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Week of April 11, 2021 | View the Map

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Late Wednesday Night

We are still in Phoenix, but Uncle GT said we MIGHT get to travel in another week or two. He is watching the Covid numbers to see if it would be safe for us to travel in one of his agency's jets. We are so excited. But for now, we are (still) in Phoenix.

Mr. Vuhn is now in Geneva, Switzerland with Uncle GT. They are getting ready for the Global Warming Conference tomorrow morning. Uncle GT just called us to check-in. In our last post, we asked you to vote about what Mr. Vuhn should do next. The majority of you voted that Uncle GT should run a trace on Phoebe's credit cards to figure out where she might be with Dewey. You were smart and we did find a clue. Phoebe is staying at the same hotel/conference center where the Global Warming Conference is being held tomorrow! She made purchases at the hotel restaurant and gift shop. Earlier tonight Mr. Vuhn visited the hotel, in the hopes of spotting Phoebe and Dewey. He went right to the front desk and asked what room Phoebe Equator was registered in. Well, with security laws nowadays, that certainly didn't work!! However, they did offer to phone her room. They connected him to her room; the phone just rang and rang. No one ever answered. So he sat in the lobby and did some "people watching." No luck! He waited about 3 hours in the lobby, and then returned to his hotel. Uncle GT spent most of his day working in the office. A few staff members are back at the office, but only about 10% because of the pandemic.

Since Mr. Vuhn was alone, he did some research about Switzerland and called us. Uncle GT told Mr. Vuhn that he could go back to his home now, but Mr. Vuhn insisted on staying until Dewey was safe. He still feels guilty for helping the Equators and not knowing that they were trouble.

Switzerland is different from any of the other countries we have learned about during this mission. Switzerland is known as a "neutral" country. During its amazing history, Switzerland has settled many political disputes. There have been Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners and many end-of-war Treaties. And did you know that Geneva isn't even the capital city of Switzerland? Switzerland actually has two capitals: Bern and Lausanne. I wonder why they have two capitals? The United Nations has a big presence in Geneva. It has a long history of international diversity and neutrality. It is so cool. Did you know you can take a BOAT in Geneva the same way that you can take busses, trains, or taxis in other parts of the world? In fact, the lake boats are actually part of the transit system. I hope that someday we can see Switzerland and ride in one of those boats!

The climate in Switzerland is fairly temperate, but it really varies with the altitude. Do you remember what altitude means? Speaking of altitude, boy does Switzerland have some amazing mountains! There are the Alps in the south and Jura Mountains in the northwest. Central Switzerland has plateaus and rolling hills. And there are beautiful large lakes (remember - part of the transit system). The main natural resources of Switzerland include hydropower, salt, and timber.

Switzerland has some natural hazards too - landslides, flash floods, and avalanches. I know what a flash flood is, but I am not sure about a landslide or avalanche. Meri did some research and found out that a landslide is when the earth, rocks, or debris flows on slopes due to gravity. I guess they are more common here because of all of the hills and mountains. An avalanche is very similar to a landslide, but instead of just earth, rocks, and debris sliding down slopes, an avalanche involves SNOW. When an avalanche occurs it is basically when a very large slab of snow slides down a mountain.

     - Geo

United Nations In Geneva - Photo used by permission. (c) 2004 D. W. Shively. All rights reserved.

The Rhinefalls. Photo used by permission. (c) 2004 D. W. Shively. All rights reserved.

Here is the view from a boat ride that Mr. Vuhn took on Lake Geneva. The boats are operating, but on very limited capacity due to the pandemic. Photo used by permission. (c) 2004 D. W. Shively. All rights reserved.


Switzerland Information
This link provides a ton of information about Switzerland.


Switzerland by Train
This map shows the train routes through Switzerland. Can you find Geneva? Can you find the capital city? What is the capital city of Switzerland? What countries border Switzerland? What cardinal direction do you travel going from the capital city to Geneva?


Switzerland Virtual Tours
Click on one of the red dots to take a virtual tour of several cities in Switzerland.


Holy Idaho! I don't know what to tell you first! I guess I will start at the beginning of the day today. Uncle GT called and said that he and Mr. Vuhn were leaving the room very early so that they could get to the convention center and watch for Phoebe and Dewey. There are not many people actually attending this convention in-person, most are viewing it virtually. That should make it easier to find that dog-stealing woman! Uncle GT had done some investigating during the night and found out that Phoebe was registered to attend a seminar all about Palmer Station. We have no idea what Palmer Station is. Do you have any ideas? Anyway, since Phoebe had seen Mr. Vuhn before, we didn't want her to see him here. So Mr. Vuhn purposely registered for a different seminar that was held in the room next door to the one about Palmer Station. Since Phoebe had never met Uncle GT, he registered for the seminar about Palmer Station. So the seminars began. Uncle GT had seen a picture of Phoebe. So he knew who he was watching for.

