Reviewed by Bob Arias (Colombia 1964–66)
A Journey within a Journey
I feel that Suzanne is very much the same beautiful individual that she was when she became a Peace Corps Volunteer along with me in 1964 in Colombia. And like her move in 1971 to Santiago, Chile to be with her soon-to-be husband, Santiago, Suzanne took California with her when she went into the Peace Corps. One tough lady, always proud of who she was, and ready to go over the next hill to see if things are different, or perhaps to find a new flower or one of natures creatures. I agree with her, she would have made a great California Forest Ranger with a Smokey the Bear hat!
Moving to Chile to follow Santiago was much more than changing homes for Suzanne. She had to change her mind-set, learn to prepare new foods, and meet lots of new relatives — and all the while she had to wrestle with the sadness of having left her Mom and Dad alone in California. But she did it . . . and Santiago won more than a wife, he found a partner, of now over forty years, who would always be that unique individual from California. You may take the girl out of California, but you will never take California out of Suzanne.
This is a very special book that you may want to keep near your favorite chair. Pick a page and see what Suzanne does next! Chile is her home!
A message to Suzanne — thank you for sharing the beautifully written story of your life’s journey with its pleasures and its challenges as you became an “introduced species” in a far away land so different — yet with some surprising similarities — from the beloved land of your birth.
P.S. I appreciate flowers and birds, but I can’t tell the difference between one plant and another. With your writing skill and you special fondness for plants and animals, perhaps your next book should be about the things you see that make you day beautiful . . . share your excitement! You have talent that we envy. B.A.
Reviewer Bob Arias was an Associate Peace Corps Director in Colombia from 1968 to 1973, and Peace Corps Country Director in Uruguay and Argentina from 1993 to 1995. He returned to work at the Peace Corps from 2001 to 2003 and established the agency’s Safety and Security Office. Now retired from Los Angeles County where he worked as a Compliance Officer, Bob has been serving as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer (formerly known as a Crisis Corps) since 2009, and has worked in Paraguay, Colombia, and now for a second time, in Panamá.