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Well here is the email I just sent off to Marcus' wife, Atsuko who is in Japan right now organizing for the Japan part, it gives you the reasons we chose to leave.

Gerti and I both feel good about the decision we made and have lots of planning to do and probably many struggles ahead, so we both realize this year will probably be our toughest year as: Gerti starts her internship and tries to find a permanent job, we struggle with finances, I learn German and look for work but at least we are communicating that to each other.

I will plan on calling one of you on the day we arrive in Vienna.

We still haven't booked tickets to the U.S. but Gerti is going to call her travel agent tonight. Otherwise we will work it out on the 16th in Vienna, which may affect the day we arrive in the U.S. but shouldn't affect it much. We'll keep you informed.

Well we have eaten well today and will be sleeping on a bed tonight in a warm room. It has been cold the last few nights, real cold, and on Christmas Day one of our sleeping bags and one sleeping pad was stolen; another person had a sleeping bag stolen the same day; hopefully by someone who is homeless. Anyways, we had a flannel sheet for the bottom layer, borrowed an extra pad of Marcus's and threw the sleeping bag on top as a comforter but it was cold under it the last few nights. We gave our sleeping bag and flannel sheet to one of the walkers when we left because others were also cold. Last night I gave the walkers a small jar of unopened peanut butter we had bought for a supplement for ourselves and several walkers dove into it like it was a luxury item, it was gone this morning.

Love, Jeff and Gerti

Jeffrey McKenzie wrote:
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 21:43:23 -0800 (PST)
From: Jeffrey McKenzie
Subject: Re: Re: Dear Jeff and Gerti

Hi Atsuko,

I want you to know each day we will keep you, Marcus and the walk in our thoughts and only hope for the best for all of you and that the message of peace and the nuclear cycle would reach many.

Well as you know, Gerti and I left the walk this morning. We watched everyone walk out of sight and the vehicles drive off, then waited until the bus came to get us back to Adelaide.

We decided to leave for numerous reasons but I think we did so on good terms with the group. The mozzie water (tank water), health concerns (the morning of our first rest day in Adelaide I woke up and when I lifted my head, everything spun around and I felt like throwing up, that lasted 3 days but is okay now. Also sanitary conditions on the walk are way outside my comfort zone or any previous walk I have been on.), availability of food (dumpster food and donations of marginal food are sporadic and of questionable value on a 8 month walk), unexpected expenses in Japan (we did not know about transportation costs in Japan until after we arrived to the walk).

Of course, personal reasons and considerations also entered the picture.

When we went back to Adelaide, yesterday a rest day, we were just exploring our options. But when Quantas offered to change all our flights on non-refundable/ non-changeable tickets for a cost of $50 total for both of us we took it.

Both of us are sad to have made this decision but feel it is the best decision for us and ultimately for the walk.

Keep in touch. If I can be of more help with the military family issue just drop me an email.

Please share this with Marcus, as I was unable to have much time alone with him to share my real feelings.

In love, peace and solidarity, Jeff and Gerti
International Peace Pilgrimage Toward A Nuclear Free Future.