Sunday, June 30, 2013

New Book Cover - Watermelon is Life

I'm happy to display the new cover of my book, Watermelon is Life.  It's a wonderful illustration.  The road is actually a real picture of a dirt road in Namibia.  The wildlife in the background are all animals I saw while living and working there.  Finally, the backpacker standing on the road represents my wanderlust.  A very talented cover design artist, Clarrisa Yeo, put it together for me.  She stuck with the same theme of using silhouettes which was also used in my previous cover.

Watermelon is Life is the second book in my teacher travelogue series.  The book is about my experience as a volunteer teacher in rural Namibia.  I plan to donate some of the book's proceeds to the Unlock Foundation, an organization trying to bridge the learning gaps in rural areas in Africa. 

Currently, the manuscript is complete and undergoing revisions.  The book is expected to get published towards the end of the summer. :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Return to Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos

Recently, I traveled back to the Dominican Republic to visit the kids at Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH).  The NPH home has grown and it now cares for 224 orphaned and abandoned children.  I was so happy that I got to spend nearly two weeks visiting with the kids, the volunteers, and NPH staff.  Oddly enough, when I arrived in the Dominican Republic and we drove to NPH, I felt like I was returning home more so than when I came back to the U.S. 

While at NPH, I got to see things through the eyes of a visitor.  Suffice to say, it was more relaxing and less stressful than when I was working there as a teacher.  For eleven days we played sports, did activities, and caught up on everything that has taken place the past year.  I really hope to make these visits a yearly tradition, and as of now I'm tentatively planning a return trip in August of 2014.  Vamos a ver!

In any event, here are some photos of my trip back home...

One of the older kids, Victor, and I at an event in Santo Domingo teaching the kids about the rights of children.

Posing with a new boy at NPH, John.  H recently arrived at the home with his older brother.

Some of the boy from my house, Santa Bernardita.

A night out in the batey for a bit of drinking and bachata.