Almost two years ago, Paul Salopek set off on a very, very long walk. His goal is to retrace the path taken by early humans as they migrated out of Africa about 60,000 years ago.

Marcus Teply

Vartan Hovnanian, an Iranian Armenian, celebrates Thanksgiving twice a year — once at home on the actual day of the holiday, and once the weekend before at the Armenian Christ Church.

It sounds overboard, but Hovnanian says he has a lot to celebrate. Exactly 28 years ago, he and his family came to the US as refugees from Iran. 

It is a story his daughter, Eliz Hovsepian, has heard since she was a kid. "He always mentions it every single year," she says. "And I just nod and I smile back at him." Eliz was a baby when the family came to the US.

Music heard on air for November 27, 2014

11 hours ago

The songs played on The World between segments for Thursday, November 27, 2014 include:

SONG: Pushed But Not Forgotten 
ARTIST:   High Tide
CD:  Sea Shanties
LABEL:  Esoteric


SONG: Farewell
ARTIST:  Jan Kaczmarek
CD:  Unfaithful
LABEL: Colossium Music 


Poppy Wright

Nothing could be more American than apple pie, right? Well, sort of. But the pie goes back way before the founding of the United States.

It turns out the "American" apple pie dates at least to the Middle Ages in northern Europe, according to food historian Rachel Laudan, who wrote the book, Cuisine & Empire: Cooking in World History.

Veronica Zaragovia

For Beatriz Jaimes, Thanksgiving tradition kicks off with a shopping trip through Austin, Texas.

First, she stops at El Milagro, a national tortilla producer with a store in the state capital. Jaimes buys the powdered corn she needs to make masa dough. She'll fill the dough with meat or other ingredients, and then wrap the package in a corn husk to make a single tamal.

Andreas Manolis/Reuters

A new chapter was written this week in the battle for individual soccer supremacy between Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. But that alone will not determine who’s the better player.

Messi scored three times as his club, Spanish giants Barcelona, beat APOEL Nicosia from Cyprus in the UEFA Champions League. And with that, Messi grabbed the record for most goals scored by a single player (74) in the Champions League, which is Europe’s (and some say the world’s) top competition for clubs.

Wiki Commons

Captain John Smith did not actually fall in love with Pocahontas, but his real story is even more amazing than the Disney version.

And there's no question that his work as an explorer and mapmaker helped create "English America" and spurred colonization to the New World.

Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Michael Hearst can't stand flying. 

After all, how can anyone enjoy it? There are travel restrictions, the TSA and delayed flights — and that's before thinking about plane crashes or hijackings or even just catching a cold from the guy next to you who can't stop sneezing.

Those are the things that go through Hearst's head every time he boards an airliner that "seems like it shouldn't be able to fly 30,000 feet above the ground."

The Washington state education department has released a report detailing the natural disaster risks for schools across the state.

Along with familiar risks like earthquakes and wildfires, the list of natural disasters that threaten Washington schools includes things you may not have known to worry about.

Like tsunami indundation in Seattle.

In Auburn and Puyallup, it’s lahars – mud flows from volcanic eruptions.

Bruce Wallace

The office of Mohammed Mujumder, an immigration lawyer in New York, is always bustling. But since President Barack Obama announced changes to US immigration policy last week, things are even busier than usual.

"We are getting lot of calls, a lot of inquiry," Mujumder says. "Who will be benefitted as a result of the president's executive order? What needs to be done? What is the qualification process? When the forms will be available?"

Music heard on the air for November 26, 2014

Nov 26, 2014

These are the tunes played between segments of The World on November 26, 2014.

   SONG: Kalendero
   ARTIST: Cirque du Soleil
   CD TITLE: Alegria
   LABEL: rca


Sometimes, rehabilitating a rough neighborhood is a tough process. But in one West Coast American city, it was as simple as adding a Buddha statue.

Since the statue's installation, a street corner has been transformed from a notorious eyesore to a daily prayer spot for local Vietnamese Buddhists.

For this Geo Quiz, we're looking for the city where this shrine is located — can you name it? 

From PRI's The World ©2014 Public Radio International

Alina Simone

Detroit was once home to one of the largest Belgian populations in the United States. And while the Motor City isn’t exactly teeming with Belgians anyway, their legacy endures at the Cadieux Café in the form of frites and featherbowling — a sport so rare they barely even play it in Belgium anymore.

It’s just like bowling — just with a dirt trench instead of an alley and balls made of wood and shaped like cheese wheels. Oh, and instead of pins, there's a simple pigeon feather.

KUOW/John Ryan photo

The Seattle City Council has approved spending $100,000 to support homeless camps next year, like the one that sprang up on a busy sidewalk in front of the University District post office in September. That camp has since moved to the parking lot of the University Congregational United Church of Christ a few blocks away.

Twenty men, women and children now make a home out of eight parking spaces.

Every day at noon, residents of the tent village that calls itself The Ave Foundation hold a meeting to work through problems and assign chores. They call it their "family meeting."

Ricardo Rojas/Reuters 

For epidemiologist Sharon McDonnell, who arrived just over a week ago in Monrovia, donning her hazmat suit is both an indisputable necessity and a huge burden.

“I can only really compare it to when I was in Afghanistan, and I was trying to pass as Afghan and I had to wear a burqa,” she says. “I had a similar sense of being really separate from the world.”