November 12, 1998

This is it.  My time here has gone incredibly fast.   I leave here in just a little while.  The people I have met, the contacts established, the things that "we" have seen, the technology of this entire project is incredible.  I feel like I have been in a two week professional development/conference/workshop/class that can rival no other!!  My hope is that this project and experience was successful at home, and was useful.  It is an extraordinary experiment in distance learning with my people back home.  I would highly recommend a trip to Churchill, Manitoba for an experience not to be forgotten.  This town seems to have things all year round.  The bird migrations in the spring, the white beluga whales in Churchill River in the summer, and of course the polar bears in the late fall.  I am preparing to leave.  My suitcase is really very heavy.  It has rocks, books, more clothes, and I don't know what all else that makes it hardly able to be lifted!  If fact I have an additional bag to bring home!  The temperature is around -15 just now (in the morning) and the windchill is -1750!!  The severe wind warnings have been canceled from yesterday.   The wind speed has dropped to 40 to 70 kmph!  I had breakfast at Gypsy's one last time.  Oh, how I will miss this place; this town; the people; the animals; the entire environment.  Jodi, from North Star Tours (the gal that picked me up to start this adventure in Churchill) picked my up at Don's house at 10:30, and we were on our way.  Once again, I am flying the SAAB down to Winnipeg.  The views of the freezing tundra are remarkable.  We had a quick stop in the hydroelectric producing town of Gillam.  (No roads there, either).  A pickup truck drove out to meet the plane; put luggage on; a couple boarded and away we went.  On board the flight was The Weatherman of the world.  This guy is stationed at a base just 40 miles away from the north pole!  What a conversation we had!  Then a little sandwich snack was served.  It looked wonderful, it was, too.  There was a sticker on the box indicating where the sandwich had been made.......Gypsy's of Churchill!!!!   Easily into Winnipeg, then through US Customs, then on to Minneapolis.  I was delayed there awhile, as there was a problem with the cargo hatch...it didn't close!  Eventually,  the plane departed and arrived in Indianapolis.  My mom was there with a sign that read "Welcome Home Great Polar Bear Tracker!"   When we got home, she had a beautiful cake that said the same thing.  We had cake and watched some of the videotape and exchanged a few stories.  Wow, was I tired.  Tomorrow, I would be able to see the kids and staff!  You know, this adventure has only just begun............................