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September 9, 2004 -
Martha's Vinyard in Massachusetts.
I’m writing this on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. My home for the next three weeks is a charming one-room cabin on the property of Kari Amazeen who started out as an unmet friend who offered me a place to write. Over the last couple of days, she has become a met friend. We have eaten, shopped, swum, talked, and promised to push each other to do our respective jobs: she has to pack up a house that has just sold, and I have to write (yes, still the same story set in the jhuggie in Delhi. It’s still not written.)
I have posted my plans for the next couple of months on my home page; so here I just want to catch up on the last few months. Guatemala was great. For me, Guatemala was mostly about Cristofer and Melissa………..and we all got along wonderfully. Abuela Rita did a lot of cooking of dinners, and holding, swinging, reading to, singing to, and generally entertaining Cris, and a bit of Spanish studying. What I didn’t do was get up in the middle of the night. I’m something of a monster if I don’t get a good night’s sleep; besides, I figured I had paid my dues with two kids. So Melissa was the one who fed Cris in the middle of the night (sometimes three times!) and sleepily handed him over to me in the morning so she could go back to sleep. I got a happy baby to play with every day for a few morning hours. We watched Baby Einstein, read books, and sang songs. Mitch flew down several times during the two months and he took over the night feedings. Cris was two months when he was handed to Melissa in a hotel lobby (technically she was a foster mother at that point) and four months when all the paper work was finished and she became a bona fide Mommy.
Cris left with M&M at the end of June and I stayed on until August 3rd. Two friends from my 1987 visit were still there…………Erika and Jane. We had some fun meals together. Erika had just arrived in 1987 when I was there………..she was newly divorced and had intended to visit her father for a little while. She never left. She exports crafts and her business and her family are thriving. Jane is co-owner of Café Condessa, a popular restaurant on the parque. Luisa is still there as well, running Dona Luisa’s.
I gave a talk to ex-pats and tourists about the nomad book. I ate well….there are lots of great restaurants, lots more than there were 19 years ago. I took a yoga class. I visited an orphanage, a library that is sponsored by an NGO, and two different branches of Common Hope (they have a website and are a very worthy and honest charity.). Many of you have asked me about volunteer programs…………..check out www.commonhope.org out of St Paul. I liked the projects, the people, and the results. If you are looking for an interesting few weeks, volunteer. If you are looking for a worthwhile charity, contribute. They are good people and their program helps hundreds of families.
Enough for now. I’ll be back again in a couple of months.