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
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 this week!
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
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
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
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
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 real!"
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 change...
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 agreed.
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
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
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 glass inside.
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 for patience.
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
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 super-highway.