Our Blog

Our Blog

Meet Amma

Meet Amma

Day: 282Distance covered: 36,968 km (22,971 miles)Subjects found: 79The road snaked up from the valley floor to the village I once called home, sprawling atop a broad green ridge in central Nepal.  It had been three years since my return, and the dusk light couldn't...

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Meet Saroj

Meet Saroj

Day: 279 Distance covered: 36,796 km (22,864 miles)Subjects found: 78In 2011, I spent five months living in a small village in the hills of central Nepal, and came to know many of the locals there. One of them was a fourteen-year-old boy named Saroj. The second of...

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Hard luck

Hard luck

Day: 276Distance covered: 37,399 km (23,239 miles)Subjects found: 77After having succeeded spectacularly in our search over the past nine months, Marinho and I now find ourselves defeated by the caterpillar fungus. The "world's most expensive fungus" attacks and...

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Meet Ayong and Zen Ga

Meet Ayong and Zen Ga

Day: 273Distance covered: 36,796 km (22,864 miles)Subjects found: 77Yesterday, we were told she'd passed away. We found her today, very much alive. It was a bitterly cold morning, with ice still on the ground from last night's hailstorm, as Marinho and I went hunting...

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A happy ending

Day: 271Distance covered: 36,706 km (22,808 miles)Subjects found: 75M is now alone more than ever. Her "husband" won't let her leave the house, she says, while he himself returns only out of necessity. M suspects he is seeing someone else - he no longer comes home for...

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On the run

Day: 270Distance covered: 36,421 km (22,631 miles)Subjects found: 75We've had some wonderful news today. I mentioned last week that two of M's traffickers - a Chinese Hmong couple - were still involved in her life. Claiming to have spent a year in their home before...

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Luck and persistence

Day: 268Distance covered: 34,227 km (21,268 miles)Subjects found: 75Saturday's meeting was brief, and bittersweet for M. It was her first contact in three years with a world she thought had forgotten her, a world she still remembers but can no longer reach. Only later...

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Meet M

Meet M

Day: 264 Distance covered: 34,173 km (24,234 miles) Subjects found: 75! In 2010, I was living in a misty mountain town in far northern Vietnam. Many young Hmong girls would come to town from the surrounding villages to sell handicrafts and guided treks to tourists.  A...

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Courage

Day: 262Distance covered: 34,119 km (21,201 miles)Subjects found: 74 At last, Marinho and I have the name of M's village. Today we went on a reconnaissance mission to the town nearest the village, with an outside hope of arranging a meeting. The town centres around a...

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How high the mountain is

Day: 261Distance covered: 34,073 km (21,172 miles)Subjects found: 74  I've spoken to M five times in the past two days. It has been extremely difficult to determine her precise location, as M herself seems to have little understanding of where she is. There are no...

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This is why we fight

Day: 259Distance covered: 34,063 km (21,166 miles)Subjects found: 74 Using what tools we have and the information that she herself has been able to provide, Marinho and I have located the area of China in which M now lives. It's a very small area by Chinese...

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Strength of will

Strength of will

Day: 254Distance covered: 31,883 km (19,811 miles)Subjects found: 74Marinho and I were searching for fourteen people in China's Yunnan province; we found eleven. The other three we've struck from our list - our single biggest disappointment since the very beginning of...

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Meet Chuan Hou, Chang Xi and You Cun

Meet Chuan Hou, Chang Xi and You Cun

Day: 245Distance covered: 28,976 km (18,005 miles)Subjects found: 74It had been almost six months since the last time Marinho and I came into direct opposition with the authorities - the police, the army and the immigration office, all at once, in fact. This time our...

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Meet Shi Ying, Zhong Guo and Bao Xing

Meet Shi Ying, Zhong Guo and Bao Xing

Day: 244Distance covered: 28,874 km (17,941 miles)Subjects found: 71Our search for locals I'd photographed at a town market in southern China four years ago led Marinho and I out amongst the surrounding villages, and into the homes of three delightful grandfathers. At...

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Meet Zhong Ming and Yu

Meet Zhong Ming and Yu

Day: 243Distance covered: 28,859 km (17,932 miles)Subjects found: 68I found Zhong Ming at the town market, just where I'd found him four years earlier, and recognised him instantly. Zhong Ming, however, recognised neither himself or his grandson Yu in the photograph I...

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Meet Bingkun

Meet Bingkun

Day: 242Distance covered: 28,857 km (17,931 miles)Subjects found: 66There is a beautiful little town in southern China whose Friday market draws people from many minority villages scattered across the surrounding valley and mountains. One Friday, four years ago, I...

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