"Fourteen Weeks" is a series of updates that Ethan Gelber and Jane Higgins wrote
as a means of staying in touch with friends and family as they traveled around the world in 2002 and 2003.
|A BIG HINT:|
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First 14 Weeks (2002) — Part One: Introduction | Part Two: Australia | Part Three: Hong Kong | Part Four: Africa
Second 14 Weeks (2002) — Part One: Introduction, Ireland | Part Two: Europe and U.S. | Part Three: Europe | Part Four: North America
Third 14 Weeks (2002–2003) — Part One: Introduction, U.S. | Part Two: Mexico, Brazil | Part Three: U.S. | Part Four: U.S., Australia | Part Five: U.S.
Seven weeks ago . . .
Six weeks ago, Jane made the decision to return to Australia. Alone. But only for a little while. After having applied for January admission to Columbia University and the City College of New York, she knew she would have to take care of business Down Under (to process her student visa at an American embassy in Australia) and wanted to maximize time with friends and family. Besides, she still had the second half of her around-the-world ticket to use. So off she went, leaving Ethan to some quiet time catching up with more friends and shackling himself to his laptop in an effort to limber up the writing fingers.
Five weeks ago, Ethan delivered news to Jane that she had been accepted at both Columbia and CCNY! Some tough choices had to be made, since the finances of education for foreign students in America are an important (and often limiting) determining factor. After much soul- (and wallet-) searching, Jane opted for CCNY and began the tough process of proving to American consular officials that she could afford it, luckily supported in every move by her mum, dad, and others. Meanwhile, Ethan had made a little progress with his writing and, in the absence of Jane and presence of cold winter winds, begun to hermit himself. He did ventured out from once or twice (to say hello to Lauren and wish Zach best on his own wreath-the-planet tour), but mostly scribbled in solitude. Jane, still back in her summer-warned fire-scorched native continent, had taken to the hearth with enthusiasm, catching up with countless friends and family after nine months of absence.
Four weeks ago, while Jane was unable to get into Sydney, circled as it was by bushfires, Ethan joined Anthony, Padraic (in NYC for a couple of days), and Price and very-pregnant Rebecca, for an incredible pulled-pork Meat Fest followed by the long-awaited opening night midnight showing of The Two Towers. Jane had to wait a week for the opening in Australia. Besides, she was up to her ears in student-visa application paperwork, pre-Christmas gatherings (including a fantastic wig-donning fest with former workmates at Oxfam Community Aid Abroad), and shopping for those things (vegemite!) you just can't get in New York (well, not for a reasonable price). There were seven days to the week, but it went by faster than its 10,000 hours.
Three weeks ago, Jasper Sheldon Lazier Waldman (Price and Rebecca's son) joined the world. Two weeks later than expected, he burst onto the scene and brought warmth and brightness to the shortest day of the year. He was the focus of thoughts and energy on a New York week of cold and wintery holidays that otherwise passed quietly. In Australia, much more was afoot. Jane had a close-kin Christmas breakfast, followed by the traditional big lunch with her father's family and afternoon tea with her mother's. The following day, Boxing Day in Australia (another holiday), was spent by her uncle's pool eating even more seasonal delicacies and celebrating her Nana's 86th year.
Two weeks ago . . .
Copyright 2003-2004 Ethan Gelber. All rights reserved.