Well, after a setback on the first day and with considerable wrangling, I made it to the Hotel Quito, Ecuador.

Tomorrow, the Galapagos!



To my Colleagues, Friends and Family:

As you may know, I am taking coursework in the Galapagos, a chain of volcanic islands in the South Pacific about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. It is remote, but to biologists, a celebrated location due to its association with Darwin's theory of evolution. To a high school teacher like myself this represents a major investment in my own practice, and a once-in-a-lifetime sort of experience that I hope to bring back to the classroom. Without exaggeration, it represents the greatest adventure I have ever embarked on.

It is also the longest (10 days) that I have ever been away from my family in Fresno, and the furthest that I have ever traveled in my life. For someone who spent part of his childhood in Panama and another chunk in Alaska, that's saying something.

I am aware that many people have contributed to this project in one way or another, whether by a donation, thoughtful advice or encouragement. I am deeply grateful for all the support I have received, but I especially want to thank my wife, our kids and the rest of our family for helping me out. I couldn't have done it without their encouragement.

On a practical note, I leave in about seven hours from Fresno and should arrive in Ecuador sometime on the evening of the 29th. I hope to return to Fresno no later than Friday, July 9th. During much of the trip I will be in areas in which access to the Internet does not exist and cellular phones will not work. If I get access, I will try to let people know what is going on, but the reality is that I will be incommunicado 98-99 percent of the time.

Please know, however, that you will be in my thoughts and that I hope to have many adventures worth recounting.