I've always enjoyed the opportunity to write my annual update to all those who have joined us in Guatemala. It's a chance to slow down and reflect (something I rarely take the time to do)
and see what I have to report regarding the past year's changes in business and family life.

kate and kidsWhat I see this year is that I just don't have much new to report.  No new workshops or instructors, although more trips to Nebaj (two in a row this spring) which I have really enjoyed. It's starting to feel like a 'must visit' location.  My sister Kate took the spring weave workshop to Nebaj and we had a great experience.  I'm including this picture of my kids with her in Guate (Tommy holding flowers to make a carpet) because it's about the only one this year with both my kids). Also, notice the V of Tommy's haircut in both pics - he STILL grabs a handful of hair, and takes a scissors to it.  Can anybody tell me when this will stop??!!

We have not yet made it to Cuba or Ecuador, although I am still working on those destinations. I planned to travel to Cuba from Guatemala after our fall classes. I gave myself extra time to do so, and was shocked to find out that all the flights were full !! 

mom me kidsAl fin, maybe it was for the best. 
Life had been throwing a lot at me lately.  Tommy had recently been in the hospital for 11 days, yes eleven!, with his appendix.  No, it had not ruptured. It was just  a really long recovery.  I slept at the hospital, was up much of each nite with him, and man oh man, I have NEVER been so exhausted in my life!! 

Then we left for Guatemala and our fall photo workshop. While on layover in Dallas I got a phone call from my sister that my mom had taken a huge turn for the worse.  I had just seen her two days before, and she'd seemed so alert, altho tired. Mom had been in a nursing home for almost 10 years with Parkinson's.  She's a strong lady, with a ton of faith and courage. We arrived in Guate, and mom died the next day. Obviously, this picture with her is years old, but one of the few with us as a family.  As so many of you know, it's hard to lose your parents, and I miss her more now than I did when she was alive. Weird.  

 I was so lucky to have Ceci (new baby Nicola in tow and pictured here w Dona Felica - taken by Cidne Hart, who took Nance Ackerman's fall workshop) and Victoria (with Vashrya in tow) able to help me out. We flew
ceci and dona felicaback, had a wonderful wake (in great Irish tradition with lots of stories, laughter and tears) and funeral with bagpipes outside the church door. 
So this year has had it's fair share of personal issues.  And so, yes, I have not had the time I'd like for marketing and business has suffered.  But then again, with the economy being what it is, it would be down anyway.  So now, it's 2011 and time to get moving on some new programs and locations!!  I'm meeting with a Cuba travel group tomorrow, and really anxious to put a trip together, altho the elections have put a virtual halt on any chance of lifting the travel ban, which does make it more of a challenge.  But I will sure see what I can do.
lidia w jacquelineLast year I included a picture of Lidia and Sindy.  This year it is with Jaccqueline - also hoping to be able to attend school.  They've relied on a couple of our folks who have been willing to help with school costs.  School in Guatemala starts again end January, so if any of you are able to help with expenses, please let me know.  I think Sindy has one more year, and then Jacqueline would like to attend the same school. The total cost is about $350 for the year.  Last year, there was about $60 extra, so I gave it to Lidia to start off this coming year.  ******************************************************** 
So, once again, 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 15 years.  I hope you are doing well, and, in all you do 'que le vaya bien'. 

Thanks for being the wonderful, caring people that you are and we'd love to see you again in Guatemala !!  Please take the time to pass on the upcoming schedule to any friends you think might be interested in our Guatemala adventures.

Hope you had wonderful holidays and are looking forward to a brand new year !!
Abracos fuertes de Liza, Jessenia and my Tommy boy