Near the end, Stalker's wife addresses the camera, explaining that, despite all the suffering she must endure as the wife of a Stalker, she is happy because she is with the man she loves, and would rather keep this life of passion and pain than live a "gray, dull life."
Bonus points if you kept everyone alive at the rookie village. You haven't forgotten how you started out, now have you? Barely anything to your name, saved by a more experienced Loner. Sounds familiar.
Generally, settlements and safe areas, due to the attitude of people in it. The loners are just getting together, sitting down, chatting, etc. Life in the Zone is tough and can be unfair, but despite this, they're still human.