January 31, 2010

new adventures & new goals

Last night I was talking to my friend Jenny as she was packing up her bags to study abroad for a semester near Perth, Australia. She is nervous, excited and anxious to get started with her adventure. In talking to her I was reminded of my own study abroad experience in Spain during college. I was so nervous to go out on my own on a trip with strangers to a foreign country with only a minimal ability to speak the language. Well, as you can tell, that trip was everything I wanted because my love to travel was only enhanced. Now I look to Jenny and I know she is going to have an absolutely fabulous experience. An experience that will probably change the way she looks at the world and the way the world looks at her. She is going to come back to Minnesota in six months a different girl, because experiences change you, they affect you, they challenge you, they make you redefine yourself - they alter you to the very core of your being.

I created this blog as a way to document my adventure of living in Cali, Colombia. When I set out to move to a foreign country six months ago, I sort of thought this would be my one "thing" I would do, my one "unusual", "out of the box", "risky" thing. After being here six months I have done so many amazing things, met some fabulous new friends and traveled to spectacular places.

Throughout these experiences, I have probably changed my mind about a million times about the direction my life will take tomorrow, next month, and next year.
I don't really have any answers yet, so don't look to this blog post if you are wondering what the hell I'm doing with my life...cause I have no idea either, sorry. What I have however decided, is that this adventure I have taken myself on is in no way my only, my first, or my last. Life is full of things to do, people to meet and things to be experienced and I plan to do as many of them as possible. I figure I can continue to live by the motto "You can sleep when you're dead" well into my sixties. ;) That being said I have decided to, under the inspiration of other bloggers and friends, create my very own Life List. Also known as a list of things I plan to accomplish in this lifetime. I cannot show you that list today because it is in now way complete or finished or anything, but soon. Sometime soon.
Here are a few things I know will for sure end up on the final draft:
  • See a game at all 30 Major League Ballparks.
  • Run in the Twin Cities 10 mile.
  • Visit wine country in Argentina.3
  • Learn to drive stick shift.
  • Print and scrapbook the pictures from my study abroad trip to Spain.
  • Meet Joe Mauer and take a picture with him.
  • Give up pasta for one month.
  • Take the SATC tour in NYC.
  • Live in Uptown, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Live on Grand Ave, St. Paul, Minnesota.
  • Kiss in the rain.
  • Take a web site design class.
Anyone have other suggestions for me??? :)
Happy Monday!

January 27, 2010

Clásico por la hermandad - Soccer game for Haiti

[Lots of teachers from school at the game!]
Last night I attended a soccer game between the two soccer teams in Cali, Deportivo Cali and America.

Soccer is super important in Latin America, and pretty much everywhere else in the world besides the States, so people get pretty into it. Normally, when America and Cali play each other there are basically fights, riots, stampedes, etc. However, they played last night as part of a fundraiser for Haiti, so it was supposed to be a "friendship game". (This didn't stop the players from engaging in multiple fights, but such is life...)
The reason games are so intense is because Colombians in general are such die hard fans. People from Cali have a decided team, either America or Cali, basically as soon as they are born, and they never deviate from these allegiances. Before last night I did not support a specific team. However, I think I will be following the logic of my friend Kelsi in deciding. She went to a game back in October and told me, "we sat on the America side, and America won, so now I like America." Well, last night we sat on the America side, and America won. So, America - I am officially on your side. Traditionally, the America team is the local team without the big sponsorships or money, while Deportivo Cali is known as the "rich team". Seeing as how I am a Minnesota sports fan, "underdog" is basically my middle name, thus solidifying my choice for America.
At this particular game, everyone wore white to show support, hope and solidarity with Haiti. I loved seeing the whole stadium in white, when it is normally covered in red (America) and green (Cali). Also, while people definitely still cheered for their respective teams, the overall atmosphere seemed friendly and fans maintained great moods throughout the game. Only once did the refs have to stop the game and ask the Cali fans to stop throwing things on the field. (Another reason I'm an America fan - clearly this is fate)
[note all the white in the background!!]
I definitely want to go to an official Clasico game sometime in the future, but for my first soccer experience this was a pretty cool event. Also, I must say I was struck last night thinking about how truly global in nature the response to this earthquake has been. Very few times since moving to Colombia have I felt that the US and Colombia have the exact same priorities. However, in situations like this I am reminded of how connected our world is and what a wonderful community we can be when we put our minds to it. People all over the world care about others - really care. A pretty refreshing thought, don't you think? :) It definitely left me smiling...

