Making The Pilgrimage

Grind for January 6th, 2019
“Lost time is never found again.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Deja Vu

The Headline

Another migrant caravan is headed for the US, and this one is even bigger than the last

The Grind

A caravan of 15,000 Central American migrants is planning to depart Honduras in the coming weeks.

Just like the last one, this caravan is using social media to attract members and organize itself before starting the journey.

“They say they are even bigger and stronger than the last caravan,” warns migrant rights advocate Irma Garrido, who expects the group to pick up additional migrants as it moves through El Salvador and Guatemala.

The Details

News of the caravan comes amid a partial government shutdown caused by President Trump’s demand that Congress provide money to build a border wall between the US and Mexico.

“Word is that a new Caravan is forming in Honduras and they are doing nothing about it,” tweeted Trump on Friday. “We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with.”

Trump also threatened to cut financial aid to Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. As it stands, these countries are set to receive more than $180 million in financial aid from the US during FY2019.

According to Garrido, however, members of the caravan plan to look for jobs in Mexico. “Their dynamic is to arrive in Chiapas and ask for employment, as part of President Andrés López Obrador’s initiative to build the Mayan Train and begin reforestation in the area.”

President Obrador, who took office December 1st, has promised employment visas to migrants who want to stay in Mexico.

“Ideally, nobody should emigrate from their countries,” he said, “but if they must leave they can have job opportunities in Mexico.”

Mission Accomplished

The Headline

Explorers Lou Rudd and Colin O’Brady complete 921-mile trek across Antarctica

The Grind

American explorer and endurance athlete Colin O’Brady, age 33, became the first person to survive a solo walk across Antarctica.

He set out on November 3rd and finished on December 26th.

O’Brady’s journey across the ice was another milestone in a long career of similar challenges, including climbing all Seven Summits and trips to both the north and South Pole.

Army captain Lou Rudd, who set out the same day as O’Brady, finished the journey on December 28th.

Captain Rudd, age 49, took on the challenge to honor his friend Henry, who died attempting the same journey in 2016. “What matters most to me is that I’ve completed my expedition and honored Henry’s memory by carrying his family crest across Antarctica,” said Rudd. “I know he would have appreciated that. That’s what is really important to me.”

According to his blog posts, Rudd was aided in his journey by a Winston Churchill audio book, a 1980’s music playlist, and a bag of snacks containing nuts, chocolate, cheese, and salami.

The Details

Antarctica is the coldest, highest, and driest continent on Earth. Based on the lack of moisture, the landscape is technically a desert.

During the summer months, the sun shines 24 hours per day.

The constant sunlight “is weird and disorienting, but I actually kinda like it,” says O’Brady, who depended on solar panels to power his gear.

Rudd and O’Brady endured wind gusts of up to 60mph and temperatures of minus 22°F while dragging sleds weighing more than 300 pounds.

In addition to tents and clothing, both men had to carry all the calories they needed for the journey – a near impossible task considering the level of energy exertion. They obtained drinking water by boiling ice and snow.

O’Brady said he lost so much weight throughout the journey that he is afraid to look at his unclothed body.

Despite the media’s portrayal of the event, both men made it clear the journey was not a competition. “The minute you get drawn into a sort of race scenario, then everything you do is dictated by the other person and you have to react to [it] and it changes the whole nature of the expedition, so you put yourself under a lot of pressure,” explains Rudd. “And we’ve both done it really fast. Incredibly fast. I’ve finished it within a couple of days of a professional athlete, and I’m delighted with that.”

Did you know… The top sales at Walmart as a storm approaches are Pop-Tarts and beer.