"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.
Thirteen weeks ago . . .
Thirteen weeks ago, for the first time since December, we went in different directions. After more gut-spinning near-death encounters together on Ireland's emaciated roads (no wonder credit card insurance doesn't cover car rental in Ireland), more castles, dolmen-dappled hills, and other inspiring visions confirming the source of fancy in famous fantasy writers from the area, we had arrived in Dublin. For Ethan, time in town lasted only 24 hours. He had to storm off (alone) to ten days in the USA (via an overnight in London — many thanks to Zach for the impromptu couch-bed) to tackle long-postponed taxes (which he didn't finish), play host to South African friends (the same who had welcomed him in Jo'burg a few months earlier), and soak in the reflected bits of July 4 lights from friends Keir and pregnant Wendy's rooftop in Brooklyn (also with buddies Price and Sean). Meanwhile, Jane had two more nights in Dublin to explore its literary and historical underpinnings before zipping off to London and an overdose of museums. Oh, and Brazil took the World Cup.
Twelve weeks ago, Ethan was back in Europe (in Paris) while Jane was in Utrecht (Netherlands). Jane, despite sleeping through the early departure of a train with unmodifiable tickets (which she was miraculously able to change), had made her way to Brussels and then Amsterdam (where she finally enjoyed Van Gogh in his own country). A quick round-trip flight plopped her in Geneva for the World Civil Society forum and a fun time with old friends, but Holland was her real destination. Ethan, still back in the USA, had spent a night at Tom and Cherie's new home in Connecticut before heading with them and ex-roommate and BikeAbout-colleague Anthony up to Boston to fete fellow Mediterranean marauder, Padraic, and his marriage to Alison. Ethan's parents, Sam and Blanche, and brother, Noah, were also in attendance, so it was a bit of a Gelber family reunion after almost half a year apart.
Eleven weeks ago, Jane, still in Utrecht, scribbled through her last day of meetings of the International Advisory Board of the International Youth Parliament (IYP — the Oxfam program for which she had worked full-time in Australia and is now aiding in other ways). The team of international friends had focused for a week on the IYP's promising future. Just as busy was Ethan, who, only somewhat rested from his transatlantic flight (too soon after having just adjusted to EST), had hit the road with Blue Marble Travel, the bike tour company that has been with him since 1988. He was in Como, guiding a rambunctious group of cyclists enjoying the fresh air (and rain) of Italy's idyllic Alpine lakes.
Ten weeks ago, Jane, still in Utrecht, put the finishing touches on a week of work for the Youth Action Summit, a summer school program with an international focus, and bid a reluctant adieu to a great crowd. Ethan, still in the company of Blue Marble clients, but now in Bad Aussee, Austria (after a lovely weekend in Venice, morning in Munich's Hofbrauhaus [with brother Noah], and settled time in Salzburg and the nearby Salzkammergut at the start of a two-week tour) was counting the days until Jane could join him for some two-wheeling.
Nine weeks ago . . .
Copyright 2003-2004 Ethan Gelber. All rights reserved.