5 July 1997

Dear all --

I can't tell you how much better I feel now that I just saw the date (9/23/96) on the letter I sent out to our students last year with the then upcoming year's schedule. I've been in the panic mode lately. But since I managed to double the number of classes and participants last year with that late start - maybe I'm not so far behind after all!! Those first two years really are a blur.

One of the things I realized this past year was that in addition to the fun of starting a new project which enables me and Joey to live in Guatemala part-time and will (hopefully) support us, is that through these workshops I've created a new sense of community -- not only for all of you who attend a class together and keep in touch, but also for us.

Sandy Ross, one of our papermaking instructors, emailed me in Antigua last February to tell me that Evelyn Eldridge, who had taken her class, had recently died. I felt very sad, but also so glad that she had chosen to come down and spend 10 days with us. We celebrated her 75th birthday together at Noah's Ark and I know she really treasured that experience, along with the rest of her trip. The thank you letter from her is in our scrapbook.

I realized for the first time that I did feel a sense of family, or at least a sense of community, with all of you who have come down and shared Guatemala with us. It wasn't something I thought about when concepting this whole idea, but find that I would like to somehow build on it. I love hearing from folks and always feel badly that I often can't respond. It generally boils down to 15 minutes writing a note or calling you OR reading a book to Joey or cooking a meal for us -- and understandably -- the domestic chores win out.

Check out the new schedule. I'm thrilled with the addition of new top notch faculty and classes. I've enclosed an extra copy for you to pass on to someone you think might be interested. We are still relying on favorable word of mouth from folks like you to help spread the word.

Hope all is well -- and that you are enjoying your summer. We'd love to see you again in Antigua or Lake Atitlan or Tikal or the Rio Dulce!! We've added new places to visit to some of the itineraries to keep second (or third) timers interested and returning. And remember that you get $50 off your next workshop for each new student you help recruit!!!

Grande abrazos y besitos de nosotros Liza, Jessenia and Sonja