January 24, 2010

Weekend Recap: brits, hope for haiti & travel money

Well friends, here we are the end of another weekend! This weekend my friends Emma and Monica, two girls from England who Allison and I met in Ciudad Perdida, stopped through Cali on their backpacking tour of Colombia. I loved seeing them again and getting to share Cali with them -- if only for a few days!

  • We got direct TV installed...the guys showed up late so we didn't get TV in time for me to watch the Hope for Haiti concert. :( So...for now I have been checking out the You Tube videos and might be convinced to buy the itunes soundtrack. I know that I have only seen bits and pieces, but I have not seen musical compilations this inspiring since the Obama inauguration concert. :) Some quick comments on the performances I have seen so far:
  • Justin Timberlake & Matt Morris singing Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. MASTERPIECE. I love love love this song, even though it always makes me want to cry and basically reminds me of the last episode of season one of The OC. (No judgement, thank you very much, I love(d) that show!!) Their voices blended together perfectly and Justin Timberlake on piano?? Amazing.
  • Bruce Springsteen singing "We Shall Overcome". I have made no secret of my love for the Boss, but the guy really is fabulous. There is no 60-year-old man more awesome than Springsteen. This version was absolutely wonderful and I couldn't help but love his short words at the beginning, offering up his song contribution as "a small prayer for Haiti".
  • Jay-Z, Rihanna, Bono and the Edge singing Stranded. This was...creative.
  • Keith Urban, Sheryl Crow & Kid Rock singing Lean On Me. (I missed viewing this the first time around - good thing my mother knows how much I love KU and informed me of this performance!!)
  • Took the girls out for some salsa dancing action, since that is what Cali is really known for. We went out with some friends from school to a place near my apartment called Tin Tin Deo, where you can sit at tables around a decent size dance floor. Kelsi and I put some of our new salsa dancing skills to work! :)
  • Thanks to the fact that I now have Twitter I found out that John Mayer and Keith Urban are teaming up on Country Music Television's show Crossroads. (Crossroads pairs country music artists with musicians from other genres, where the two swap stories and share their love for music) AMAZZZZZING! Seeing as how both of them rank in my top 5 artists I cannot WAIT to see what they come up with together!!! They are recording on Tuesday and air date is TBD. LOVE. :)
  • Helped Emma upload lots of pictures to Facebook using iphoto. I love my Mac book. :)
  • Went out to dinner in Granada, the bar/restaurant section of Cali. We went to Platillos Voldares (Flying Plates) where I had some of the best tofu green curry ever created. (Or maybe I was just super hungry cause I missed lunch, but it tasted delicious!)
Out to dinner with the girls.
Emma and I.
Emma and Monica.
  • Met up with friends at Bourbon Street, a New Orleans themed bar that basically makes you forget you're in Colombia. We had some drinks to celebrate Catie's birthday and enjoyed some lovely American cover songs by a Colombian band of guys who looked about 15. Awesome.
  • Spent about an hour looking up flights for Semana Santa (Spring Break), summer, and Argentina. Turns out I need about $2000 just to travel the hemisphere in the upcoming months. Anyone?? Now accepting donations, thank you very much.
  • Spent about three hours shopping at Unicentro. Found some fabulous after Christmas sales, Juan Valdez coffee, and saw pretty much every non-Colombian teacher I know at my school. Ridiculous.
  • And now? My fabulous house guests are in the process of making a fabulous meal of fajitas for their last night here. LOVE them.
I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!!

