June 2001

Dear all --

Well, I'm a little late in getting this out to you all this year. But for a good reason. I'm just not working so hard !! I feel like this is the first summer we've had without either a big crisis or a big project (like a second child) and I must admit it feels GREAT !!!

Finally, it seems this business has enough of its own inertia so that I don't need to be behind it pushing, pushing for things to move forward. Requests for info, people interested in specific classes, registrations, just keep coming in. So, needless to say, I'm relieved and thrilled, and taking a little break.

I'm volunteering in Joey's classroom twice a week, hanging out with Tommy having fun (as opposed to just hauling him with me on all my errands) and enjoying rearranging the weeds and dirt in our yard. And, my aging mother takes quite a bit of time.

My main work thrust this summer will be learning a web design program (Dreamweaver) and do something fun with that web page. I'd like it to be more interactive, ie allow all of you who have been in Guate with us to communicate with each other more, or maybe read books recommended on the resource page and leave comments for the next person who's interested, buy typica from Lydia or Zoila. That kind of thing. I'm open to ideas and, of course, some help. Keep it bookmarked and watch to see what happens.

We had a wonderful season in Guate this past winter/spring. More folks than ever before and a new record -- Lii Matsuda took three workshops in a row!! Then she went home to London and quit her high powered - high pressure .com job and is moving to NYC to break into the field of photography. WOW!!

Lots of old friends came back to visit and take more workshops, and they all tell me things are running more smoothly with each passing year. Elsa Riveros was a fabulous addition to our local staff (more positive energy packed in per pound than any one else I know) and it was great that Ada Carrillo could join us again. Also, my Minneapolis helper Lydia Dobrovney kept things under control - despite a shattered wrist due to snowboarding. You really have to watch some of those more active sports ! (Better to stick w the arts, maybe.)

Well, you all know I've been thinking a lot about buying an old colonial home in Antigua. I've looked at a few places - but because of prohibive cost am now leaning towards buying land just outside of Antigua (still within walking distance) and building a place. I'd like room to grow - and the prices are just so much more reasonable. I could get a lot more space for the money. There is a fellow selling his entire finca right near the church El Calvario and Quinta de las Flores (the hotel with beautiful grounds many of you have painted at). I do see it as a good possibility, so I'll keep you posted. And feel free to let me know what you think or if you have any brilliant ideas.

After looking at the schedule, you can see that I am making good on my threats to coast for a while. Not much new - except for a few photo classes that, by the way, I am thrilled about. It is temping to try new fun things (I do receive tons of ideas and requests to teach). But it is very time consuming to launch new workshops, so, I'm pretty much sticking with the old tried and true classes for a few years.

** However, I may add a yoga/meditation kind of thing (so I can do it, too). Let me know if you'd be interested in something like that and maybe it will get me to actually do something about it.

So, that's our news. Nothing earth shattering. Just hoping you all 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!!