. . . LAND ROVER OVERLAND EXPEDITION

. . . AROUND THE WORLD 2001/02
     
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Africa 1999
Around-the-World 2001/02
 

The Team

Jeff Willner
1. Start: Recipe for Adventure
2. Zimbabwe: Hyperinflation
3. Namibia: Southern Circuit
4. South Africa: Circuit 2
5. Zambia/Malawi: Sketches
7. Kenya: Bandit Country
8. Ethiopia: Diary
9. Ethiopia: Border Run
10. Sudan: Across the Sahara
11. Egypt: Cape to Cairo
12. Jordan/Syria: Sept. 11th
13. Turkey: Hospitality
14. Bulgaria/Romania/ Hungary
15. Slovakia/Austria/Poland
16. The Baltics & Russia
17. Scandinavia
18. Western Europe
19. Brazil: Clearning Customs
20. Argentina: Revolution
21. Argentina: To Ushuaia
22. Patagonia Disaster
23. Buenos Aires Beautiful
24. Uruguay: Beaches
25. Chile: Expedition Life
26. Bolivia: Atacama
27. Peru: Transit
28. Galapagos: Gorgeous
29. Ecuador: Jungle Run
30. Knifepoint
31. Dubai: Lay over
32. Singapore/Malaysia
33. Thailand: Hospitality
34. Cambodia: Ankor Wat
35. Vietnam: Hanoi & Halong
36. Laos: Back to Basics
37. China: Beijing Tour
38. China: Shanxi
39. China: Western Province
40. China: Tibet
41: Nepal: Mountains
42. India: Driving Struggle
43. Pakistan: Dodging War
44. Iran: Overcharging
45. End: One Last Laugh

Sally DeFina
1. Cape Town: Robben Island
2. Zanzibar: Mike & I
3. Kenya: African Driving School
4. Sudan: Mud Crossing
5. Patagonia: Goodbye Max
6. Malaysia: Mike Update
7. Thailand: Ko Phangan
8. Cambodia: Phnom Penh
9. Vietnam: By Train
10. Laos: Vang Vieng
11. China: Meet Mr. Chen

Jody Finver
1. Start: Surreal Solipse
2. Great Zimbabwe
3. Brokedown in Kenyan Desert
4. Egypt: So Should I Hyphenate
5. Poland: Home is Where the Truck Is

Gulin Akoz
1. Start: Bits and Pieces
2. Zambia: Diaries
3. Egypt: Africa Memories
4. Turkey: For Your Information
5. The Team and The Bean
6. Somebody Else's Child
7. On My Own
8. Long Lost Memories of Childhood
9. The Tree and the Boy
10. Jealous
11. The Aftermath

 

Panamerican 2003
Various Trips
Planning an Expedition

 

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#9 - The Tree and The Boy Who Was Afraid of the Wind
Gulin Akoz, Dec. '01

To my ever best-friend whom I don’t see anymore

“Life is so,” God declared.
“But why?” she protested.
“This is the way it has to be. It’s going to be painful.”

She was all alone in this barren but beautiful land where no one had ever set foot yet. The shallow, blue-black water stretched far beyond the horizon.

She couldn’t move. She felt like crying. But she couldn’t do that either. She had no tears.

It took her a while but finally she accepted the fact that here she was and there was nothing she could do about it. So she started playing with her leaves, twisting and weaving her branches into different shapes. She was amazed and amused to see how fun this could be.

At night, the ripples in the lake reflected her shadow and the moon. She wondered if the moon ever thought of resigning. That would be too bad. But no, she knew the moon would always be there to keep her company.

The next day she woke up to hear a blue bird singing, and the following day a purple flower started to bud beneath her trunk. When the flower finally opened up its petals she asked her name. The flower answered “lavender.”

The blue bird would fly away and tell her the things she saw. So she started learning about the world she couldn’t see for herself. According to what the blue bird had recounted, behind the sand dunes was a small village.

One day, a little boy came and sat beside her. She was surprised and happy to see this new visitor. He was busy building a ship with his legos when he sneezed. She instinctively said “Bless you.” The boy looked up to see to whom this strange voice belonged to. He said “Thank you.”

At that moment, she knew they had made friends. She could have easily said “Let’s play,” and they would have started playing together. But she chose to be quiet and said nothing more. The knowledge of having one more friend sufficed. She would let time take its course.

A voice echoed in the distance. His mother was calling the little boy, “Alex, come over here. We’re leaving.” Alex walked towards his mother. He glimpsed back and said “Bye.” She replied with a smile. Only when he was too far away to hear her, she could utter “Bye.”

It was a week before she saw him again. And from that day on, every day he would come, sit by her and read his book for hours. They both felt so peaceful. They shared the silence. They shared the sound of the wind.

Sometimes she would ask something or he would say something and they would have a long conversation without words.

Oh, they had fights as well. There were times she thought he would never come back, but he always did.

So passed the years. Seasons changed the colors of her leaves from green, to yellow, to red. Winter never failed to turn into spring. The little boy grew up to be a handsome young man.

And one day he came to tell her he was going overseas to study. He was so excited. She had known about this but had never thought he would leave her. She did not know then how much he meant to her and how much she would miss him when he was gone.

What’s one year in a lifetime? It also passed like the others, although the days seemed to have become longer and lonelier. He did not write any letters. He wanted it to be perfect. Even if he had written where would he send it anyway? He had not realized how attached he had become to her.

One night she dreamt she was surrounded by other trees, she was in a forest. She also dreamt he was back. He had a red rose in his hands and the wind whispered in her ear, “I love you.”

In the morning, she opened her eyes… there was a red rose lying on the ground.

She remembered the first rainbow she saw with a mixed feeling of joy and sorrow. She had wanted to reach up and touch it… her roots forbade her.

But now, she was free.

Copyright January 1999-2011
All rights reserved - Jeff Willner
Contact: jeffwillner@yahoo.com