January 22, 2010


Remember our last field trip? While I enjoyed getting to know my students at that times, I really didn't like the field trip or it's chaos very much.
This time around, we (the 8th grade team) got a little smarter and planned the entire day ourselves. The planning didn't actually take too long because teachers are pretty good at delegation. For our efforts in planning, we were richly rewarded yesterday with a fabulous "convivencia" with our students. Convivencia is the Spanish word for field trip...although yesterday wasn't much of a field trip since we didn't leave school...
Let me explain. So in February we are taking our students on a three day field trip to San Vicente, about 5-6 hours from Cali. In preparation for that trip and the three non-stop days of fun with 100 hormonal 8th graders, we decided to do some team building work now in January. We organized a convivencia yesterday with four different activities or rotations all aimed at helping the students make a "Commitment to Excellence", our theme for the day. The activities each focused on a different type of excellence: academic, personal, social and environmental.
My activity focused on social excellence, or excellence as a member of a community, team or group. For this activity, a colleague and I brought the students to the ropes course we have at school. Many of the students didn't remember the course existed, and had never used it before. We asked them to complete a series of tasks as part of a small group of 4 to 5. One specific task included the high wall. As I lead students to this activity I told them about how I completed this activity many years at summer camp, so I was confident they too could do it. I am happy to say that every single student went over the high wall yesterday. While some were nervous or scared to try it, they all persevered and found trust in their classmates to get the job done.
I LOVED getting to see different sides of them outside the general classroom and it reminded me of what awesome little people they are turning into. New people came up with creative ideas, new people emerged as leaders, and students who have trouble remaining positive in class suddenly turned into cheerleaders for their teammates. Sure, there were students who chose not to contribute positively to the experience, as some will always choose to do, but for the most part they were a seriously impressive group.
The day finished with a reflection time where we reviewed the four areas of excellence and then asked students to write a personal action plan for this semester. We are keeping these plans for the students to open in San Vicente, as part of another goal-setting activity, so they can check in with their plans. The end of the day was hard for students to focus, but overall I think they did a nice job of working towards a commitment to excellence.
LOVE the teamwork & happiness here!
Up and over!
Scott leading a small reflection at the end of our rotation.
Other tasks in the ropes course.
Annnnnd one group of kids definitely made Scott & I go over the high wall. They found this endlessly hilarious. :)

January 21, 2010

So I Joined Twitter

Hmm...after considering this for the past few months I have succumbed to yet another form of social media and joined the world of Twitter. What finally prompted this necessity in my life? I received a pre-season email from the Minnesota Twins, found out they have a team Twitter account and decided I needed more Twins news in my life. Preferably just down into short 140 character increments I can easily scan between teaching sections of 8th grade algebra. Perfect.
Don't worry, I am also following the Pioneer Press and Cities 97 to obtain a full variety of Twin Cities news in addition to my Twins fix. :) Beyond reading what other organizations and people put out there in the world of Twitter I don't quite know what else to do with it. I recognize it's this great tool and resource for many people, especially those who can update or check updates from their cell phones. However, Colombia doesn't support that quite yet so in the meantime my Twitter use will be limited to any time I actually sit down in front of my computer. Anyone out there using Twitter have thoughts, comments or suggestions? Let me know!
In other news, the two girls that Allison and I met on our Ciudad Perdida trip, Monica and Emma, are coming to Cali this weekend! They are both from England originally and are just taking some time off to travel right now. They are fun, hilarious and great ladies, so I cannot wait to see them again! They are staying at my apartment for the weekend while I show them around Cali a bit. Tomorrow we have plans for some salsa dancing - can't wait! Happy almost Friday everyone!

January 17, 2010

Weekend Recap: procrastination, three crosses & tea obsession

Back in the swing of things in Cali, I have been enjoying a weekend of rest that didn't include living out of a suitcase. As much as I love to travel, there is something fabulous about having a room and a home. Here's how I spent my first weekend back in Cali:
  • Nap time after school - Friday afternoon naps are actually God's gift to teachers I think.
  • A trip to the local amusement park, located about 5 minutes from my apartment. Picture outdoor rides and vendors not unlike the state fair, with an entrance shaped like a giant cat's mouth. Oh and the cat lights up green at night. So off we went to see what the River View amusement park of Cali had in store for us. We rode the roller coaster, spider, dark ride (not nearly as scary as it sounds...in fact kind of lame) and others before finishing with something entitled the Kamikaze. The Kamikaze is something like the Pirate Ship back home, and basically looks like this picture, more or less. We spun around in a circle way too many times and all felt a little queasy by the time we were back on solid ground. At that point we decided to call it a night.
  • Woke up early enough to catch up on blogging and write four posts before 10 am!
  • Thought about lesson planning...thought about how long it had been since I had to lesson plan...and proceeded to do everything possible in the house before getting down to work. In this time I managed to hang some pictures in my room, hang up a map of Cali in our living room, do all the dishes, change some light bulbs, organize our tool drawer, organize the back closet and all of our plastic bags, put away all my travel stuff, and last but not least, create a tea drawer in our kitchen! Steph & I both drink tea every single morning and our boxes of tea are all over our food shelves, so we decided to create an easy-to-access tea drawer with everything in one simple location. The final product sort of makes us appear to be tea addicts, but really it's just because we have brought so many types of tea back from the US, so we have an abundant supply. I LOVE it! :) At least there are some benefits to full-blown procrastination...

