Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Peace Corps 50th Anniversary

Yes! That is me on the cover of the Southern Connecticut State University Alumni Magazine. I might look a tad different now since the photo was taken a few years ago ;-). This is great article on Southern Alums who have served in the PC published this year in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps. Steve and I served for nearly 4 years and now our son Christopher(born in the PC in Malawi) and his wife, Laurie are PC Volunteers in Mozambique. To see the article go to http://southernct.edu/publications/Southern_Alumni/Southern_Magazine_Fall_2011.pdf

Monday, November 14, 2011

Beatrice reviewed in Kirkus!

A Story Of Kibera Slum
Author: Williams, Karen Lynn
Photographer: Stone, Wendy
Publisher:Frances Lincoln
Pages: 32
Price ( Hardcover ): $17.95
Publication Date: December 1, 2011
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-1-84780-019-0
Category: Picture Books
Classification: Nonfiction

Life for a girl in the slums of Nairobi.

Beatrice, 13, tells readers about her life in Kibera, a shantytown of discarded metal, wood and other refuse. The youngest of five children, she lives with her eldest brother, Francis, and his wife. Her father perished in in a car accident, and her mother died of tuberculosis when she was 9 years old. Every weekday morning, rain or shine, she walks half an hour to school, a building built of tin. Her favorite subjects are English and Kiswahili, the official language of Kenya. Beatrice is the school timekeeper during lunch. They eat githeri, a special Kenyan dish made from beans and maize. She stays after school for extra lessons but must be home before six o'clock, when it gets dark. Often, her dog Soldier is waiting for her. Beatrice's nightly chores include making dinner and ironing. If there's enough paraffin in the small lamp, she'll also study. On weekends, she works in her brother's shop, washes clothes and helps with the marketing. All of this is told in Beatrice's matter-of-fact first-person voice. The book ends with a two-page description of the Kibera slum and a sad picture of it. Stone's beautiful color photographs—40 in all—work in tandem with Williams' simple, direct prose to capture the poverty of Kibera as well as Beatrice's resilience and many unique aspects of her life, likely unfamiliar to most American children.

Informative and affecting. (Picture book. 5-10)

Friday, November 4, 2011

The writing? life

Seems like I am not getting enough writing done at the moment. Teaching, travel, family, Navajo language class, house and garden all take my time. But I take every opportunity I can to explore life and land on the reservation. I need to trust that soaking in life in the canyon will turn into material for a story or book or essay or article. Am I fooling myself? Procrastinating when I say this is my writing time? This is how I have always worked...writing as a natural part of my life eventually falls into place. I look at every adventure in the canyon with a writer's eye. I am making friends and reveling in the opportunity to explore my passions, nature and culture. Here is where I have been, trying to figure out what it means and how to express the stories of this place. A collage of part of my summer. Rodeo, Canyon ruins, weaving in the canyon, Navajo rug auction.