Monday, June 2, 2014


Author: Paul Salopek

Rating: ***

            One part of many in a series of Paul Salopek’s “Out of Eden Walk” dispatches from the field.  This section of the story gives some inquiry into the “Seperation Barrier” erected by Israel to contain the violence of the Second Intifada in Bethlehem.  It’s shocking how in so few words, and a number of pictures, one can encapsulate the distraught brought to people through an evening of work.

            In the form of a journal, this article talks of a small portion of Paul’s time in Jerusalem as he first arrives there.  From what he says it is clear that the area is troubled, and he provides insight in the continuation of this story on how the Israeli people are still trying to recover from past conflicts.  Short but thought-provoking is how Paul seems to try and keep his pieces throughout his adventure story, even through things like his mentioning of the titles of various guides and pilgrims plastered upon his mind when he thinks about where he is and where he has come to with his journey.  He promotes these thoughts seemingly as a metaphor for the crossroads of the world, and does a decent job of it.

            In all honesty, the article and story came off as being slightly TOO philosophical and made the author appear rather pompous.  That being said though, it is sometimes enlightening to read through a recorded journey upon which someone begins to have more and more epiphanies.  I say that it sounds pompous, but I have yet to experience an adventure quite like the one that the author experiences here, so that judgement is not really one I should be making.  Of course this story makes me think of the days that I might get the chance to make backpacking adventures like this myself one day, and it has provoked a bit more thought about where my life is currently at.  It’s weird, but it’s short things like this that are making me realize these days that highschool is almost over, and if I want to pursue all of these outdoor and adventuring dreams that I have, I’m really going to have to start taking things a bit more seriously…  So thank you to Paul Salopek, the probably not actually very pompous at all man who chronicled this journey of his, for sharing it.

Salopek, P. Out of Eden Walk: Dispatches from the Field from Paul Salopek – Jerusalem. May 10, 2014. National Geographic. Recovered from: on June 1, 2014.

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