Friday, March 23, 2012

Winding Down our San Miguel Stay (Forgive the late post)

Hola Amigos,

We are winding down our stay in San Miguel and feel sad we are leaving though it will be wonderful to see family back in the states. As you can tell by the lack of recent posts, we have had a very fun but busy month since I last wrote. Our activities with new and old friends, yoga classes, an encaustic workshop with a fine artist here, movies, my Spanish conversation group, the Cuba dance festival, and my presentation on EcoViva and our work in El Salvador, have filled my time---it's all been fun and stimulating. Gary has completed a couple more carved birds and enjoys the Global Justice programs at the bibliotecha.

We saw an excellent film at the Theatro Santa Ana at the Bibliotech that I highly recommend: . It brought back memories of our 2006 trip to Bolivia where we learned about the Water War of 2002. Though the film is a fictional story of filmmakers making a film about the Spanish conquistadores' exploitation of the native peoples, it coincides with the actual current day exploits of multinational corporations and the privatization of water. It's moving and educational. We've actually seen many wonderful documentaries and other films while down here. One of the groups supporting young girls, raising money for educational scholarships for them, had a fun and successful fundraiser the night of the Academy Awards. Guests walked the red carpet like the stars and then sat down outside on big patios at a B&B which was once a famous bordello in San Miguel. We watched the broadcast of the award ceremony on two big screens while being served wine and hors d'oeuvres by roving young waiters. They raised $2000 which will help young Mexican girl. The following week we were able to see several of the winning films.

On March 21st, Gary and I presented our own program at the Bibliotecha, sponsored by the Center for Global Justice, about our work in El Salvador through the NGO we support, EcoViva. We had a really nice turn-out and were very pleased, as many expressed an interest in joining us on an Empowerment Tour to El Salvador next year, and also wanted to help support EcoViva's good work. It took some time preparing the power point presentation but I had a great helper, Mark Saunders, as my tech guide. He's the author of a new and very funny book "Nobody Knows the Spanish I Speak" and also 30 plays which have been produced on and off Broadway. We met him and his wife Arlene a month ago at the writers conference. We learned they are former Portlanders who moved down here to live permanently two years ago. They love it, and their big poodle, Duke, does, too. Mark has a wonderful sense of humor and we have enjoyed getting to know them both. They will be back in Portland for a visit in April and he will be having a book signing party. I'd like to invite you all, who live in Portland, to come. Will send out a save the date notice soon.

We leave here on March 27th to spend four days in the charming town of Guanajuato, about an hour from here. It's nearer the airport in Leon so we will take advantage of that as we wing our way back to Portland, on March 31st. Hope you've enjoyed adventures with Sher. Stay tuned for future blogs, about Guanajuato, my novel, and life back in Portland. Hasta luego!