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June 02, 2007


Amy Waterman

Jeff, I try to make it part of my Monday routine to see if you have posted anything new on your blog. I just can't shake the fact that you are doing this with your children at such a young age. It is such a good thing. They will be so acutely aware that they live in a world that contains great difference and similarity. I wonder what our children will be like as adults. It makes me think of Maria Montessori and her belief that if we can show our children that everyone is with us and we are not alone (Our families, our co-workers, the people who made the clothes we wear) - all are with us. If we know that, then we cannot hate and we can make changes that work towards accounting for everyone. It seems that this is what you and your wife are giving you children (in addition to great amounts of time with their parents). Can't wait to see what is next for the Belk traveling band. -Amy Waterman

Alan A. Reiter

Hi Jeff,

Great weblog. I'm amazed you have the time and inclination to post so much when you're having so much fun on the road.

I'm glad you posted the type of electronics you took -- almost as much as I take when I travel alone . I take fewer digital cameras but more camera phones.

I only traveled around the East Coast with my parents when I was young, and started my international romps beginning the summer after graduate school -- when my father thought I should (1) get a job, (2) get a wife, (3) get kids and then take a trip!

Well, at the very least he thought I should have gotten a job before I took off for seven weeks. Bah! What's the fun of waiting for a mere job when Europe was beckoning?!

As Amy wrote, I think it's great your kids are able to see the world at such a young age. It will give them an entirely new perspective. Too many people in the U.S. have no conception about the rest of the world.

Have a great time...and continue posting.

Shulamith Walker

My daughters, thirteen and eleven, and I are reading your travel journal and are enjoying it so much. The pictures are captivating. The pictures of water are what first caught my eye. My older daughter, Emily (13), said "Why didn't this guy just write a book?" We are taking turns reading the captions. We really want to travel and especially to Venice. The book This is Venice by M. Sasek, copyright 1961,in his series of travel books for children is one of my very favourite books. The illustrations are so lovely and the information is fascinating. The island you were wondering about is "San Giorgio Maggiore, a sixteenth-century masterpiece by Palladio, on an island of its own." (This is Venice, page 54). The pigeons at the Basilica of St. Mark used to be fed by an official, but no more. I appreciate that in Kotor? you pointed out their recent war history and noted their probable perspective contrasted with the tourists. It may not have been Kotor. It was the place where you said the rocket went right by a 15th century relic.
We too are not light packers. We just camped for five days to do a lighting show at Marburger in Rountop, Texas. I actually packed our World War II iron army cots, wicker trunk, out door chairs, child's card table, 1950's yellow vinyl covered kitchen stool, outdoor wooden table, small rug and large round mirror, books to read, water colours and water colour paper, many avocados, ten hymn books because I love to sing old hymns and involve others, a computer and I do not know the number of shoes. We traveled like Saudi's in the desert. I just read yesterday about traveling far and wide with a maximum of twenty pounds in one pack and that's it and they advised only fill the pack three quarters full to make sure to leave room for what you gather. I would relish being so progressive. Why I must pack as I do is puzzling, if not a personality red flag.
Thank you, Shulamith

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