February 5, 2000
Greetings from Turkey! As this is my first dispatch for The Odyssey, I was asked to write something about how it feels to be a part of the world renowned Trek Team. Let me tell you, it is great. This Team rocks. I met up with the Team a few days ago in Istanbul. We all had a bumpy time in getting there. That evening I arrived at our contact point, The Orient Youth Hostel, full of anticipation and curiosity about the celebrities I was about to encounter.
I have been following The Odyssey for ten months, and even used it in my own classroom, when I was teaching in the States. As many of you do, I looked forward to the frequent dispatches as the Team slinked their way from place to place and kept us well informed of the happenings in so many diverse parts of the world. I fretted as they tried to cross the Darien Gap; I was dumbfounded when they mounted the camels in Timbuktu; I gasped when they met the king of Swaziland. So, the prospect of actually meeting these stars in the flesh after having read along with them, in the way that many of you have, made my belly-button pucker and unpucker with pure delight!
Besides the long time Team members, new Trekker Brian was also due to meet us that day. I thought they might be missing. But no, Brian was delayed in Romania on his way here, and three of four of the Team were detained in Tel Aviv by security who claimed that they wanted to check all of their computer equipment.
Monica somehow escaped the clutches of the security forces, arrived in Istanbul, and made it to the hostel around midnight that evening. I sat on the floor near the reception, when I heard a small voice from a small girl with a huge backpack. Indeed it was, Ms. Monica Flores, exhausted and ready to sleep.
Abeja, Kavitha, and Jasmine arrived unscathed the next morning. I offered to carry one of their packs up the stairs to the room until I realized that the packs weighed more than I do.. Jasmine picked it up like it was a rag doll and flung it over her shoulder. I was in awe.
So we five settled into our communal room in the youth hostel, and began the process of getting to know each other. From the first moments I felt that we were good friends, and judging on how comfortable and familiar they were with one another, I knew that it was the beginning of yet another fantastic leg of this amazing journey!
p.s. - Please e-mail me at ...firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin - Did He Miss the Bus? Nope. Kevin Says Goodbye
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