1 - Dispatch from the Front Page

Yes, we are off again … maybe off our rockers, but nevertheless - OFF. After African arrests, South American revolutions, Katrina-ized New Orleans and the minefields of Bosnia and the DMZ - how bad could the Middle East be?

I know, I know ... the news from there lately has not been too good - people getting shot up, rockets rain down; and Cheney, McCain, and Rice rushing over to add to our tension … oh well. The mess of the "Holy" Land shows no sign of being solved in our lifetime. The situation can change faster than our trip plans. So screw it - we're going.

State Department's email warns, "Don't do it." And so I admit to a little trepidation - but not as much as when facing my mother-in-law with a plan to take her daughter into the violence of the morning's front page headlines. The 87-year-old Eleanor looks up from the newspaper and says, "If Jean won't go, will you take me instead?"

We leave on Easter Sunday (without Eleanor as she is off to Costa Rica to become the oldest zip line rider they ever met). Our plan is to use East Jerusalem for a base to find if, like most subjects, the media ain't quite telling us the whole truth about the holy hole being dug in the Middle East. We shall see. Our other tasks will be shared with you later.

Then overland to Jordan, Oman, Dubai - and then into Turkey. You are receiving this first Dispatch to check my address list - and so you can prepare to read more - or to remember that Dispatch = Delete. As always, we would love to hear from you, even if to say, " Quit cluttering up my inbox!"

- Settin' Out Stewarts