1. Wild Turkeys They make their way through grasses roughly blown by the breeze, their sights set on the field beyond, their feathers glowing amber and brown, smoothed down as if by fingers. There you are, birds. There, there. Don’t you fret. Their eyes say they want things, or maybe something more, maybe that they …

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It’s not everyday that you get a chance to talk to botanists at Glacier National Park. Somehow I wound up connecting with three amazing women who are not only botanists, but outdoors enthusiasts, mothers, and authors. Jen Asebrook, Shannon Kimball, and Jen Hintz have worked in Glacier National Park for years, and they were gracious enough to share their thoughts with us during their busiest season.

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A fortnight of consecutive half marathons was only half the “madness” Deborah Beaton cooked up. The 32-year-old Kenyan with startling blue eyes and a Zen demeanor ran the 250 miles through East Africa’s wild, home to rhinos, elephants, zebras, wildebeest, lions, leopards, and cheetahs, to name a few. [divider]The Interview[/divider] Natasha Awasthi: How did this …

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The city hires several trumpeters, and they take 24-hour shifts, he says. They stay up here by themselves with the radio for company, tolling the bell every hour and playing the hejnal once in each direction, stopping in the middle of that fateful note. I ask if he gets lonely. He says yes, occasionally, but that being the trumpeter of Krakow is a great honor.

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I recently spoke on the phone with Jessica Pociask, the owner and founder of WANT (Wilderness and Nature Travel) Expeditions. In the next year they will be leading trips to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Japan, Baja, Costa Rica, Jordan, The Maldives, Ecuador, The Galapagos Islands, Mongolia, Alaska, Kamchatka, and more. For a little wanderlust, check out the schedule here.

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WISER runs a school in a remote area of Kenya called Muhuru Bay. It started when one of the co-founders was doing research in the area, and she got a note under her door from a 14 year-old girl that said, “Should I stop having sex with the man who is paying my school fees? I’m afraid of getting AIDS.”

Muhuru Bay is very remote. It is a fishing village, and there is a huge cycle of transactional sex, which has resulted in one of the highest rates of HIV in the country and really anywhere in Africa. We estimate that there is 38% HIV prevalence in Muhuru.

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Turning back at this point would be more dangerous than continuing forward–it wasn’t an option. Trying to click into my skis on this grade would also be too risky. The only choice was to keep moving upward, up over the lip of the bowl and onto the gentler slope of the snowfield above. I knew this, logically, but I still couldn’t move my boot up to the next foothold. The fear was visceral, and I felt pathetic. I was frozen.

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The fact of the matter is, when my three friends and I decided to get scarification we knew very little about it except that another volunteer had been to this same healer and hadn’t suffered a debilitating infection. Good enough for me! Bring on the razorblades!

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