Since the beginning of the year, Wasp House has had many visitors.
First ones of the new year were Rosa and Catherine, American who lives in Sosua and Virginia and Canadian Brit who lives in Canada, with frequent trips to Sosua to visit her Dominican husband. Both always come laden with goodies and this time was no exception. I should point out that Danilo calls Rosa "Awesome" as she taught him the word, but surprise surprise he can't say it properly so he calls her Orso, which means Bear in English. Hence she is known as Bear.
They didn't stay for long, but we had a great time, even though they made me walk all the way to the village centre in the sun (crazy gringas).
The next visitor was a Danish orthopedic surgeon and his Dominican wife who came for the afternoon so that he could learn about the house buying process here from Danilo, and hot on their heels was Sandra from Canada, who I had come to know via Facebook and she was a fan of my books.
Sandra also came laden with amazing gifts for her four day stay and I was a little concerned as I knew she didn't like spiders so I was hoping that the tarantulas kept away. I was also concerned as Wasp House is not five star luxury, or even one star really. It is more like glamping - I did warn her!
Unfortunately it rained solidly for four days and Wasp House is not good in the rain, as it floods and feels damp. Plus there is little to do here in the rain. Poor Sandra did not have to put up with tarantulas, but she did get a nightly visit from our resident rat, and when a bat flew through the living room - that was it. She had to cover herself up from top to toe!
Just after Sandra left I went to Santiago to talk to a group of communications students studying at PUCMM - the top university in the country. The talk was to be in English as it was as part of their English course and their professor, Melanie, was a friend of mine. Different expats had been invited to talk to them.
The students then had to make a television programme and a radio programme about their favourite speaker - which was yours truly and so a few weeks later the students and Melanie with a few kids and the odd boyfriend and husband all descended on Wasp House.
Danilo took charge of Melanie's delightful children and kept them busy.
Following all the videoing, photographs and chatting we all headed up to eat goat in the local goat restaurant. Here are some of the students with Danilo and I sitting outside the restaurant.
And the final visitor was just a week ago.
Here she is en route with her chauffeur.
Zelda is a one year old Great Dane/German Shepherd cross whose owner had to leave to return to the United States, so the delightful Easton, another friend, offered to drive her here to come and live with us. She has settled in beautifully and is adored by one and all.
Including the 17 year old cat, Zebedee.
And apart from all of these visitors I have been crazy busy with two major writing assignments which have now been submitted.
In addition I was a guest on a pod cast by Billy Atwell about facing your fears. If you want to listen to it and hear my voice it is here.
And last but by no means least, I met a lady called Madeline Sharples via a Facebook page called We Love Memoirs which is for people who love memoirs and who write them, and it is a fabulous group of people. I read Madeline's memoir, called Leaving the Hall Light On and was totally blown away by the story and her writing. She then was kind enough to read What About Your Saucepans? and asked me to write a guest post for her blog which you can read here.
If you would like to read Madeline's book you can buy it from Amazon in Kindle and paperback - I highly recommend it. This was my review on Amazon:
"This is a very hard book for me to write a review on. It is about a subject which I have no knowledge of – a bipolar son who commits suicide. I don’t know anyone well who suffers from bipolar or anyone close whose children have committed suicide so I could not identify with the author or the book. But OMG this was a brilliant book, one which I could not put down. Leaving the subject matter aside, which is heartbreaking, touching, tear jerking and emotional, it is the raw honestly of the writing which takes your breath away. I had no idea a memoir could be so honest, so stripped to the bones, so completely revealing without any glossing over the subject matter in order to just keep that little bit of privacy and secrecy. And that honesty makes this an amazing piece of writing, which I loved. It is peppered with photos which really help the reader to understand and then there are the poems. Personally, I have read many poems in memoirs, most of which I just skim over. But there is no skimming over these, and I have never read or appreciated such powerful poetry. Congratulations Madeline Sharples for a fabulous work of writing both prose and poetry."