Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Visiting Belize

My husband and I just returned from beautiful Ambergis Caye for a vacation. While visiting back in 2004, I met some children who asked me to come visit their school and talk to them about my career writing and publishing books.

I didn't even bring books with me but the kids didn't care--they just wanted to listen and ask questions. We had a wonderful time together.

Now it's 2012 and a whole new crop of kids at the beautiful Island Academy located right on the beach overlooking the ocean. So, I went back again this time with my actual books and did another presentation to once again, a very appreciative group of students and teachers.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Shining Stars Inspire Me

The Shining Stars are here again from all around the country and bring such light and joy to our valley.

Life with cancer as a child is unfair, but you'd never know it by chatting with these outstanding children.

I'm just so happy that they had such a gorgeous week here in Aspen.

Kathy--thanks for all you do to make this week so special for the children, the volunteers and the town.

Monday, March 12, 2012

How can Two Years Have Passed?

Isn't it amazing sometimes when you realize how quickly times passes? We just turned the clocks forward and it's now springtime with a whole extra hour of light in the afternoons!

I was going through photos and found this one of a fabulous drawing by a child in Sand Point, Idaho. I was the guest author -- yes, two years ago. What a great day of writing workshops as well as art projects all arranged by the school's wonderful librarian. The days up in Sand Point are even longer than down here in Colorado!!

Happy Spring.

Friday, March 9, 2012

My Kenyan Pen Pal

I thought it would be fun to share with you my wonderful penpal from Kenya. His name is Nimrod and it's a great story. In 2000, our family had the amazing opportunity to travel to Kenya. We spent 2 weeks and our favorite place was the Masa Mara where we went on safari and saw the most incredible wildlife. We fell in love with the landscape, the animals and the people.

I gave the Snowmass Fraser book to our guide, Wesley. Several years later, I received in the mail a letter with a photograph. In the letter, I found out that Wesley had given the book to his son, Nimrod. Nimrod was writing me to tell me how much he had enjoyed my book and that he had learned to ski in his mind. He asked if Courtney could be his pen pal. Courtney at the time was so busy in school, that I knew she would not be able to write on a consistent basis, so, I jumped in.

Over the years, Nimrod and I have stayed in touch. Then, when Courtney graduated from college in 2008, we went back to Kenya. I wrote our guide to see if it was possible to locate Wesley and to be able to meet Nimrod. She told me she had lost track of Wesley and no, it was not really possible. Long story, but when we were in the Masa Mara for our second time, I came to the lodge for cocktails and dinner. I walked in and everyone looked at me at once. Because the sun was behind them, I couldn't really see right away. But then, I was astounded to see Wesley sitting on a couch with 2 kids by his side.

It was such a wonderful reunion and fantastic to finally meet Nimrod and his beautiful sister, Miriam. This photo is Nimrod and myself. I had brought some gifts, just in case. Here, Nimrod has on a T-shirt from the US! My gift from them was their presence!

They even saw us off from the tiny air strip the next day. Nimrod and I continue to stay in touch. I miss his beautiful letters, but now we email!