May 2000

Dear all --

Well, spring has finally arrived -- and we're finally back in the USA with our Tommy. I hated leaving him in Guatemala this past year, as you can imagine, and it is SOOOO nice to be here together as a family.

Jessenia was THRILLED when the adoption was completed -- she walked around sing-songing -- Tommy is a Fourre, today - Hooray !! and nobody can take him away from us!! She loves her baby brother to pieces - and that makes all the additional work worthwhile.

We had a GREAT year in Guatemala -- lots of new folks - lots of folks coming back for second and third times (Mary Perrin actually came down three times LAST YEAR !! ) classes are getting bigger (read profitable) and everyone tells me how much more smoothly things are running.

I was lucky to have great helpers -- Carmen returned and kept food on the table for breakfasts. Sandra and Ada joined us for the winter and everyone thought they were wonderful additions to the program. And Heidi Boe held down the fort in Minneapolis.

For the first time, I plan to NOT add new classes and concentrate my energy on marketing - and filling - the classes that we already have. It seems a good time to go into a holding pattern, what with two little ones, who won't stay little for all that long. However -- with all that said -- I'm really itching to take on SOMETHING REALLY NEW (& BIG).

** I'd like to start looking for our own location to house our workshops. For those of you who have been down in the past three years, you know the 'Big House' we base out of. It is a lovely home, but the Guatemalan owners are difficult to deal with. And they seem to get more demanding and more restrictive each year. Plus, there is so much we could do with our own place !!! Have a gallery, ceramics studio, darkroom, art classes for local kids..... the possiblties are endless.

Many of you have asked me about real estate prices in Antigua. I always say big houses cost about a million $$. That's what I've always heard. But I've started looking, and you can find nice, big houses in the $400,000 - $600,000 range. Now, that's still a ton of money. But it's more doable than the cool mil. And, of course, since I don't happen to have that in my checking account right now..... I want to see if any of you are interested in investing in a wonderful big old house in Antigua.

There are actually two houses out there right now which would work well. One is perfect, but it's probably sold (unless it falls thru) but the other would be wonderful, too. First, however, I need to see if there are any investors out there. I plan to sell my duplex (not my home) but I would still need a good chunk of money. They don't have mortgages in Guatemala - you pay cash - or you don't buy.

So does anyone want a piece of a lovely old colonial home in Antigua??? Either as an investment (get paid back later) time share, free workshops for the rest of your life ... something??? I'm open to options and haven't worked out the details. But please let me know if you are at all interested -- ok???

I hope you have a wonderful summer, take care, and come visit us again in Guatemala!!

Big hugs from Liza, Jessenia and Tommy

PS Please pass on the extra schedule to an interested friend or post someplace you think might help us out. THANKS!!