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A doughnut (or dead fish) for your reports from the road, questions and ideas (however bogus or brilliant). Be advised that all letters to Fergie should begin with the phrase, "I know it's not a good idea to argue with a bear." Also let us know your current geography and situation (e.g., Dark Hole of Calcutta, tree-top in Botswana surrounded by hyenas).

March 30, 2007
Dear Sydney,

I'll be going on a round-the-world trip this year and would like to participate in the Where's Sydney? program. What do I have to do to get a copy of the book and to take one with me? Jenny Z., Seattle.

Reply from Sydney: The details are provided under Where's Sydney? Send us a letter and tell us how you would use the book. This isn't a competition just a check to make sure that people who participate will use the copy for journaling or their own mindful practice and are committed to passing the book on to another mindful traveler. This way the books won't be orphaned. Our plan is to send out 10 or 12 copies each year--maybe more depending upon traveler interest. Rhoadies should also be willing to send an e-mail or two (hopefully during trip) letting us know of any noteworthy experiences, including synchronicities or the work of volunteer programs that they have participated in.. Sydney

April 30, 2007
Dear Sydney,

I love this site. Thanks for letting me get a preview before it was launched. I think I am partial to Fergie's Travel Cafe. The characters remind me of some of the people I have run into on my own trips. I think what I like most about the site features like Bearable Gear is the playfulness. Just goes to show that you can be playful and still feel passionate about conservation and travel. Madeleine Z., Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Flattery is appreciated but we prefer doughnuts.

May 8, 2007
Dear Fergie,

I know it's not a good idea to argue with a bear, so I won't. I'm in your corner on the elephant issue. I hope you will write more about this as well as the plight of polar bears. I'm particularly interested in the work of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, as I saw the PBS program on this recently and was dazzled by the conviction and gentle manner of Dafne Sheldrick, who apparently runs the program. The stories about orphan elephants break your heart. I'm glad that you mentioned the human population issue as one of the fundamental causes of the terrible plight of elephants. It seems that no one these days is willing to talk about zero population growth. What kind of a world will we be left with when there are 8 billion humans? I fear for the creatures that need lots of wilderness to survive. Elaine R, Providence

P.S. You have every right to be agitated and opinionated.

Mail your thoughts to sydney@sydneysthumb.com