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Explore Desert Ethiopia, Balthazar, and more!

Randy Olson Photo by@randyolson| Words by@neilshea13 | Posted @lensculture The sun is low. It sinks behind black volcanoes and pulls night down behind. For once there is no wind. It is that rarest quiet last breath between daylight and darkness when the heat breaks and the lake lies still and without color. Along the shore little waves curl over the mud and tiny birds run before them crying softly. A dozen yards out several fishing boats sleep at their moorings while behind you in camp a…

Photograph by @JohnStanmeyer Paul Salopek walks through the desert in northern Ethiopia with camels and his Afar guides towards the Djibouti border back in early 2013 during part I of the @OutofEdenWalk.

photo by @randyolson | Ive spent more time with @neilshea13 in Africa than any other writer IN MY LIFE. Many photographers for @natgeo are alone most of the time working in far off places. But Neil and I have worked through the top of the Omo River in Ethiopia to the bottom of Lake Turkana over the last many years - walking into the same villages traveling in the same car and staying at the same camps. I have great admiration for him and his visual writing. Maybe I can convince Neil to post…

photo by @randyolson | words by @neilshea13 Our pilot refused to wander into Ethiopian airspace. He worried. I never understood how he knew where it began or who hidden in the reeds below might notice. But he was French and like St. Exupery had made a science of superstition. He checked no maps made no calls simply banked left along a line in his mind offering this sunset view. Good enough no? he said. Here the Omo River spills out of Ethiopia and loses itself in Kenyas Lake Turkana. The…

photo by @randyolson | words by @neilshea13 Halfway between Alia Bay and Kalokol a dark island rises and from it the mouths of two volcanoes open skyward. They are dead now and water-filled and for those who make the crossing each contains a marvel. To the west shallower and rimmed with grass is the lagoon of crocodiles. To the east down steeper trails lies the lake of flamingoes. Marco Polo might have told of these twin cities separated by a tall rampart of rock. Or Herodotus who wrote of…

photo by @randyolson | words by @neilshea13 She walks alone every morning to the river carrying an old plastic jerry can. One of the first tasks handed down to girls one of the last given up by widows. Day after day days measured in liters days spilled onto floors and through dirty fingers. Disappearing into cracks. God! You can imagine having children simply to escape this chore and sometimes Ive heard mothers say so. A joke made without laughter. After a while I think: Id do it. There is…

“Photograph by @JohnStanmeyer Bearing Witness ~ The Refugee Crisis Early December 2008 ~ Aisha Barka and her daughter, Mariam, hadn't eaten in days.…”

Photograph by @johnstanmeyer A shoe belonging to a man lost on his quest for a better life in the desert know as Ardoukoba in Djibouti. Each year more than 100000 other men women and children from Ethiopia Eritrea and Djibouti walk through this ancient laval field in hopes of reaching the Red Sea traveling then with smugglers by boat to Yemen and Saudi Arabia in hopes of work or passage further into Europe for a better life. In humility and respect at this poignant point in history when…