Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Faeries in Afghanistan!

My book is in Afghanistan! I love it when my book travels the world -- it feels so appropriate, since Magpie is such an adventurous lass. Here it sits on an old tank -- I can imagine Magpie perched there for real, her dragonfly wings twitching, as she thinks sad thoughts about mannies and their wars.

And here is Magpie with her world-traveling kindred spirit, "Frida":

Frida is a human rights worker in Ghor Province in central Afghanistan. She blogs about her work there, about the amazing people, the orphanages, the frustrations of bureaucracy, and her efforts to keep her spirits up through yoga practice, reading, writing, and frequent excursions to happier places, like Portugal and her native New Zealand. She was going to be coming to Portland this month but now maybe isn't (boo hoo!). She and Magpie really are kindred souls -- they're both doing what nobody else (or very few others) are willing to do, and traveling far beyond the comforts of home to do it. She even describes herself as "a gypsy who likes to feather her nest" and Magpie is a "gypsy on wing."

I hope you will go and see the amazing pictures on Frida's photoblog. She gives Afghanistan a face that we just never see -- look at these people, these children.

Ah, yes. My sister just reminded me that there is another copy of my book in Afghanistan. My brother-in-law's brother, who is a soldier, has one too! Go, Magpie!

Now, an update about Vlad the Installer. Boo hiss! He lumbered in here yesterday, a big, soft-spoken Russian dude with a home-'schooled' kid in the car waiting to assist him (can you say child labor?), took a look around our old house with its furnace in the wrong place, and just didn't want to do the job. So he lied about how impossible it was and left with a shrug and a "sorry." Uhhh! I mean, he was totally unwilling to send his son down into our crawl space. The NERVE! (Seriously though, is it not weird he home schools his son as a furnace apprentice?) All this, after we spent hours with the annoying sales guy last week. DANG. So we called someone else and he came out and agreed our house is weird, the furnace is in totally the wrong place (in a closet in the bathroom) and to get it up to code there needs to be much creative problem-solving. He has a plan, though, and our fingers are crossed. If he doesn't come through for us, I might be wearing my fantasy alpaca foot pajamas this winter after all!

Have a fabulous day, all! Luckily it's not cold yet! I do love me some winter, but er, not without a furnace! Ach, listen to me -- in the spirit of today's post, I can only think about the orphanages in Ghor and how cold the kids are there in the winter, which prompted a woolens drive last year to ship socks and mittens and sweaters over. I wonder if there will be another one this year?


Anonymous said...

There are at least TWO copies in Afghanistan! Marty's brother is deployed there and he has copy. :-)


Jim Di Bartolo said...

Frida does indeed seem to be one awesome lady! Too bad she won't be coming here sometime soon -- she's sure to have some great stories to tell (in addition to the ones on her blog of course).

And yeah, Vlad seemed nice enough, but the strangest thing was how "all those pipes" under our house where the vent would need to go magically disappeared as soon as he left and I popped my head in the crawl space -- weird that, eh?


Anonymous said...

Afghanistan could definitely use more fairies - and more people like your friend, for certain.

Vlad the Installer? Ha ha! You weren't cooking something with garlic in it, when he came by, were you? Hope the next one works out for you - sending warm thoughts your way! (we don't currently have one either - but then we're in usually sunny SoCal, so the fireplace is usually enough).

Anonymous said...

You make me feel like a star! When of course Magpie is the star and I'm the pretender. I do like to think we would get on well tho - Magpie and I. And it looks like Portland is on again - yippee...

Dalissa 365 said...

Gosh, I hope you are able to get the furnace problem taken care of! We live in an over a hundred year old house, too, and so far, so good! And, having a book travel the globe is exciting especially in the hands of such caring people!

As for Vlad homeschooling and coming from the fact that I homeschooled for over ten years, I'd say that it isn't that weird for his son to accompany him... What I mean is that while my son also did traditional work at home, he also took classes outside the house with other children and, on occasion, apprenticed with his Dad at photo shoots. The experience was great for him. He could do things with a camera and in Photoshop that many kids his age couldn't and he enjoyed the extra time with Dad. Typically, the homeschooled child can complete his traditional work in far less hours than a public schooled student and that's mostly because of the amount of time a traditional ps teacher has to spend disciplining the class, presenting the assignment, etc.

(OK, I'll get off my soapbox now- sorry! ;)

Anonymous said...

Alright! Magpie is in Afghanistan and it's so great to see that Frida has a copy. And have a great time with Frida in Portland. You know, I've only heard great things about Portland. Is it true that there's a pirate music festival there? I think I heard that on NPR earlier this year...

paris parfait said...

Frida is one of my faves - and yes, she's brave and adventurous like your character!

Hope you get the furnace issues sorted soon! xo