This is the story of what happened when we checked on Jody's geocache this spring...
Today is Jody's birthday, he would have been twenty-five years old. Jennifer and I thought for a long time about what to do in honor of his birthday this year, and she came up with something very unusual that Jody would have really loved.
Traveling was really important to Jody. As he reached adulthood he was thrilled to have the opportunity to freely travel the U.S. and even see different countries as part of his work.
He planned on doing a lot more travelling after he got out of the Army and ultimately wanted to go to Jakarta, Indonesia to visit the city where he was born.
Jakarta was a completely foreign concept to Jody and he often wondered about it when he was growing up. It was an interesting part of his story that stood out, so people always asked him, 'What's it like in Jakarta? or 'Can you say something in Indonesian for us?' But he had no memories of his life there.
Because he was still in the Army at the time he wasn't able to take the big trip to Jakarta with Jennifer and I in 2008. But during his first phone call to me afterwards he was full of questions and happy but tentative excitement about this part of his history finally being within reach.
THE TRAVEL BUG
In honor of Jody's love for travel Jennifer came up with the (really awesome) idea of putting something that's called a 'travel bug' out in his honor.
A travel bug is a fun thing in geocaching that's basically an object that you put out that travels all over the country or the world via other people that play geocaching.
You put the travel bug in a cache and someone takes it to another cache, and in this way travel bugs go all over the world step by step. You can track it's progress online and also see any stories people have left about their adventures of moving it to a new cache. And you can even set specific goals of different places you'd like the travel bug to visit.
When Jennifer first told me about her idea I knew it was perfect and something that Jody would have totally loved.
We chose a souvenir from Jakarta as the item for the travel bug, it's a hand made keychain that has a picture of old-town Jakarta on one side:
and Jody's name on the other side:
But now that Jennifer and I had the travel bug we needed to come up with a cache to put it in. No cache seemed just right so we decided to create a brand new cache in memory of Jody and have his travel bug start out it's journey there.
Though we'd both done a lot of geocaching neither of us had ever started or hid a cache before, so we asked our friend Elijah to help us since he knows all about that kind of thing.
Elijah was really cool about it and got the ball rolling by giving us a cache and some prizes to put in it.
Strange thing, the first cache he picked up had the letters JW (which are Jody's initials) in stickers on the inside of it.
Now we had to find a place to hide the cache. So Jennifer, Elijah, his two kids, and I set off for an afternoon in the snowy woods to look for a good spot.
It was a little cold out...
...but we had fun anyway :)
We trudged through the deep snow and finally found a spot we thought was perfect.
It's out of the way but won't be impossible for people to find.
After finding the spot the first step is to start the GPS so that we can have coordinates to help people navigate to the cache.
And while the GPS triangulates we ...er ...actually Elijah hides the cache.
Now that the cache is safely hidden the stage is set for geocachers to seek it out.
We had lots of fun hiding the cache. But it was only a small adventure compared to the one we hope Jody's travel bug will have on it's way to reaching it's ultimate goal: visiting Jakarta, Indonesia.
There is a new post about Jody added to the Stories page. It's the beginning of a series that will eventually tell Jody's life story. It's called 'Jody and Fodderwing' and you can find it at:
CLICK HERE TO READ THE STORY OF JODY AND FODDERWING
I'd like to announce a new addition to Jody's Memorial that's been posted for his birthday this year :). It's an interactive map of Jody's life that includes point by point descriptions of events as well as videos, pictures, and other misc types of media. This is a very exciting inclusion to the Memorial because it's the most complete biography for Jody ever compiled.
There's a wide spectrum of people looking to find out more details about Jody's life right now, ranging from those who've only seen his name on a list to those who knew him personally. I think this will be a great tool for people interested in him and will also provide a good base for those wanting to look deeper into the elements of his life. Also, this can be continuously added to so that it becomes even more informative as time goes on.
The best part is that it's something that Jody would have really liked. He loved to travel and was very proud of all the places he'd been...something this biography is able to showcase very well. Anyway words just don't do this justice so check it out for yourself at:
Happy Birthday Jody!!
Expanded Interactive Biography
I know that some of you are stopping by this blog today to see what's being posted on Jody's Memorial for his birthday. We are working on something very different and interactive that will hopefully be finished by the end of today.
I'm extremely excited about this and I think it will be both informative and something that Jody would have really loved. Stay tuned, I'll post a new blog with a link to it as soon as it's ready.
Making some adjustments to this blog to reflect it's changing function. This started out as the sole memorial site for Jody but now that's being taken care of over at http://jodywirawan.com.
Since this blog is now serving mainly in an update notification capacity I'm stripping the layout down to the basics to make it easier to focus on the info. This is an ongoing project for the next week so things might look a little off from time to time. Please excuse the mess :)
Posted A New Story About Jody
I've decided to post an unfinished version of the story that I said I would publish back in September. I wasn't able to finish it yet because it was just too hard to think back to those times so I was giving it a break, intending to finish and publish it later.
Recent events have put a worldwide spotlight on the epidemic of tragic deaths at Fort Hood and that in turn has lead to a lot of people trying to find out more about the person that Jody was. Because of that I've decided to just put the story up in it's unfinished state because it shows an important part of his life. It was a very sad time for him because of the things that were happening at home but also happy because of the love and care that his grandmother showed him. The run on sentences and brackets are not what I had hoped to publish on his memorial site but the facts are there and that's what counts.
Click here to read the story about Jody.