In Mr. Vuhn's seminar, he met two teenagers who were there as student ambassadors from their countries. He immediately called us on video and introduced us to Ania and Angelo. We exchanged numbers and social media information. It was so cool to meet teens from across the world! Ania was from Poland, and Angelo was from Florence, Italy. During their morning break, we got to talk to Ania and Angelo about their home countries. It was so exciting to learn about places we have never been to. I wish we would be able to go see Italy and Poland, but we must continue on our mission to find Dewey, the truth-sniffing dog. I hope someday soon we can go and visit them and meet Ania and Angelo in person! We did post some pictures in our blog that Angelo and Ania sent to us.

Ania taught us some pretty cool stuff about Poland. A lot of my friends have ancestors from Poland, so I found it all fascinating! Poland is found in central Europe (east of Germany). Unlike Switzerland, a lot of Poland is mostly a flat plain. There are some mountains on the southern tip of the country. Poland has a wealth of arable land - over 40%! Holy Idaho! This might be the most "arable" country we have learned about so far. Ania's family is actually farmers. In fact, 16% of Polish people are farmers. I wonder what percentage of Americans are farmers? Ania explained that many products are grown in Poland including fruits, wheat, vegetables, potatoes, poultry, pork, eggs, dairy, and many others.

Then Angelo showed us pictures of his hometown - Florence, Italy. Holy Idaho! It is beautiful, maybe the most beautiful land we have seen yet! Italy is located in Southern Europe on a peninsula that extends into the Mediterranean Sea. The city of Florence is located in central Italy (not on the coast). The capital of Italy is Rome. Holy Idaho! The country of Italy is about the same size as Arizona (a little larger). It is shaped differently (a "boot" instead of a rectangle), but the overall land size is very close. Angelo told us that Italy has many natural resources - natural gas and crude oil reserves, pumice, fluorspar, mercury, coal, zinc, marble, feldspar, and numerous others. He was very proud to tell us that Florence is considered a treasure in the art world because of its history of many famous Renaissance artists. Do you know any?

     - Meri

The amazing Alps! Photo used by permission. (c) 2004 E. B. Shively. All rights reserved.

The Swiss village of Merten Photo used by permission. (c) 2004 D. W. Shively. All rights reserved.

Check out this neat painted house that Mr. Vuhn saw in Switzerland. Photo used by permission. (c) 2004 D. W. Shively. All rights reserved.

Pictures of

Here are some pictures of Poland that Ania sent to us.

     - Meri

The Tatra Mountains in Poland

The Chapel of Madonna (the church Ania attends)

The Lublin Castle in Poland - isn't it amazing!

Pictures of Florence,

Here are some pictures of Florence, Italy. Angelo sent us an entire album of his hometown!

     - Meri

The skyline of Florence, Italy

The beautiful landscape of Florence, Italy.

The water and a bridge in Florence, Italy

Thursday Afternoon - Still at the Convention Center

Well, Uncle GT just called us back with an update. He explained that there were two blonde-haired women in the seminar, but none looked like Phoebe. He had saved the picture of Phoebe on his cell phone and hadn't seen her at all. He decided that he would call the "Registration" helpdesk and ask if Phoebe Equator had registered that morning. She had and was supposedly in the seminar about Palmer Station. In the meantime, Mr. Vuhn went to get a drink; when he returned to Uncle GT his face was extremely pale. He said he was certain that he saw Phoebe Equator in line for the vending machine. Phoebe had dyed her hair jet black, but Mr. Vuhn was positive it was her. They immediately walked towards the food/beverage area. When they arrived, all that they saw was a woman (in a long fur coat with jet black hair) running the other way towards the exit door. She must have seen Mr. Vuhn and recognized him. Uncle GT tried to catch her, but she was already in a boat and driving away when they got out the door. About ten minutes later, Uncle GT received a call. It was from his European office. They were calling to tell him that Phoebe had just made a purchase on her credit card. She bought an airline ticket. We don't know where she is flying, though. So what should we do? Our only clue is Palmer Station. Phoebe has something vested in Palmer Station. Can you look at the link below about Palmer Station? What is it?

     - Geo


Palmer Station
Look at this link about Palmer Station. What is it?


Tour Antarctica\'s Palmer Station
Watch this short video to learn more about Palmer Station.

Tell Geo and Meri what to do:

- Is it a United States research center in Antarctica?

- Is it a United States research center in the Indian Ocean?

- Is it an African research center in Antarctica?



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