Books Worth a Look

  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave - This book is a must read. Better than anything else I've read, it takes you vividly into the life of a person in the 3rd world who has no choice but to escape. It is brilliantly written & works well as an audio book. Often I've sent info about the wonderful refugees I've met in Europe. We know only so much of their plight as it is painful for them to recall much less live through again by recounting it. But over time it is clear what they've lived through. This book is excellent as you discover the horrors of their world. Somewhat how to me, it is like being in Europe near a Concentration Camp. One has an obligation to visit it. 'Never to Forget.' In this case, to have our eyes opened.
  • Garbage King by Eliz Laird - The book is set on the streets on Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia and here lives Mamo and his sister Tiggist. When Mamo's "uncle" offers a job, he soon sets out on a bus to work. Little does he know that he is actually being sold into slavery...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

From There to Here !

Well I have arrived in Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica. Normally the flight etc. would not warrant a blog entry; this was interesting.

After Jay & Laura dropped me off at the airport, I had lunch and met Mark Mattesonfrom Seattle. His site is Mark Matteson is an internationally known Speaker, Author and Consultant. His clients include T-Mobile, American Honda Motors, Honeywell... He recommended several novels to me. He is preparing for his trip to Istanbul. This occasioned a long conversation about travel. I recommended an interesting Turkish author who writes murder mysteries and other fiction which take place in medieval Constantinople.

My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk and Erdag Goknar (Paperback - Aug 27, 2002)

As I sat down in the plane, the man next to me said: "My seat mate!" He and his wife of 50 years were headed to Miami for a Carribean cruisue - they and about 60% of the plane! He had not flown for 28 years; this was her first flight. He was not going to miss anything! A stewardess came donw the aiusle with a sleeve of small headphonea for sale. He called out: "Hey, they´re selling candy!" He becamse quite interested in my spanish flash cards. By the end of the trip, he could distinguish la valle (fence) from el valle (valley)!

While waiting for my flight from Miami to San Jose, Costa Rica, I met a graphic artist whose how is in Seattle! We had an animated conversation and he invited me to visit his beach condo, if possible. His wife will be joining him. He explained that I can in fact drink the tap water in Costa Rica. My report: so far, so good!

Arrival in Cosat Rica - yet no one to pick me up!

This was an experience! Every cabby in town appealed to me to go with them. This is the part where I became a tad concerned as I saw no one looking for me, per se, and so many coming up to me wanting me to go with them! (It turns out that my host had been advised that I would be arriving Sunday not Saturday.) One man did seem more legit, so after his long phone conversation with my host, we set out for Santo Domingo de Heredia. I have to admit, I was not 100% sure all was ok. We drove down many isolated and semi dark streets. But finally we arrived at Virginia Naranto's home.

Virginia speaks less English than I speak Spanish - immersion it is! Her home is lovely - faux marble tiled floors, a spacious two story home in a gated community. (The cabby filled me in on crime esp. coming from immigrants from Columbia as well as countries like Nicaragua and Mexico.) hmm!

My room is small but adequate and I have the run of the house, including Cable TV which has 99 stations including about 5 in English. I explained to my host today (with my limited Spanish that Fox is not quite my cup of tea!) Everyone here is for OBama. Virgina stayed up late to watch the returns.

Ok, all, have a great week. The first day of school is bright and early at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow at Academia Columbus about a 15-20 minute walk.

¡Hasta luego!

Felipe :-) P.S. Spell check is not working so I hope I got them all!

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Thoughts on the amazing people I get to meet.

Rich, my 19 year old friend, soon to be Franciscan and recent community member at Haley House in Boston. An article he wrote.