Good Neighbors Project Cookstove

It can be said that most of us take our kitchens for granted.

We think of the kitchen as a gathering place, the room where our families start and end each day. This is where stories are swapped, homework is scribbled, meals are cooked, bread is broken, secrets shared– our lives unfold inside our kitchens, each and every day.

It is the center of our homes, the heartbeat of our families. It nourishes us. It comforts us. It’s even there in the middle of the night when we can’t sleep. Continue reading

It’s Not That Scary: The Guatemala Stories (Part Four)


I really wrote all of that stuff before so I could tell you this, my favorite story from the trip.

Okay, look. We’ve been through a lot together, you guys. So here is where I tell you that I was two hours into the road trip to Solola, at a gas station in the middle of nowhere, in a caravan where I still hadn’t learned everybody’s name, when I got my period. Continue reading

It’s Not That Scary: The Guatemala Stories (Part Three)

baseball cap / bandanas / combat boots

Despite my fall, I was dressed rather appropriately for the amount of hiking and manual labor that was ahead of us. At one point we were met by one of the Good Neighbors Guatemala staff, a tiny Korean girl named Genesis, who was in skinny jeans, a scarf, boots with heels, and other fancy clothes. I admired her ability to dart around the dirt floors, carry cinder blocks, and take down notes in ball point pen on the palm of her hand so that she can help with a future installation of a cookstove. Continue reading

It’s Not That Scary: The Guatemala Stories (Part One)

“You’ve only known these people for a week?! Pam, you are so brave!”

“Some would call it ‘crazy.’”

Even saying I’d known my traveling partners for a week was being a bit generous. We’d had two meetings over that week, and a few frantic emails on my end. Total amount of time I’d known these people before I left the country with them: about three hours. Continue reading

scariness update: possibly fewer banditos in my future!

Have been told we have security and alternate routes. Fingers crossed! Adventure!

Taylor update: he’s eating, but he gets waves of hunger and then either gets distracted (which then he’ll eat again the second you put food under his face and go, “You were eating.” And then he’s all, “Oh, yes! Thank you.”) or he will follow me around like, “That was okay, but do you have anything fishier?”

He refuses the vet-suggested cat food like it’s a pile of flames. He will eat turkey baby food, some weird cheap meow mix goo, pounce, canned tuna juice and salmon. Right now there are so many little plates of stinky food piles on the floor of my kitchen, it looks like I run a tapas joint for cats. Life right now is a little disgusting. The good news is once I get to Guatemala, I might finally be far enough away from this apartment that I cannot smell it.