. . . AROUND THE WORLD 2001/02
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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#2 - Mike & I
Sally DeFina - 21 July 2001

(Zanzibar - TANZANIA) - I met Mike exactly one week after I had informed Jeff of my final decision to join him on the Junglerunner trip, late February. We met in The Windsor Castle, a pub attached to the London Business School where Jeff and I were on exchange for the Winter quarter of our MBA program. Mike was an Australian from Perth who had spent the past five years working in London and was about to return to Australia permanently. At first, it was just a fun fling for the both of us – after all, we were both on the verge of colossal life changes. We both soon realized, however, that there was something special there. We decided to spend as much time together as possible before oceans and continents separated us - so much distance that we would need over two days travel time in order to see each other again.

During the next couple of months, Mike came to Morocco with me, and to Chicago (where I was completing my MBA program) three times. I went to London, Italy, and Tampa to visit him over the same couple of months. All in all, we spent literally half of two months side by side 24 hours a day. We complained to each other occasionally about how ironic life truly is – right when you meet someone truly special, life says “psych!”. “Right,” I said after one of our bitching sessions, “just don’t go to Australia”. “Right,” he replied, “just cancel the Junglerunner trip”. “No.” was my response. “Well – then no.” was his reply. And that was that.

Then he left for Sydney, and I left for Africa to begin the Junglerunner trip. On the plane to Johannesburg I found myself thinking over and over, “What am I doing? What am I doing?”. Now I have had many long distance relationships before, one as close as San Francisco-Chicago, one as far away as Rome-Dallas, and they have always worked very well for me. This has generally been because, although living a great distance apart, I always managed to see my significant other at least once every month and a half while in these situations. But never have I been separated by such a huge distance, nor been in such circumstances, that would make this visiting frequency virtually impossible. What to do?

I tried to be mature about the situation. I told Mike that we should put the relationship on hold for a year until I had finished the trip, then see where we ended up and if we felt like it, continue where we left off. But considering that I would most likely end up in the USA after Junglerunner, and he most certainly would be in Australia, re-starting the relationship up after a year was highly unlikely. “Lets just try and stay together for the year and see if it works. If we start seeing other people, we’ll just tell each other”, Mike softly responded. I agreed, but silently resigned myself to the fact that the relationship wouldn’t last long. Not because I didn’t feel strongly about him mind you, but because I didn’t think it fair for Mike to be in a new city and not date women. After all, an eligible bachelor in a new locale needs friends, sometimes women friends, to explore new restaurants and bars and generally get orientated.

And then Mike showed up in Johannesburg, one and a half months after I last saw him. He had decided to join Junglerunner for three weeks before he had to start working. As I write this from the back of the Land Rover, Mike is having a ball driving through the hills of Tanzania at top speed with his Cure CD blaring. Life is funny, isn’t it?

Who knows where this relationship will go? At the moment, I am on top of the world and thinking that this relationship actually may have a chance, despite the huge obstacles. Of course, if anything happens to change that, I’ll let you know…

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