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Teacher Edition

Week of February 19, 2017

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Monday Night

Holy Idaho! I am so excited to be in India. I don't think I mentioned this before, but my best-friend's parents are both from India. Her name is Nepal. Do you have any idea why her parents would want to name her Nepal? I sure do! I sent her a text today to tell her that we were in India (I hope Uncle GT doesn't get mad that I told her where we were - she swore to secrecy).

We just got off of the phone with Uncle GT. He told Geo that he wanted us to go look for that phone ASAP. Uncle GT is very familiar with how garbage chutes work. He said there should be a dumpster somewhere on the same block as Veritas Resources . We are heading there now. We will update our blog once we find our phone. Holy Idaho! I hope we can find it!

     - Meri

We finally got to visit the Taj Mahal today. It was even more beautiful in real life! Holy Idaho!!

At the market today, we bought this quilt for our mom. We had to buy a box and take it to their local postal service to ship.


Time For Kids - INDIA
Learn more about India at this fun and interactive website! You can learn the language, take virtual tours, and more.


Well, today was definitely the grossest day of our trip. There were 2 dumpsters near Veritas Resources . And you guessed it - we didn't find the phones in the first dumpster. You are probably wondering why I said plural "phones," not "phone." Let me back up to 4-hours ago. We left our hotel room as soon as the sun came up. Neither Meri nor I had much of an appetite, knowing we were about to go search through yesterday's trash. We wanted to get to the dumpsters as soon as possible in the hopes of still being able to find our phone. Well, we got to the first dumpster and it was only about half full (maybe even less). Meri and I both put on our rubber gloves and climbed inside the dumpster. It gives me chills even thinking about it! There were only a few inches of trash in the dumpster; it took us less than 15-minutes to realize that we weren't going to find our phone in this mess. So, Meri and I left thinking that we had lost our phone. Then out of the corner of Meri's eye she realized there was another dumpster about 50-feet away from us (but still close to the Veritas Resources building). So Meri and I quickly went to the second dumpster. We put our rubber gloves back on and headed inside this dumpster (which was nearly full). We searched through papers, bags, food, and who knows what else. We spent almost an hour digging through the trash. FINALLY, we found a phone. When I say "we," that is the truth. Meri and I each found a phone at the exact same moment. What are the odds of finding two different phones that were IDENTICAL (the same make and model), inside of the trash at the EXACT same time? We tried to turn on both phones. Both phones were damp and appeared to have dead batteries. We decided that we would take both phones back to the hotel and put them on our phone charger. Hopefully one of these two phones was ours. We also found a HUGE clue. We need your help to try to figure out what it means. We found a crumpled up piece of paper (ripped in half). We could only make out part of the information. The only statements that we could make out were Place: Turkme---, Training: German Shep ---, Mission: Nrthwst Pa ---. Can you look at the attached map and see if we are anywhere near any countries (or cities) that start with Turkme---? We know that Dewey is mainly German Shepherd (mixed with some other breed). I bet I know what the "Mission" is. Do you?

     - Geo

Look what we saw near our dumpster!

This is the street where the dumpster was located. I still get chills thinking about it - yuck!

See the map

Thank you so much for your help. Thanks to your investigation skills, we are now on our way to the airport. We are flying to Turkmenistan later this afternoon. While we ride to the airport, we are checking out the country of Turkmenistan. I have never even heard of this country that is as large as the state of California! Turkmenistan is bordered by Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. The capital city is Ashgabat. We are flying to the capital city in a few hours. This country was actually part of the Soviet Union until it gained its independence in 1991. So it is a fairly new country. How old is the country? Turkmenistan is actually part of Asia called the "Middle East." The Middle East is the gateway from Asia to the east and Europe. There are many countries that are considered to be in the Middle East (over 20). You have probably heard of many of the Middle Eastern countries - Iran, Iraq, Oman, Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkmenistan (obviously), and many others. Do you know any other Middle Eastern countries?

Meri has been reading about Turkmenistan and found out some fascinating facts. Did you know that Turkmenistan is rich in natural resources, especially natural gas, sulfur, gas, and petroleum? Some of the exported goods from Turkmenistan include crude oil, gas, and textiles. Most of the country's exports (47%) go to the Ukraine. Sometimes I wonder why every country's export partners are different. Do you think it has something to do with where they are and what other countries need? The main religion of Turkmenistan is Muslim (90% of citizens are Muslim). The official language is called "Turkmen." I have never heard of that language, have you? Okay, our taxi has arrived at the airport we will update our blog after we check in with the airline.

