1. EcoTreasure Hunt
was shaking with excitement as she picked
up the package. For two days it had been
all she could think about, and she'd had
to stop herself a hundred times from tearing
it open. Now at last it was time for the
Better World Team meeting, and she could
finally show it to her friends.
with the package tucked tightly under
her arm, she typed in the Club's web address
on her computer keyboard. In an instant
she was transported INTO Cyberspace.
around, she saw that she was the first
one there in the empty, milky white void
she knew so well. She didn't even wonder
anymore how or why she was magically transported
there every week for their meeting. She
did at first, of course, but by now she
was used to it, and just grateful that
she got to meet her friends there. Especially
the other kids started to arrive from
their homes all around the world. She
did her best to try and sit patiently
while they appeared one by one.
week's meeting of the Better World Team
is officially called to order," Ahmed,
the club secretary, typed on his laptop
after all of the kids had materialized.
took a deep breath and hugged her package
tightly. She wanted to jump up and share
her news with everyone, but she reminded
herself, yet again, that she was trying
to work on being more patient.
there any new business?" Ling finally
Sunanda politely waited for Sol to finish
telling the Club about a big Peace Festival
in his town, that kids working with the
international organization, PeaceSeeds,
had organized. It brought Israeli and
Palestinian children and adults together
for a weekend of cultural sharing.
Jamal told everyone about all the scientists
and politicians who had just come to his
city from all around the world for a United
Nations conference about saving endangered
animals and plants.
Sunanda congratulated herself as she successfully
waited until no one else seemed to have
any more news to share. Then just as they
were about to move on, she leaped up and
showed everyone the package.
look at this. It was delivered by special
messenger to my father's office. He's
an attorney for one of the biggest law
firms in India, and he says this is for
Sunanda was so excited that she was jumping
up and down.
what is it?" everyone wondered.
letter that came with it said it's a TREASURE
MAP!" Sunanda exclaimed.
treasure map?" the kids said in disbelief.
They were a little disappointed. After
all, only pirates in story books get excited
about treasure maps.
really guys!" Sunanda insisted. This is
for real. Haven't you heard about that
rich, eccentric mega-billionaire who hid
a billion dollars. It was in the news
all over the world, not just in India
… Don't you remember, they called it 'The
Great Eco-Treasure Hunt' beause he's known
for being concerned about global climate
Most of the Better World Kids remembered
hearing about it. "But that was last year,"
Michiko exclaimed. "And all the newspapers
said it was just a hoax … right?"
just said that because no one found it!"
Sunanda laughed. "But it's real. The note
said he's been following the work we've
been doing with Better World Teams. He's
so impressed at how we've inspired kids
all around the world to start their own
local clubs… And because of all of the
amazing events and activities that all
the Better World Teams are doing, he thinks
that WE should be the ones to find the
treasure… So he's giving us a treasure
The Better World Kids were still pretty
sure would be great to have that much
money available for people who are working
to make the world a better place," José
sighed. "Think of how much it would do
to make our wish for a more peaceful,
just and sustainable world come true."
billion dollars could really change the
world!" Ling said, and all the other kids
where does the map say we're supposed
to look?" Ling asked. All the Better World
Kids seemed to be a little more interested
in at least checking into this a little
don't know, I haven't opened the package
yet," Sunanda smiled. "I was waiting until
we all opened it together."
open it!" everyone exclaimed, quite excited
Sunanda carefully opened the flaps, slowly
so as not to rip it. She was trying very
hard to keep her pledge to be more patient,
and was feeling quite proud of herself.
But the Better World Kids didn't think
this was the time to practice patience.
"Tear it open, Sunanda," they begged.
Finally the package was open and Sunanda
reached inside and pulled out a thick
folded wad of paper. Carefully she opened
each flap until the paper was completely
unfolded. But there was nothing inside.
The Better World Kids looked at the large
six foot wide sheet of blank paper, and
then at Sunanda.
a treasure map supposed to have a map
on it?" everyone wanted to say, but no
one said a word. Sunanda sat down and
there were tears in her eyes.
don't know what's going on. My father
said the lawyers that brought it assured
him this was a real treasure map…"
Guys, look at this," Johnny said. He had
picked up the box and found a tiny magnifying
it's not a blank page after all," he said
as he began poring over the page with
the magnifying glass. Everyone stared
over his shoulder.
He stopped at the very center of the page.
"Look! There's something here…"
map?" everyone wondered at once.
well, not exactly," Johnny said. He looked
up at his friends.
what is it?" Sunanda piped out. So much
it's a website…"
website?" the Better World Kids exclaimed.
It's tiny, but that's definitely what
it is," Johnny insisted.
what's the address?" Erin gasped and all
the other kids exclaimed the same question.
you're not going to believe this…"
is it?" everyone demanded.
It seemed too obvious to take seriously,
but all the Better World Kids thought
they should check it out anyway. It didn't
matter, because Ahmed was way ahead of
them. He'd already typed the address into
his laptop, and the kids suddenly found
themselves zipping down the information