Liza's arms were weighed down with books, maps, brochures and the big atlas from the geography classroom at school. The librarian wouldn't let her take the atlas from the library, but her geography teacher said she might take the classroom atlas home for one night. The teacher was surprised with Liza's sudden interest in geography, but was pleased to do anything she could to encourage it.
Liza barely noticed the weight during the long walk home from school. Her mind was consumed with thoughts of what she had found while researching Tibet in the library. Pictures of strange and mysterious temples and monasteries, mind bogglingly huge mountain ranges, snow capped peaks, and exotic looking people all competed in her mind for attention. It was good that her feet knew their way home by themselves, because she was barely aware of where she was going or what she was doing.
No plan had formed in her mind about what she wanted to do. She just knew she had to find out more about this place. She had even stopped by Gladys' house and asked Gladys' mother about travel to Asia. Before settling in rural Maine with her minister husband to raise her family, Gladys' mother and her parents had traveled the world as a missionary family. She knew just about everything there was to know about travel.
Liza unloaded the pile of books and maps onto the table with a heavy thump. She was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and looking at the atlas when her father returned from his hard day of working on the water. He stared at her and the heaping mound of books with mild astonishment. She looked back at him, almost without recognition for just a moment. And then, in an instant, all of the tumblers clicked into place. She had a plan...