     - Geo

The desert area of Turkmenistan

Another picture of Turkmenistan

Wednesday Afternoon

Holy Idaho! I almost forgot to tell you about the cell phone fiasco. We dried out both of the phones. We had to take out the batteries and memory cards to dry those out too. We put the phones back together and charged both phones for several hours. When we turned on both phones, the memories were gone! There were no phone numbers in the address book, no saved text messages, no missed calls, nothing. So we have two phones, but we have no idea which one is ours. We don't know what to do now. How in the world are we going to figure this one out? Well, we called Uncle GT from a payphone (collect). Thankfully Geo had Uncle GT's number memorized, I sure didn't. I bet that phone call will cost his company a lot. We told him that we were on our way to Turkmenistan. He commended our investigative skills, because he, too, had found out that Dewey was in Turkmenistan. However, since then, the U.S. Intelligence working for Uncle GT found transfer records for Dewey to be transferred from Ashgabat, Turkmenistan to Beijing, China. Apparently Dewey has passed the initial training tests, and now is moving onto stage 2 of training. The next stage requires Dewey to work with a personal trainer that will remain with him throughout his "employment" (or more like dog-napping). Beijing is such a huge city, the company ( Veritas Resources ) is located on Wusi (close to Jingshan Park). Uncle GT has booked us a hotel on Wusi Dajie right next to the National Art Museum of China. We attached a street map of Beijing. Can you tell us the cardinal direction we will be traveling going from our hotel to Veritas Resources ?

     - Meri

This is a picture of the Great Wall of China! I can't wait to see this famous wall. Holy Idaho! I can't believe we are going to China.

Here is another famous tourist attraction - Mao Tse-tung. I wonder how you pronounce that? I will have to ask when we get to China.


Street map of Beijing

Vocabulary Terms:

cardinal direction - a term used to describe all four primary directions (north, south, east and west).

exported - when a crop (or another product) is sent or transported to another country (for money).

Middle East - a region of countries that are considered to be the gateway from Asia to the east and Europe.

Middle Eastern - a region (of countries) considered to be the gateway from Asia to the east and Europe.

natural resources - any substance that is made by nature and used to enhance the lives of living things. Some examples of natural resources include sunlight, minerals, soil, and water.

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Standards for this episode:

Understands the characteristics and uses of maps, globes, and other geographical tools and technologies.

Grade 3-5: Knows the basic elements of maps and globes (title, legend, cardinal, scale, grid, meridians, time zones, etc.).

Knows the location of places, geographical features, and patterns of the environment.

Grade 3-5: Knows major physical and human features of places as they are represented on maps and globes. Knows how to read different maps: road, relief, globe, etc..

Grade 3-5: Knows the approximate location of major continents, mountain ranges, and bodies of water on Earth.

Grade 6-8: Knows the location of physical and human features on maps and globes (e.g., culture hearths such as Mesopotamia, Huang Ho, the Yucatan Peninsula, the Nile Valley; major ocean currents; wind patterns; land forms; climate regions).

Grade 6-8: Knows the relative location of, size of, and distances between places.

Understands the physical and human characteristics of a place.

Grade 6-8: Knows the human characteristics of places (e.g., cultural characteristics such as religion, language, politics, technology, family structure, gender; population characteristics; land uses; levels of development).

Grade 6-8: Knows the physical characteristics of places (soil, vegetation, wildlife, etc..).

Understands the concept of regions.

Grade 3-5: Knows the characteristics of a variety of regions (climate, housing, religion, language, etc..).

Knows the physical processes that shape patterns on Earth's surfaces.

Grade 3-5: Knows significant historical achievements of various cultures of the world (e.g., the Hanging Gardens or Babylon, the Taj Mahal in India, pyramids in Egypt, temples in ancient Greece, bridges and aqueducts in ancient Rome).

Understands the forces of cooperation and conflict that shape the divisions of Earth's surface.

Grade 3-5: Knows how and why people divide Earth's surface into political and/or economic units (e.g., states in the United States and Mexico; provinces in Canada; countries in North and South America; countries linked in cooperative relationships, such as the European Union).

Grade 6-8: Understands the symbolic importance of capital cities (such as Canberra, a planned city, as the capital of Australia).

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