Down South

Well, today I went to 14,000 feet to get used to the altitude, and for my trouble I got a splitting headache. Tomorrow we are headed to a nearby rock climbing are to test our climbing skills at altitude, and then we’ll head east to begin our adventure in earnest.
I have to admit, walking around here, climbing seems like a frivolous thing to be writing about. I’m happy to do it, but the poverty, the inequity and the ecological degradation seem more pertinent.
But the market for such stories is limited. Stories about leisure and travel sell, stories about poor people in developing countries don’t.
I’m really interested in this opportunity in Iraq, and I am hoping to maybe leverage that experience into more of that type of work–international reporting of consequence. I get to do that kind of work at the Reporter, from time to time breaking truly important stories. I’d like to do that more places.
Regardless, I’ve got an interesting story here, and it’s great experience. I’ve been able to get a few of the photos I need, but as we are just getting into the mountains I’ve got a lot more to get. Mostly I’ve just got to have a great time so I have something positive and upbeat to write about. That shouldn’t be too hard, as long as I don’t ascend 14,000 feet in two days again.

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