May 2007

Dear all --

Well, what’s new this year is that you are receiving my annual letter and upcoming schedule via email. YES, I have finally succumbed to the advantages of electronic communication. (Let’s see, 41 cents x 1000 strong mail list… and not only the cost, but stuffing those envelopes, sticking on those stamps !!) I have not quite figured out how to reach all my mail list without too much overlap - ie those who’ve said they are interested in photography vs weaving vs visual arts etc… so I do hope I don’t have you on too many lists (the annual letter goes to participants only.) Another advantage is I can send a few pics. This I took at xmas time, but never did get those cards out last year. Some of you haven't seen these two since they were babies !! And, you can easily forward the schedule, or info on a specific class, to any friends or family you think might be interested in joining us. So, it's all a plus.

First, personal stuff. My current challenge concerns the question you’ve all asked me at one time or another. “So, what are you going to do about school when the kids get older ?” Well, that time has finally arrived. Jessenia starts a new school this fall and they say no time off for travel to Guatemala. We are really excited about the school, San Miguel Middle School. It seems a perfect fit for Jessenia. It is very small, more individual attention and all latino kids. So, this fall, she’ll be staying in Minneapolis while Tommy and I head to Guatemala on our own. THIS WILL BE SO WEIRD !!! The silver lining is I’ll have time alone with Tommy, and I think a little independent time for Jessenia will be also beneficial. Consequently, I’m scheduling only one session this fall in Guatemala, till we see how she does at my cousins, sister’s where ever we manage to find a spot for her. But, I’m confident it will all work out for the best and worth the sacrifice of her not being with us.

Now, business. Last year was a bit quiet. I just needed to put more focus on the kids, and marketing fell by the wayside. However, this year is back on track. I took Steve Northup’s March photo class up to the Ixil Triangle area and it was great fun. So much so, that we’ll do that route again soon!! Very possibly the weaving tour with Karen Searle next February. Let me know if you’d be interested, ok ?? There are so many of you (bless your little hearts) who keep coming back and want to visit new parts of Guatemala,,, so think about joining us to Nebaj. Then, I’d really like to start traveling to other countries. Many of you have said if organize something to Cuba, Peru, Bolivia (the places I want to get to), they’ll sign up for sure. I’m ready to start pursuing this,, just gotta work out the child care thing. It’s still on the back burner, but at least it has moved up to being on the stove.

I’ve attached our upcoming classes schedule. I’m still trolling for this summer, so please do pass it onto anyone who might be interested. For 2008, I’ve added a new class called Book Altering, Collage, Mini Altars and more with Kit Davey. Kit has taken two classes with us, is a very talented artist, her Spanish is better than mine and is lots of fun.

Things seem to have settled down in Guatemala. There hasn’t been a crisis since the mudslides after Stan. Crime is not the issue it was a few years ago. I drive alone to and from the lake without worry (well, except for that silly car breaking down) and also don’t worry about sending van loads of you off to who knows where. There will be elections soon, though, and that always makes life a little more interesting !!!

So, there’s our update. We send our best regards and warm thoughts to all of you who have joined us, and become friends, over these past years. I hope you are doing well, and, in all you do que le vaya bien. Thanks for helping spread the word and we’d love to see you again in Guatemala !!

Abracos grande de Liza, Jessenia and my ever active (no, he has not yet slowed down) Tommy boy,