateful. As an old lady with adventures on seven continents, I learned to move slowly along the way, especially with teaching children with learning disabilities..they learned, I rejoiced. Bless you, Paul.

    • Paul Salopek
      August 3, 2013

      The road is a good classroom, isn’t it, Beverly? I’ll bet the teaching flowed both ways.

  41. Ilse
    May 30, 2013

    You evoke in me a yearning? a homesickness? a wanderlust? (for lack of a better words) for places I have never seen, peoples I have never known.Thank you for sharing your adventure with us through your writings. No matter how long/far between I will be looking forward to the next step. Safe journeying Paul!

  42. Jean Carr
    May 30, 2013

    I have been enjoying your trip reports so much! It’s so hard to slow down when everyone is moving so fast. Reading your posts helps to remember that our mental health as humans depends on a slower pace…

  43. Kathleen
    May 30, 2013

    Your journey/story is full of awe and very humbling. The adventures and descriptions are a welcome exploration for me out to the world beyond my stay-at-home-grandma life with a 3 yo & 3 month old. They also remind me to live right now, reveling in beginnings and not speeding them along. Thanks for sharing.

  44. Edu Alivio
    May 30, 2013

    Trailing with you on this historic journey right from the start of your walk. Looking forward to what’s in store in Arabia. Keep safe Paul!

  45. Art Arrowsmith
    May 30, 2013

    Having spent some time in Tripoli years ago, I can taste the sand you walk on and sniff the smells surrounding you, Paul. Thanks for taking us along. God protect and bless your journey.

  46. Cory Muldoon
    May 30, 2013

    Thanks for your work.

  47. Blanca Pinon
    May 30, 2013

    Totally enchanted …

  48. Rosie Mor
    May 30, 2013

    Paul, Your beautiful language really echoes the opportunity you have to really be in the place you are. So good to read. Thank you, Rosie

  49. Mary Jo
    May 30, 2013

    This new lifestyle of yours is fascinating… I’m living it vicariously and soaking everything in. It will be devastating when it’s all done years from now.

  50. H Finn
    May 30, 2013

    Can you hear the theme song from Lawrence of Arabia playing at odd times, along with the daily sights, smells, sounds… its playing in the background as I am writing. Not a bad tune to have replay. God Bless you & keep you in your ambitious journey (ambitious indeed…!)

  51. Matthrw
    May 30, 2013

    Couldn’t sleep on the boat??! Did you try…counting sheep?

    • Paul Salopek
      August 3, 2013

      Ha.

  52. Margaret
    May 30, 2013

    I’m tagging along vicariously as well. The sights, sounds and smells of these ancient foreign lands make for intriguing reading. Thanks for sharing.

  53. Nicolas von Kospoth
    May 31, 2013

    I think you have a wonderful opportunity there to fully experience something that is a defining trait of human nature: adaptation. With our fast moving world and the many distractions we don’t even perceive the many adaptations our body and mind automatically carry out. Adapting to the pace of life and environments around us may perhaps be one of the few ones left that we are able to perceive. With the many different environments that you will encounter on your trip, you will certainly experience many more of these accelerating and decelerating moments. I imagine that this must give one an idea of the grandeur of life and nature, as one slowly becomes part of the whole that surrounds us and tunes into the slow and quiet beating of the planet’s pulse.

  54. Mike
    May 31, 2013

    Strangely beautiful writing. About half way through reading I felt like I was in the middle of a J. M. Coetzee novel.

    Love following this journey. Thanks for taking it and sharing with us!

  55. Becky Pfordresher
    May 31, 2013

    I am startled by your incredible writing, Paul, and an earlier comment referring to it as “enchanting” is how I respond. I am also touched by the beautiful writing of those who have commented. It is as though your style and emphasis are infecting others with a desire to luxuriate in words, in language. This I love! Thank you.

  56. Ace M
    May 31, 2013

    Thanks for your story, Paul – riveting as always. Indeed, digesting information and a journey at a slower rate is far better than being precarious, even if it means we must anxiously await for your next tale. My question to you is this, however: you mentioned the Saudi officials here – have you gotten into any trouble from bureaucracy on your travels yet? I’d imagine that this would be inevitable in politically turbulent climates, especially as you pervade into middle eastern borders and document your sights. Syria, no doubt, could easily provide problems. As a reporter, have you ever had experience with this? And if so, how do you plan on dealing with such issues?

    Thanks again,
    Ace M – Out of Eden student

    • Paul Salopek
      August 4, 2013

      I’ve been imprisoned a few times—once, in Sudan, for quite awhile. But this comes with the job description. I have no complaints. No matter how bad things get in such situations, I am keenly aware that I am privileged by my outsider status. Most of the people with whom I’ve had the privilege of sharing jail cells are far more vulnerable, and far more deserving of sympathy. I choose my risks. They don’t volunteer for their lives’ circumstances.

  57. Paj Gallagher
    May 31, 2013

    Just stumbled upon this but im now on the journey. Plus, red hair is not vanashing from the gene pool! Lol

  58. Craig Warden
    May 31, 2013

    If I was a blind man andf someone read me your story, I would have sight. Outstanding.

  59. Cody W
    June 1, 2013

    I look forward to following you & I also wonder where I’ll be in 7 years? Thank you for sharing your adventure with everyone!

  60. Linda Laursen B.
    June 3, 2013

    The magic of your words, painstakingly crafted as I know they are, make us all yearn to be in your time and place, despite the hardship and physical discomforts you clearly describe. Your distances are never unearned. And your writing, as always, is exquisite.

