I agree with David. A Used camera is the best way to go, if you have a place near you that has a good selection. SLRs with built-in motor drives, autofocus, etc have been common for over a decade, and can be found on the second-hand market.
Stay with the big names - Canon, Nikon, Minolta. There are tons of accessories and lenses for these from various manufacturers, and this will make sure that you can upgrade little by little as you find the funds - a new lens here and there, a new body...
You will need two zoom lenses. One in the 35-80mm range and another in the 80-200 range. If you can get higher than 200mm, great, but if not, usually you can get away with it (depending on the airport). But 200mm is a minimum.
Finally you need to decide whether you will shoot prints or slides. Prints are very forgiving, but getting a good scan off of a print is difficult unless you have a very good scanner. Depending on where you live, prints can be expensive choice as well - you need a fairly large print to be able to scan with good detail, and getting big prints every time will start to cost you. The advantage of prints is that flatbed scanners are pretty cheap.
Shooting slides is the other option. Slide scanners are more expensive, but, depending on where you live, slides are usually much less expensive than prints, and you make the money back in the long run (I figure that I save something like $15 per roll of slide film vs. prints). Slides generally result in much brighter and truer colors, but are unforgiving of error. Best to start with prints and go on to slides when you get the hang of it.
Finally, and it is what most people forget, is the scanner. People often concentrate on getting the camera, and blow their whole budget on it, shoot a few rolls, and then realize that the have nothing to scan them with, and their budget is gone. So don't forget to budget of a scanner.
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.