My grandmother was the second-to-the-last child in a huge Irish family. When her parents died, she and her husband, Doc, the optometrist, inherited the three story Victorian house with the wrap around porches. Along with the house came the bachelor uncles, the youngest of whom, Uncle Bernie, still lived there when I was a child. On Sundays when we got to our grandmother's, … [Read more...] about Uncle Bernie
Some of my earliest trips to Haiti were as a member of a teacher-training team. We conducted two-week programs for elementary and high school teachers, aimed to fill gaps in subject matter and methodology resulting from 200 years of isolation and poverty. One year, a lot of things went wrong. The workshops were free to the teachers but before we arrived, a local organizer … [Read more...] about Three Things
Remember the Darts?
There’s a favorite story in my family that's only three words long. Remember the darts? Everyone remembers, so we all have a laugh and enjoy the story without anybody needing to tell it. We had just hung up a kid-style dart board in the basement. The kind where the darts have rubber suctions cups on the end instead of lethal points. It had the usual concentric rings, … [Read more...] about Remember the Darts?
Reasons for Haiti
People go to Haiti for lots of reasons, some of which they understand. The first time I went there was in 1995. I got off the plane in Port-au-Prince with a suitcase and the address of a group of Haitian nuns who lived in the countryside, in Pandiassou, in the northeast part of the country. The nuns weren’t what you ‘d expect. The leader was perhaps in her 40s and none … [Read more...] about Reasons for Haiti
All You Gotta Do
Quite a few years ago, in the summer of 1984, I was living the hard core back-to-the-land Idaho panhandle hippie dream. Chopping wood and carrying water was the least of it. Two babies in cloth diapers. Scrubbing laundry on a board in a tub. Goats, two of them, to milk daily, and no refrigeration, so cheese, made from any milk we didn’t drink. A garden, of course, with … [Read more...] about All You Gotta Do