Posts Tagged ‘travel to Guatemala’

Beverly Public Library in Beverly, Mass.

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Last night, I got to read at the Beverly Public Library in Beverly, Massachusetts. It’s a beautiful building, made with the kind of thick, heavy stones that are designed to last. Outside, the air was frigid, but in the meeting room downstairs, the ambience was cozy and warm. My sister, Deanna, her husband David, and their three girls were there, as were an adoptive mom with her son born in Guatemala, a woman who leads art tours and volunteers at Hermano Pedro in Antigua, and a mother to two girls from China. One couple was considering adoption and wanted to hear what I had to say. Others knew adoptive families. Some people had read the book and loved it. A handful were simply curious. Everyone was incredibly nice.

A local independent bookstore, The Book Shop of Beverly Farms, supplied copies of Mamalita, and my sister Deanna sold every one of them. Thanks, De! Thank you, too, to Anna Langstaff, Assistant Director of the Beverly Library, for setting up the lovely event, for posting it on the library website, and listing it in the local newspaper.

Hearing other people’s stories and thoughts about adoption has been a profound experience. I feel very privileged.


NY Times article calls residents of Solola “Best-Dressed”

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

It’s always a great day around here when the New York Times publishes an article that includes Guatemala and the news is good. That happened this morning, when I opened the Sunday edition, and saw the front page of the Travel section announcing an article by Seth Kugel on page 6: “The Highs and Lows from 13 Weeks Traveling From Sao Paolo to New York on $70 a Day.” I’ve been following Kugel’s Times reports on his journey throughout the region–he writes as “The Frugal Traveler”–and was eager to see how he rated Guatemala.

Winner of Kugel’s “Best-Dressed” Award? The “Residents of Sololá, Guatemala.” Whoo-hoo! (Readers of this blog may remember Sololá’s fabulous traje from a photo I posted  this past summer.)

Kugel writes: ”I  did not expect Sololá to be memorable. I was just changing buses there, but since it was Friday— market day—I stopped to explore.”

“I expected to see stands offering spices and batteries, women dressed in colorful local costumes making tortillas and men buying (and wearing) the cheapest fashions that Chinese factories have to offer.”

“But this market was different: the men wore traditional woven shirts and pants so riotously colorful — bright oranges and yellows and pinks and purples, sometimes in the same square inch — that even the most non-fashion-conscious shopper (i.e., me) couldn’t take his eyes off them.”

The Times even ran a large photo of the beautiful traje.  We all know it’s spectacular, but now it’s official. (more…)


The sole of the matter

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Olivia and I leave for Guatemala tomorrow, and like many adoptive families who visit, we are bringing items we know can be used by people who live there. Vitamins, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and the most important item of all: shoes. 

A newly described, preventable disease afflicts some people in the highlands of Guatemala. It is called podoconiosis. The disease is caused by dust in volcanic soil being ground into the skin, causing an immune reaction that results in swelling of the feet. For many years, podoconiosis was mistaken for sleeping sickness (which causes similar swelling of the legs in tropical regions). Recently, however, a group of German dermatologists figured out the connection between walking barefoot or in open sandals in volcanic soil for decades with the characteristic swelling of the feet. (Please note:  I’ve italicized for decades to emphasize that the disease develops over many years, not during a hike up the side of a volcano.) (more…)