Category: Uncategorized

The Placebo Effect; or The Karma of Things

  What is a Roman Catholic Church without the karma of its icons? So thought Maria when she learned that her hometown church’s icons had been stolen. Stolen! Can you imagine it? In Mexico! But with monetary donations from friends and family, a collection was raised to buy new icons. May I stash them out... Read more »

The Great Stolen Life Jackets Episode of Ecuador

As if living through the kidnapping of the President of Ecuador by the Air Force wasn’t exciting enough, the 500 mile open water flight home from the Galapagos to Guayaquil gave me a new safety item to consider. The life jackets. Our family trip to the Galapagos had been every thing one hoped it would be,... Read more »

The Mutiny on the 7-2-7

In the mid-1970s, Gary and I decided to go back to Lima, Peru to visit his parents before they moved back to America after over a dozen years abroad. Peru was pretty much the same. If anything, it seemed to be economically worse off. As I sat alone in a car, young women would approach... Read more »
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The Mother-in-Law (The Interview Oprah Missed)

You heard us before you saw us. With a jubilant scream, we’d run across rooms to embrace–startling bystanders and timid animals alike. At this point our heads would tilt together as we jabbered and finished each other’s sentences. So much to catch up from the last time we’d been together. My wonderful, BFF mother-in-law, Bea,... Read more »

Whatcha Sniffing, Peru?

Gary had told me the story of Huaraz, the town buried under a mudslide in 1970. So having some time and a bit of money for a weekend getaway, we decided to fly there from Lima, Peru in 1972. While his airline ticket said the flight was to leave at 8:00 a.m, mine said the very... Read more »

Ecuador's Protectionist Tariffs

In the USA in 1986 there were a crazy amount of choices of vehicles to buy. In Guayaquil, Ecuador there was one and only one. The locally made Jeep Trooper. Any thing else had to be imported and came with a 400% tariff, enough of a financial hit to encourage buyers to only buy locally.... Read more »
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Hate Mail; Why the First Amendment is First

The first time I exercised the First Amendment with a published letter to the editor in The Houston Post, a man called me at home. I didn’t answer since I was a freshman in high school. But from what my mother told me, she him off and to never call again. Over the years, I’ve... Read more »

Bravo for Futbol

When my husband, adolescent niece and I got to Arequipa, Peru, it was clear; it wasn’t a good time to be in town. With a general strike called, everything was closed down–so anything we’d wanted to do was impossible, plus with a resurgence of anti-American feeling–our blonde heads in a sea of dark heads was... Read more »

Airline Travel Abroad in the 1970s

Tegucigalpa, Honduras 1970s Once upon a yesterday, two airplanes sat on the tarmac at the airport. Painted on the fuselage were the airline’s initials SAHSA, an acronym known locally as “Stay At Home-Stay Alive.” As the passengers settled in on their small airplanes, one pilot climbed up the stairs to board each airplane. The engines warmed up.... Read more »
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The Big Amarillo School Bus

New York City 1980 Moving back to New England from Asunción, Paraguay, we stayed in a short-term rental in New York City until our household goods caught up with us in America. It truly was a case of the slow boat down the river from Asunción to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where our things would be... Read more »
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    Candace Drimmer

    I was an accidental expatriate; love and marriage led me to it. One day I was a bandy-legged kid sitting atop my dogwood tree looking out of my small backyard world in 1950s New Jersey, wanting to move somewhere--anywhere, different. Next thing I knew my father had accepted a job in Houston TX. I was ecstatic, it was a foreign land in 1961 America. After high school graduation, my parents’ gave me a matched set of fawn-colored hardsided American Tourister luggage. Taking the hint, I went to college; well four colleges in five years--it was the 60s after all. Meeting a young hirsute anti-war, soon-to-be-Peace Corps volunteer, I fell in love. After finishing up college coursework for my degree, but before I even walking a graduation stage, I grabbed the paper airline ticket my boyfriend had sent me, my brand-new passport, and was off to the airport and Lima, Peru.

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