Drawer o' tea!
  • Roommate trip to the grocery store for essentials - including more light bulbs, hangers, and a full length mirror.
  • Had some friends over for an Italian fiesta of red wine, bruschetta, and pasta. A perfect night with good friends and delicious food! I feel so lucky to be able to entertain such good company.
  • Set the alarm for 8 am on Sunday (yikes!) and met up with some other teachers to hike up to the Three Crosses (Tres Cruces) that overlook Cali. I have been wanting to do this hike since I got to Cali, but the trail is difficult to find if you haven't been there and I didn't know how difficult the hike would be. Well....after the jungle excursion I figured it couldn't be that bad. I got to sleep in my own bed (not a hammock!) and make my own breakfast before hiking, and put on clean clothes! It was a whole different hiking experience. :) The hike actually only takes an hour and a half to get to the top so it really did seem like a piece of cake after Ciudad Perdida. The hike provided a great chance to see other friends and hear about everyone's break...as well as bask in our return to Cali's heat. I am excited now that I know the trail to follow and can do it again whenever I want! :)

Beginning the hike from the road.

Overlooking Cali at the start of the hike.

Hiking Girls! Me, Lori, Angie, Hana, Amy and Martha.
On the way up to the 3 crosses.

We're here!

Our new friend Martin, who happily befriended us in English on the way down the mountain.
Finishing the trail...
All in all a pretty productive weekend...despite my desperate attempts at the contrary. :) Happy MLK Day tomorrow to all my stateside friends!

January 16, 2010

Parque Nacional Tayrona (National Park Tayrona)

As I said, the vacation's over...so here are the rest of the pictures! After completing the trek to Ciudad Perdida, Allison and I needed some serious recuperation time and what better way to rejuvenate our souls then with some quality beach time???
The morning after we returned from the lost city we left Santa Marta for a Colombian national park called Tayrona. I had heard fabulous reviews about the park from almost everyone I knew, so I was psyched to get there. We loaded up on snacks and books, and took the 40 minute bus ride to the park's main gate. At the gate we paid the entrance fee for foreigners ($34,000 pesos) even through I tried to negotiate with the woman for the $12,000 Colombian entrance fee since I live here. She wasn't having it and $17 US dollars later we were in the park.
Dresses & backparks? Ready for a day at the Colombian beach!
From the entrance we embarked on what we now call Day 7 of our trek, because we walked about 2 hours just to arrive at the beach. Needless to say, we didn't think the walk would take nearly that long and by the time we arrived, we were quite irritated and ready to settle down. After about 30 minutes we located the guy in charge at the first beach, Arrecifes, and secured ourselves some $12,000 peso hammocks for the night. Lodging handled we ran to the beach and found ourselves astounded at the gorgeous atmosphere.
View from our hammocks = amazing!
Huge waves! You cannot even swim at this beach because the waves are so intense and people have actually drown in the past. :(
These huge rocks line the shore of the park as you walk from beach to beach.
After a night in our hammocks with sleeping bags (these seemed like a luxury after Ciudad Perdida!) but without mosquito nets we woke up super early and ready to explore more of this gorgeous park. We left our hammocks around 8 and headed west along the coast. From our beach, Arrecifies, we walked about 20 minutes to a small cove where you are allowed to swim.
Allison at the cove.
Enjoying the gorgeous morning walk beachside.
From here we walked about another 15 minutes to a beach called La Piscina. You cannot stay the night at this beach, but it is a great beach during the day. Calm enough for swimming, but lined with fresh fruit vendors in case you need a quick pick-me-up hydration from the equatorial sun.

On the trail, just before La Piscina.
Coconut trees overhead make for a gorgeous landscape...so long as the coconuts remain in the trees and not on your head.
We continued on our walk for another 30 minutes on a path before arriving at the last beach on our tour, Cabo San Juan de La Guia. This beach is definitely camper central with tons of tents and hammocks set up all over, and an on-site restaurant! I can definitely see why people come here as the atmosphere seemed open and welcoming. Everyone seemed to be having a great time and the beach included two separate coves for swimming. Allison and I of course took this moment to pause for one of our mutual favorite activities - jumping pictures. As you know, I love in motion photography, and she does too so we promptly headed to the beach for a long series of photos. Colombian looked on with amused grins at these two crazy white girls jumping and laughing on the beach, but we didn't really care. The pictures turned out great and we had a blast!

