Today I had a Hunger Games moment.
Mark and I, having met for the first time at noon today, joined our cohort of Global Scavengers –nine other teams of two people– for orientation and a Bon Voyage dinner.
We began with introductions. Here are the teams we’ll be competing against:
- Lawyers Without Borders – 5 time champions, and this is their 10th year coming. This is obviously the team to beat, and our biggest competition.
- Slow Folks* – a married couple who are joining this hunt for the second year in a row
- Flying Snitches – Harry Potter fans, and thus thrown in the “let’s be friends” zone. This is a team of two women about my age who’ve been friends for 15 years.
- Yolo Go Now – a married couple (one American, one Chinese) who flew in from Beijing. This is their first time competing.
- TSA pre-check yo’self – a couple from LA who have wicked awesome jobs (one makes movie trailers and the other is a screen writer) who seem cool but competitive
- Ying – This is their last name; they didn’t realize team names were supposed to be creative. This is a Father-Daughter team (the daughter is 14 years old) and I have a soft spot for father-daughter trips.
- Bohemian [Something] – another father-daughter team that was supposed to be a mother-daughter team, but the mother couldn’t make it. Also a 14 year old girl, so she has a friend! This pair partially did the scavenger hunt before because mom competed with the other daughter a few years ago, and dad and sister joined for part of it.
- Long Gone – a team of Kiwis whom I didn’t get to talk to, but I will pounce on them tomorrow and speak of my love for New Zealand.
- Nola 2nd Line – three time “competitors,” this 75+ year old couple comes only to have a grand time and pride themselves in being last place champions. This is the couple I want to befriend first.
- Thundersnow – Mark and me!!! We are the only team of strangers, and thus we already have cool points for the most awesome story
*this is not their name, but it has the word “slow” in it. Bill, the organizer, said it’s a misnomer–don’t believe them.
I felt like Katniss in the Hunger Games II, when she’s sizing up the other teams from the districts and goes straight for the old feeble ones to pair up with. That’s exactly what I did. I already learned some great pointers from Betty. I could feel the energy in the room… Mark and I definitely have our competition cut out for us.
To answer the pressing question: we don’t know yet where our first destination is. We think we’ll be scavenging in San Fran first, catching a flight after. We did participate in the challenge of guessing which countries we’ll visit (I talked about this in my last blog). Our guesses are (in no particular order):
- South Africa
Last year’s winner got four correct. The odds are not good. But I’ve recorded everyone’s guesses, so hopefully I’ll be purchasing some post cards soon 🙂
If you want to see the first installment of our videos, here’s Mark and me just following our orientation.