EFAM | Escape From America Magazine

Foster caring my grandson in Guatemala

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Working away the days we often lose touch with the truly meaningful things in life – the contributions we can make that are of lasting value to ourselves and our loved ones and others whom our lives touch. And even after we find our piece of heaven on earth, after years of searching and sacrifice, we are surprised and sometimes even blindsided but what great accomplishments remain within us. To those of you have found it all and still dream of more, we heartily recommend this story, available right now as an eBook loaded with pictures and filled with lots of first hand details of journeying to Antigua, Guatemala.

“…my husband and I “dropped out” and began our second marriage to each other, a different kind of marriage. He retired from his job of 33 years, I quit another of a series of quit-from or fired-from or forced-out or laid-off jobs, we sold or stored everything we had and we bought a sailboat. Eventually, we sailed it to Guatemala…”

Even if it ended there, this tale would still be a modern classic of escaping with one’s body and soul intact and discovering a new and different society. As she details the life-changing events she and her husband encounter, you’ll be inspired by Sharon Kratz’ story of adapting to a lifestyle that many have only wished for, while still upholding the bonds of the family they raised.

”On Guatemala’s Rio Dulce, you can’t tell the difference between a successful attorney and a bum with a boat. Everyone wears raggy shorts, flip-flops and worn-out yacht club t-shirts. The only measure of social class is how well you maintain your boat…”

But this story becomes as much about adopting as it is about adapting to a new lifestyle. Removed far beyond the day-to-day cares of their previous life, the new expatriates turn their energies again to helping the daughter who calls from Albuquerque and says the heartbreaking words no mother wants to hear from her daughter: “I can’t get pregnant”

“The day my daughter Jennifer called me to discuss adoption, I tried to be encouraging and optimistic. She’s a single woman, a gay single woman, and many times, her pathways have been rockier than most. She seldom takes the easy road if there’s a better one. She helped me to understand that her sexuality was no more a choice than the color of her eyes or the shape of her nose. And that it was something she chose not to disguise or change.”

As this captivatingly positive tale progresses to its bittersweet conclusion for this mother and grandmother, she learns more than understanding and compassion as she and her husband work with their daughter to adopt a Guatemalan baby, only to form a special bond of their own while foster caring for their new grandson. You’ll see how the road to wisdom is a two-way street between rich and poor cultures, and across the generations. And you’ll love how this true-life drama plays out against the background of the historical ruins and gorgeous scenery of Guatemala.

“If you are a U.S. citizen who wants to fostercare your own child or grandchild in Guatemala, be aware that it’s not for the faint of heart. But then, neither is parenting.”

Weaved throughout are thoughtful and compelling recommendations on life and culture in Antigua, once the Spanish colonial capital of Central America, and founded in 1543. Historical details combine with modern challenges, and the author even pauses the narrative to describe several excellent restaurant suggestions, and also digresses into gripping adventures of exploration in the countryside of Guatemala. This is enjoyable and worthwhile reading for anyone interested in traveling or moving to Guatemala and essential for those planning on exploring this amazing land.

No tour of Antigua is complete without a visit to the beautiful Casa Santa Domingo. True to form, this five-star Guatemalan hotel was built around the ruins of the Monasterio Santo Domingo, thus preserving the integrity of the ancient structures while incorporating new lush gardens and scenic walkways. It seems to me that while we in the U.S. landscape around our buildings, other countries have captured the art of incorporating their structures into the landscape. The entire property is educational and eye pleasing. Craftsmen and artisans work in small studios within the complex, and I was in museum heaven! There is an Apothecary Museum, a Museum of Contemporary Arts, a Museum of Pre-Columbian Art and Modern Glass, a Colonial Art Museum . . .

And you’ll also get the inside scoop on lesser-known sites and everyday life in Guatemala, all described from the author’s honest first-hand experiences in her friendly, lucid style. There is plenty of information about this fascinating area contained in this eBook. But most of all this is a heartwarming story of contrasts and confluence, of the meeting of two cultures through two generations, and of two minds in two worlds coming together as with the common purposes of love and nurturing. It is a story that displays the best in people and describes the great beauty of which we are all capable.

You will enjoy sharing this story with your family, friends, and fellow expatriates. Because at its core it is a story about love and the choices that love brings. And this ancient and magical setting is a place you will long to discover, once you get this eBook and become enchanted by this unique and wonderful story. If you have passions, they will be touched and motivated in no time – rediscover love and devotion in Nieto – Fostercaring my grandson in Antigua, Guatemala, available now!

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1 Comment

  1. Antigua Guatemala Hotels December 1, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Very interesting thanks for sharing your story with us as we reflect on things to make things better every day, Greetings

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