View of one cove at Cabo, with the other hiding in the background. Please note that the hut on top of that hill has hammocks in it where you can spend the night and truly be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the Caribbean. AMAZING!
Allison loving the beach :) I took this on the big try...no big deal.
So happy :)
While December and January are vacation months in Colombia, making the national park more crowded than usual, we truly enjoyed all of our time in Tayrona. I think it will definitely remain one of my favorite places in Colombia and I cannot wait to return for many visits in the upcoming years!
And with that...the vacation posts are over. So long sunny beachfronts, hello Algebra textbooks.

the vacation's over. back to school we go!

This week marked my official return to real life. Turns out I do have a job and I don't just get to travel around Colombia indefinitely, regardless of appearances over Christmas vacations. Shoot. I kind of fell in love with this whole travel around, hang out with friends, wake up when I want, and not lesson plan.
I can't lie though...I was so excited to get back to school! Over break I realized how much I really do love all of my friends and co-workers here and my students (most of them!) too. I missed everyone and was excited to hear about their adventures over vacation. The night before our first teacher day back I could barely sleep and with just five hours of sleep in me I woke up before my alarm. Ridiculous, I know. But I just love seeing everyone again!
At the end of this week I am starting to settle back into the routine again, however I still have lots of lesson planning to do since I neglected to find time during break to think about the wonders of Algebra One. Whoops. Seeing my students again has been great, and I enjoyed hearing about all of their breaks as well. In true wealthy, private school kid form several of them told me about their time in San Andres (remember the island in the Caribbean I visited over Thanksgiving?) on a boat...which about 20 of them went on and went tubing behind for an entire day in San Andres. Ridiculous. :)
Next week things will really start to get busy again with meetings, after school tutorials, activities and our new unit on linear inequalities. Should be riveting.

Colombia : One of NY Times Top 31 Places to Visit in 2010

Turns out I am not the only one discovering the gorgeous land of Colombia in 2009. Writers for the New York Times spent time researching 31 new places to visit in 2010, and turns out Colombia made the list! Hooray! After living here for awhile now I feel that I appreciate Colombia for the true country it is, without all the stereotypes of drugs and cartels we hear about in the American media. This was amplified in the last few weeks when I watched Allison experience this first-hand. She came to visit with a completely open mind, and she dove right into the culture of Colombia. As a result, I think she left feeling some understanding of my life here and Colombia in general.
What other hidden gems are out there to visit in 2010? You can read the whole article here, including the references to Colombia (#26). The writers call Colombia "Latin America’s next affordable hot spot" and I couldn't agree more. In fact, I think Colombia's days as a country "off the beaten path" are most definitely numbered.
Some other interesting spots on the list?
  • #2 - Patagonia Wine Country (Argentina) - I really hope I go here in 2010!!
  • #4 - Mysore - Never heard of it before but the sentence "Yogis seeking transcontinental bliss head these days to Mysore, the City of Palaces, in southern India." seems enticing...
  • #9 - Antarctica - The article claims this may be the last year that Antarctica is open to mass tourism. I wasn't even aware it ever was open to mass tourism, but if you are one of those people who's life list includes "visit all 7 continents", apparently this is your year to go to Antarctica.
  • #11 - Los Angeles - I also hope to visit here in 2010! I have never been to California, but with two great friends moving out to the OC this fall, I am anxious to go visit them and this massive state.
  • #18 - Bahia (Brazil) - With all that hype about Argentina, it's easy to forget about Brazil, but in all reality I am just as eager to visit here too.
  • #22 - South Africa - As the article reminds you, South Africa is hosting the soccer World Cup this summer, so their tourism industry has taken a big & quick step up as of late. This country seems like a magical combination of old and new, history and culture, safari and city.
Now if only teachers made enough money to allow me to visit all 31 places in 2010...

