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Survivor Journals

Bob of If I Die Before I Wake has invited nine journallers to participate in a Cyber Survivor Adventure.

Every couple of weeks, the group will be issued a "challenge entry". The site will post a excerpt from the challenge entries, as well as the link to the complete entry found on the journaller's own journal site.

After the challenge entry is posted, the nine journallers will vote one of the writers off the site.

The "ousted" journaller will actually remain on the site, but rather than posting further challenge entries, they will act as a judge and commentator.

The first challenge entry has been issued, and can be found at the Survivor Journal website. The actual entries should be completed by
October 1, 2000.

Please take the time to visit, especially once the challenge entries are posted. There is a message board to post your thoughts/comments and also a instant poll where visitors can vote for who they would want to see kicked off the site.

The reasons behind Survivor Journals are simple.

1. To try something new.
2. Increase the interaction of the journal community.
3. The challenge.
4. Increased exposure to all journals involved.

So take a look around, explore all the journals involved.

If you would like to take part in Survivor Journals, Year Two (around Nov/Dec 2000), let Bob know!


October 28, 2000

It’s the day before the last day and things were fairly routine today, so rather boring to report on for a journal. We went to Best Buy and bought stuff, we did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, I typed, Peggy ironed, we had dinner, etc. Boring stuff. So I went to look through my collection of quotes and ideas for exploration in a journal and I came across the following quote. I’m not sure who wrote it--maybe I did--but it seems appropriate to address today:

I believe that every close emotional encounter changes us. We may first be drawn to someone because we sense some kinship, but get close enough and the differences become apparent too. And over a long-enough time, we take on some of those new ideas, new experiences and we change. It's not that we necessarily become more like the one we're close to, although we can. It's that we get close enough to almost live inside the other's skin, to see the world through other eyes. And we cannot help but be changed by the experience.

As we are preparing to say goodbye to Peggy, I think back on not only the past six weeks, but on the effect of so many people who have come into our lives as strangers over the years, who moved into our house, moved into our hearts, and left our world changed, and whose worlds we changed as well. I think of Eduardo, the trailblazer for the others. The first to share our life, who had me studying rules of English grammar so I could explain the finer points of the language to him, who taught us all about hang gliding, who took me on a virtual tour (80s style) of Brasil, and who started helping me to learn Portuguese by having me read letters from his mother.

I think of Caico, who was a sports buff stuck in this theatre family, who determined he was going to make the most of his time with us, and who did anything and everything. I remember his face shining as he climbed all over the battleship we toured during Fleet Week in San Francisco, and the way he'd leap over the back of the couch to hide when a scary movie was on television. I think of Henrique teaching capoiera (the Brasilian martial art) to Tom and David, and then struggling to learn English.

I think of Nelson and Sonia, determined to get the whole family speaking Portuguese, and our nights around the dinner table all trying to learn the nouns so we could ask to have bread passed to us. I think of being the matron of honor at Sonia’s wedding several years later, as she married her Charlie, whom she met here in Davis.

I think of David and his friend Jeff setting up English lessons to teach to Victor, from Zaire, who couldn’t speak a word of the language. I remember Victor’s pained face at the door many years later when he arrived for David’s funeral. I think of Jane teaching Seymour to “shake a paw,” and then managing somehow to get together with us nearly every year, either in England or here in this country.

I still think of Marcio whenever I hear Evita, and remember how close he was to Tom. I remember the guys who taught David how to give a speech in Portuguese when he was the Brasilian delegate at a school UN Day. I remember making empanadas with the Chileans, teaching the Japanese girls how to cook their own native dishes, and typing resumes for Felix when he decided to remain in this country rather than return to his native Yugoslavia.

I remember raising Vince and seeing him through 3 years of high school, UC Davis, and his marriage to Heidi. We were his American family, filling in for his Malaysian family.

So many many much love and learning. It's not that we necessarily become more like the one we're close to, although we can. It's that we get close enough to almost live inside the other's skin, to see the world through other eyes.

And I think of Peggy, learning to see the world through her eyes, and watching her learn to see the world through ours. It’s the big things like dryers vs. clotheslines; sports vs. theatre; John Denver vs. “Stevie boy.” It’s seeing American coverage of the Olympics through the eyes of someone from the host country, whose countrymen were virtually ignored by American media. It’s discussing the upcoming elections vs. the monarchy.

And it’s the little things--knowing how we like our respective coffee, knowing styles and sizes and colors (“Next time I’ll send you the money and you can just go shopping for me...”), learning to finish each other’s thoughts, laughing at the same dumb stuff. Crying at the thought of having to say goodbye. ...And we cannot help but be changed by the experience.

The past six weeks has changed me. It’s changed Peggy. She will leave with a greater understanding of Americans (even if she hasn’t been converted to the joys of eating Mexican food) and will leave behind her a greater understanding of Australians and the life down under. In this six weeks we’ve shared the pain of having a pet put to sleep, the exhilaration of our first hot air balloon ride, travel all over the west coast, sharing computer secrets, power shopping, jelly bellies, the Blue Angels, getting lost, fancy dinners in fancy restaurants, and picnics in the rain. We’ve done it without a single cross word between us, with not one moment of tension, and with a lot of laughter. It’s hard to imagine next week without her.

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Good bye, my dear friend I love you and I will miss you so much.

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created 10/18/00 by Bev Sykes