Monday, March 28, 2011

Travels with Isabel

Isabel and Lori, her daughter-in-law and the executive director of the Isabel Allende Foundation, are traveling to NY this weekend to attend an Omega Institute conference entitled Resilience: A Retreat for Women. Omega co-founder Elizabeth Lesser will be hosting the event, along with Geneen Roth and Joan Borysenko, two noted experts on women’s health and spirituality. Learn more about it here. Lesser's book, Broken Open comes highly recommended. I am going to have to check it out! Take a look at it here. 

With so much going on, I emailed Isabel this morning to check in and ask her a few questions:

How was your trip to San Antonio? Hey, aren't you on a sabbatical? You seem to be traveling so much?

I attended the first fundraiser for the Women and Girls Development Fund in San Antonio, a lovely lunch attended by 700 generous women and several smart teenage girls. Yes, it's my sabbatical, but this organization fits like a glove with the mission of my own foundation: empowerment of women and girls.  I am convinced that's the only way we can end patriarchy and save the world.  I had a good time in San Antonio, a city with Latin flavor and great cultural life.

Who took care of Olivia?

Nico and Lori took care of Olivia for two days and a night.  She is one of those silly dogs with abandonment issues and although I explained to her that we would come back soon, she spent day and night with her nose glued to the door, waiting.  Someone recommended a psychotherapist for dogs but Willie said "Over my dead body," so that's that!

How about this upcoming trip to New York?

On Wednesday Lori and I will attend the Omega Conference at the Sheraton Hotel in New York City. San Antonio was 93º and the humidity curled my hair, which is normally limp.  In New York it's snowing.  It's hard to pack nowadays.

So—as Isabel would say—that’s that! I look forward to hearing all about New York and the Omega conference when she returns.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Fan of the Year

photo by Maria Emilia Moncayo © 2011 

photo by Maria Emilia Moncayo © 2011 
We have all fallen in love with Marino. Isabel's daughter-in-law and Executive Director of the Isabel Allende Foundation Lori met Marino—the Isabel Allende Fan of the Year—on a recent trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, where she was participating in a Mary Ellen Mark photography workshop. It was actually a fellow student, Maria Emilia Moncayo, who happened upon him. While taking photos of Marino's farm and family, Maria stumbled upon Marino’s extensive Allende library. Maria shot a few photos of Marino and, as you can see, he’s clearly enraptured by "the" Isabel Allende.

When Maria told Marino that Isabel Allende's daughter-in-law was just a few hours away in Oaxaca, he made the journey into the city to meet up with her, delivering a packet of lovely poems for Isabel, all beautifully written on handmade paper.

Here are the photos and a scan of two of the poems. It must be nice to be so loved…

Well, now Marino has fans of his own. We love you too, Marino!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

San Antonio or Bust

After a week of storms, complete with power outages, hail, thunder and lightning, My Invented Isabel is back.

I asked Isabel for something blog-worthy and she told me about her upcoming trip to Texas to speak on behalf of the Women & Girls Development Fund. The organization must be pretty special, because this trip is one of the few she’s taking during her yearlong sabbatical. What she writes about makes me want to travel to San Antonio just to learn more:

March 26 I will be in San Antonio to speak at a wonderful event: The Women & Girls Development Fund’s Poetry Slam Luncheon. The Fund’s mission is exactly that of my Foundation: to empower women and girls. It is a proven fact that the best possible investment in fighting poverty is to provide women with education, health and protection from violence. If you give a woman a small loan, she will spend it in her family or start a small business, such as buying a couple of goats. Soon she may come out of extreme poverty and her family will do better. The same loan to a man would allow him to buy something that gives him status, like a bike. Empowering women benefits the family, the community, the village and eventually the nation. The most backward societies in the world are those in which women are held down. Yet, for every $20 that most governments and philanthropies spend on men’s programs, only $1 is invested in women’s programs.  Less than 2 cents of every development dollar goes to girls, and 9 out of 10 programs are aimed at boys. The good news is that there is a new generation of idealistic and generous young Americans willing to correct this appalling disparity with their contributions and their work.

The event will be a luncheon. Please Google it and if you are in the area, try to attend. It will be fun!

Here are a few links about the event in San Antonio:
San Antonio's Home page
San Antonio Area Foundation

Thursday, March 10, 2011

First Edition

I have the job this week of finding and scanning all of Isabel's first edition books. On the surface it sounds pretty easy—until you visit the library. That is, Isabel's personal, all-Allende library. Okay, so the English first editions number 18 in total and were pretty easy to find—I am actually scanning those as I write this. It is kind of fun, really.

THEN there are the international editions…oh boy. To see what I mean, take a look at the photos in this week's posting to see just a few examples. 

I don't even know what half these languages are, so this could take a long time. While there are many international editions currently listed on the website, there are still a bunch missing and I am going to attempt to find them all.

Remember, Isabel has written 18 books, which have been translated into 35 languages! I personally doubt that I could even come up with a list of 35 languages, at least not without the help of the Internet.

Wish me luck. I will post a link to the page when the books are all sorted.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lost In Translation

At Isabel’s office we are working on translating—for obvious reasons—her English website into Spanish. I am ready to give up! This project is taking forever; she is just too picky about language. Who cares about grammar and spelling anymore? Text messaging and twittering took care of that a long time ago; Isabel is dated, her age is showing. Just for fun, I translated this into English:

El chico abrió la puerta y se enfrentó a unas pupilas negras de expresión inquisidora.   Sintió que se le helaba la sangre ante el recuerdo de los horrores cometidos del bandolero.  Temblando, se hizo a un lado y lo invitó con un gesto tímido.  “Entre no más y tome asiento mientras voy a buscarle un cafecito.”

The short person opened the door and confronted the Inquisitor looking expressively at the Black female pupils.  He felt ice-cream in his blood before the horrid souvenirs and commissions of the band player.  He gave a footstep to the side in the earthquake  and said: “Come in no more and drink a seat whereas I go searching for small coffee beans.”

And, just for fun, the Google Translate version:
The boy opened the door and confronted a black pupils inquisitive expression. He felt his blood run cold at the memory of the horrors of the bandit. Trembling, he stepped aside and invited him with a timid gesture. "Between no more and take a seat while I go fetch a coffee."
Isabel with Jimmy Carter?