Hippie Days – California – What A Blast!

Children’s Diary-July 24, 25

We camped in the Redwood Forest. It was dark under the big trees.

We camped in Guerneville. We went down a big slide and watched the racecars.

 It has taken me thirty years to return to California, the state of my birth. I’ve heard stories of my infancy, but it was like I came from another continent, so far and different from Florida, was the place I grew up. I get to know you California, little by little from the top down. After the cool dark peacefulness of Redwood National Forest, we were back on the … Read more...

Hippie Days – Sand Dunes Over the Pacific

Children’s Diary – July 23

We climbed a sand dune all the way to the top. Whee! Mommy got tired. Whew!

Sand Dunes to Pacific Oregon
Sand Dunes to Pacific Oregon

We climbed over one more mountain range, descended into the Willamette Valley and Portland, Oregon to visit our first auditory oral program, the Tucker Maxon School. In existence for 25 years, their program has achieved high accolades for teaching deaf children to communicate orally with the help of hearing aids, lip reading, and speech practice. Although the school offers an excellent program: small classes, 8 – 1 ratio of students to teachers, and trained … Read more...

Hippie Days – Following Our Northern Border

July 17 – 20

1st Expo with Environmental Theme
1st Expo with Environmental Theme

Moving on across Montana, the big sky state, we stop in Bozeman to take advantage of the hot springs. Although it’s a series of concrete pools, not the beautiful bubbling spring with steam wafting upward in a natural setting of rocks and trees, the warm water feels delicious and relaxing. Aaahhh! The icy water we’ve encountered so far on this trip is far too titillating for our puny Florida bodies. The concrete indoor spa pool is surrounded by a series of smaller squares each filled with different temperatures of water from … Read more...

Hippie Days – Of Antelopes, Geysers and Bears, Oh My!

I return to episodes of my memoir Life and Deaf.

Children’s Diary – July 15, 16

We went to Yellowstone Park. We saw the geyser Old Faithful. It shot water high in the air. We saw a bear in the woods. We saw the falls, hot springs and a grand canyon.

Yellowstone
Yellowstone

We’d done some research before we left, making up our summer bucket list of most desired places and Yellowstone is a top favorite. The kids are jumping up and down as we pull up to the gate, get our tickets, maps, directions and advice, the most critical being … Read more...

Getting To Know You Nicaragua

Jimmy, our El Porvenir leader
Jimmy, our El Porvenir leader

Thanks first to El Porvenir for giving almost 25 years of service to Nicaragua: bringing water, building latrines, planting trees, venting stoves and educating the communities.

In four days we have not only completed our tasks, but have made many friends. Jimmy Membreno is our fearless bilingual El Porvenir leader. We’ve worked with Jimmy before and are thrilled to be with him again. His stories illuminate all corners of Nica life specializing in politics, including reciting poetry of Rubén Darío, and passages from Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He also wields a mean shovel, teaches me how … Read more...

Puttin’ In The Potties

IMG_1332Off to Sébaco to settle into our hotel then on to the El Porvenir office in Darío to pick up our means of transportation to the site; an old Toyota Land Cruiser pickup truck rigged with seats on both sides of the bed and a tarp over all in case of non-existent rain, effectively keeping out any bit of breeze. All of our supplies include shovels, picks, extra battery (which became a godsend), gallons of drinking water, go in first and wheelbarrows on the roof. Six of us, including Jimmy, pile in on top of everything.

Our project is in … Read more...

Bringing Water to the Nicaragua – A Land of Glitter and Poverty

Cathedral in Managua
Cathedral in Managua

I’m taking a break from my memoir ‘Life and Deaf ‘ to tell you of my latest adventure volunteering with El Porvenir.

Bob and I arrive in Managua on a prop plane from Costa Rica to participate in our third volunteer ‘brigade’ with the NGO El Porvenir. Our guide Jimmy and driver Jose drive us through town and fill us in on life in Nicaragua. Things have changed drastically since our last volunteering experience with El Porvenir over three years ago. Many historic buildings have been torn down, a la Orwell’s “1984” or barred with tall chain-link … Read more...