    • Paul Salopek
      June 25, 2013

      Thanks, Linda. Yearning is the human condition.

  61. Jessica Henry
    June 3, 2013

    “I am glutted..overdosed with speed…” Exquisite- your posts remind me as a mother and teacher that I need to pause, reflect and then move on…thank you for walking this for all of us.

  62. Marilyn farina
    June 3, 2013

    At 82 I am also slowing down now I shall be content to walk by your side and see through your eyes. Godspeed.

  63. Sarah Geraci
    June 4, 2013

    Your writing is quite beautiful. I find myself, literally, slowing down as I read it. I look forward to each of your emails.

  64. Terri Cole
    June 4, 2013

    Thank you so much for your comments on slowing down! I am the mother of 12 children and grandmother to 37 and as I age, I see how important it is to give the gift of time to all of them. I am naturally a person who gets things done but find that in order to enjoy the life I have left with our family, I must be careful of wasting any of it! God be with you on your journey. It helps me to read about your travels!

  65. D’arcy Brown
    June 4, 2013

    Following this trek reminds me o 1 I would like to do myself following exploration routes in North America

  66. Chamelle Pitt
    June 7, 2013

    Someone said that they have coffee with your posts on Saturday mornings, this insomniac seeks you out at 0200 hours. If feels like I am leaning over your shoulder and reading your diary. Eloquent after reading science based journals all day. I hope that you are warm.

  67. Bertsl
    June 7, 2013

    Your quest strangely coincides with my own. I am starting a journey to make everything more “local” and access it either on foot or my bicycle. I already strive to commute to my job by bike. I have realized that within only 2-3 miles of my home I have everything I need and more. So my new quest is that I take advantage of that closeness and “go slow” by human power.

  68. Laurence mwaniki
    June 10, 2013

    In case u forgot guys,there’s no hurry in africa.

  69. The World Academy 4th-7th Grade Girl’s Class in KAEC, Saudi Arabia
    June 10, 2013

    Mr. Paul,
    We heard you speak at our school, The World Academy in KAEC, Saudi Arabia. We took a picture with you after your presentation. We’ve been inspired by your journey to walk with your camels to different countries.
    We have a few questions:
    Where are you right now? Where are you going next?
    Are you hunting for food while you are walking?
    Are you safe?
    Are you going to take your camels on the entire journey?
    What do you feed the camels? Do you drink their milk?
    How many languages do you speak?
    Do you have enough food?
    Do you read books while you are on this journey?
    Have you learned any new insights or stories you can share with us?
    How many countries have you visited?
    What is your plan after The Out of Eden Walk ends?
    We wish you a safe journey.
    Good Luck,
    Vaishnavi, Aiman, Chekitha, Dhivyashari, Amna, Sheetal, Sameenah, Rama, Nimrah, Shahd, Ashley, Layla, Kamilya, Alishba, Rawan, Maya, Ms.Sheryl and Ms. Laura

    • Paul Salopek
      August 2, 2013

      Shukran for your good wishes, girls. Your questions tell me you’d make good journalists. I don’t have answers for all of them (I don’t know what happens after the walk). But I will say that camel milk is out of the question. Fares and Seema are males.

  70. Darliss
    June 10, 2013

    Have not heard from you ion a while. I hope all is well. I really enjoy your postings and watch eagerly for the next one each day.

  71. Rory O’Neil
    June 14, 2013

    Strange that the rapid mobility of humans in modern times has resulted in the decline of the red hair phenotype (but the frequency of its allele remains the same).

  72. Norma Armon
    June 16, 2013

    What a treasure you have given us! Your writing inspires and reminds me – and obviously others – of the values of “presence” and the wonders that provides 21st century humans. What a joy to be able to be “present” with you on this extraordinary voyage.

  73. Jaime Davalos
    June 23, 2013

    Thanks! You are giving us the opportunity to learn and enjoy new experiences while we stay at home.GREAT photos!

  74. Roddy Waldron
    June 24, 2013

    I am lost for words…thanks for photos and stories

  75. Mary mast
    July 22, 2013

    I have just discovered this enchanting journey and I am eagerly reading all the posts I have missed. This journey is to last seven years? I am already 85 , but I intend to follow this journey to the end!

  76. W. Grace
    August 25, 2013

    I remember an outdoor play we attended shortly after moving to Vermont more than 30 years ago now. Our children, then small, so enjoyed this puppet-like performance. The one thing I do remember is the turtle with his line of “make haste slowly”. I loved that line! Thanks for reminding me once again!

  77. Dennis Beatus
    October 1, 2013

    i have discovered that to be slowly and working slowly it assure the reality of what you are doing, The journey it help me to do things in a good manner.

  78. Erin Douglass
    December 11, 2013

    What a wonderful project. Just finished reading about it in Nat Geo mag…now joining online. Hikers/walkers ourselves, my daughter and I will love following along. Bonne marche!

  79. Hayhay
    February 7, 2014

    That’s pretty cool.

  80. Judy Wiley
    February 13, 2014

    Paul, I was awed by your talent and genius in El Paso and even more astonished today. This is amazing work on so many levels. Thank you. And be careful out there.

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We’re cooking: cutting up zucchinis, rolling dough, stirring pots of boiling yoghurt. We are with ...

Bang

We turn the corner of the road when the first round whips in. It kicks ...