Review — TALES OF FAMILY TRAVEL by Kay Gillies Dixon (Colombia)


Tales of Family Travel: Bathrooms of the World
by Kay Gillies Dixon (Colombia 1962–64)
Peace Corps Writers
October 2016
230 pages
$12.00 (paperback), $4.00 (Kindle)

Reviewed by Bob Arias (Colombia 1964–66)

“Mom . . . I have to go and now!”

Anyone with children or even grandchildren knows that “potty time” comes fast and often, especially when you are getting ready to leave to go shopping or visit the doctor. I have not stopped laughing as each page shows the beauty of the Dixon clan . . . Mom, Dad, and four young ladies. All six members of the Dixon family are K’s . . . Kay, Kevin, Kristi, Karol, Kimberly, and Kandice. You just know this Travel . . . with the Dixon’s is going to be exciting and never a dull moment. Hard to put down and not want to read over each chapter again and again. What would we do without our children? It is a shame that children have to grow up and become adults!

What impressed me was the easy nature of the family to find a home in Saudi Arabia when Kevin was hired by a local company. Home is their suitcase and each other. Quick to enjoy the cross cultural experience of daily life in a foreign country and develop the friendship that they have with their Host Country neighbors; sharing and learning. Kay and Kevin know that their Peace Corps experience of the ’60s, prepared them, and opened the world to their daughters . . . Peace Corps/Colombia without the four “Dixon Girls” was not as exciting as travel is now. Speaking of different cultures and languages, the Dixon ladies will be of value to themselves, their family, and their community. As a parent, I hope Kay and Kevin consider a follow-up report on the adult life of their daughters . . . what rich backgrounds each one took with them on their travels.

Even the youngest, Kandice born in Saudi Arabia, fits right in — not missing a beat. Bet her first words had something to do with “potty” and hurry. Or calling out “namaste” as she and her sisters walk the streets of Nepal smiling and nodding their heads.

And then Kandice disappears while traveling in Kenya with the Maasai . . . where is little Kandice? Sitting next to another tot inside a village hut . . . awesome! How many of us have ridden an elephant or played with a prayer wheel? These young adventure-motivated ladies have!

Kay and Kevin have given us future diplomats with the flexibility to fit right in, with the respect of the difference in cultures . . . Mom and Dad have been special parents! As you can tell, I found Tales of Family Travel more than just a book on travel, it was the excitement of seeing the response to each new challenge faced by the Dixon clan. The collection of black and whites added to the pleasure of keeping up with the girls . . . great artwork throughout the book!

Reviewed by Bob Arias, who was a Rural Community Development PCV in Colombia 1963-64, 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 assisting in establishing the agency’s Safety and Security Office. Now retired from Los Angeles County where he was the Compliance Officer, Bob has served as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer (formerly known as a Crisis Corps) since 2009, in Paraguay, Colombia, and now for a second time, in Panamá.

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