In Search of My Word

As I said in my last post, I just finished reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Her book gave me a lot of "food for thought", but the most intriguing part for me was her search for her word.
Let me explain...
Elizabeth is talking to her Italian friend, Giulio, about how Roman woman are always dressed up and fancy, while she herself is not. He responds with, "Maybe you and Rome just have different words." He goes on to explain that, "If you could read people's thoughts as they were passing you on the streets of any given place, you would discover that most of them are thinking the same thought. Whatever that majority thought might be - that is the word of the city. And if your personal word does not match the word of the city, then you don't really belong there."
They go on to discuss the words of many cities, including Rome (sex), the Vatican (power), New York City (achieve), Los Angeles (succeed), Stockholm (conform), Naples (fight), before Giulio asks the ultimate question to Liz. "What's your word?"
She doesn't really figure it out until later in the book, so I will leave that for you to discover...however, I will say that this search for a personal word has inspired me to think of what my word might be.
What is my personal word? And does everyone just have one word for a lifetime? Or does your word change overtime? Is my word what I truly want it to be? Am I proud of the word that describes me?
I wish I could end this post with some sort of fabulous insight into how I discovered my word, but I really don't think I have. For awhile, I thought my word could be travel. However, travel doesn't really describe all of me, it just describes me right now. When Allison was here we discussed this and she thinks my word could be commitment. Which I am not entirely opposed to, as I do tend to commit to things whole-heartedly and then stick with them...it just doesn't feel like the perfect choice. Most people who have spent significant time with might toss out the word sarcasm in reference to me, but I don't think I am content with that as my life word either. So, in summary...the search continues.
I did however, do some thinking about other words. I think Colombia's word is prove. Fair or not, Colombia has something to prove to the world after a difficult history, and their efforts are quite apparent. Cali's word is most definitely salsa. Salsa rules this city - the culture, the language, the music, the bars, everything! Minnesota's word might be recreation...or un-complicated. Both seem to describe my home state quite well.
So...now the obvious question...what's your word?
Happy thinking!

January 13, 2010

Book Worm

Today was our first day back at school after break and I am already exhausted! These 8th graders sure are a handful. Who knew?

I have spent some time discussing my adventures over break, but in between all that I spent a lot of time on buses, in airports and in general just waiting around. As a result, I read a LOT over the last few weeks. I pretty much read and English language material I could get my hands on! :) In fact, after our last book club I located more than enough reading material.

I started break by finishing up Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I have had friends with mixed reactions to this book but I absolutely LOVED it. Probably because she was traveling and trying to figure stuff out about herself, and that's pretty much what I am doing... However, I also loved her humor, her ideas, her thoughts on life, prayer and love...and pasta! One of my favorite themes throughout the book is her search for her word. But I think that topic needs a whole separate post...so onwards.
After finishing Eat, Pray, Love I started on my next travel adventure through...SPAIN! After studying abroad in Spain for six weeks one summer I have fallen 100% in love with the country and I cannot wait to go back and explore more! A play on the title of Lance Armstrong's book entitled, It's Not About the Bike, It's Not About the Tapas by Polly Evans is the story of her 1,000 mile summer spent traveling throughout Spain. Visiting small towns and tourist attractions, eating her way through delicious tapas, local wine, and fine brews, Polly tells hilarious stories of being chased by animals on the road, questioned by old men in small towns, and hostel owners who gasped at her biking adventure. This was the perfect book to read before and after I embarked on my jungle hike to Ciudad Perdida, and seriously makes me contemplate biking as a means of transportation next time I am in Spain...
However...I do have to admit, when I found this next book sitting on the shelf in our hostel in Santa Marta, I had to put the tapas aside and jump into the wonderful world of Dan Brown. Dan Brown is one of the most engaging writers I know and he spins tales of fabulous intrigue and mystery, I can never put his books down! True to form I read Deception Point in four days...which almost ended up being a disaster because I finished it on day 2 of 6 in the jungle...what was I to do?

Deception Point captivated me beginning to end, and really gave a powerful insight once again into the powers that be that we as citizens put so much trust in. NASA, the Pentagon, the President and the NRO all come into play in this intriguing and suspenseful novel. Definitely a perfect beach book!
Turns out...one of the guys in our hiking group also finished a book on the hike, so we decided to swap. I have never read a John Grisham book before, but after reading The Partner I cannot wait to read more! Just like Dan Brown, I found Grisham a terribly engaging author with scenarios and conversations that kept me turning page after page. The Partner tells the story of a man who faked his own death, stole $90 million from his law firm and disappeared entirely...that is until we was found. The front cover proclaims, "A dead man can't run forever." Also a great beach read and a total page turner.
In summary I will clearly have lots to share at our next book club! :) Now I just have to decide what to start next! With my move to a new neighborhood my commute to school is a bit longer and while I usually cannot read in cars, I am considering trying to read on the bus rides home in order to pass the time. Anyone read anything fabulous lately??

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