What you can save in Uvita

We are staying near Uvita, on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. This morning I went to a little shop that has a couple samples of almost anything you could want. I noticed too late that the clerk was putting my groceries in a paper bag and held up my cloth one.

“Oh good, “ he said pleasantly in English, “save a trip.”

“Save a tree,” corrected the young woman at the register. “A tree.”

The affection with which she’d corrected him and the good humor with which he laughed and repeated “tree” set us off.

“Save a bird,” I said.

“Save flowers,” she added.

“Butterflies” were his contribution, to which in turn we added, bees, grass, fish, monkeys (she poked him affectionately at “monkey,” evidently a private joke} and finally snakes.

So saving all those things in my bag I paid and left happily. The bag, by the way, is from a Cirque du Soleil type youth circus in Cambodia which promotes itself as saving street children. You can save a lot with the right bag.

Pamela Schoenewaldt, historical novels of immigration and the search for self in new worlds: WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS, SWIMMING IN THE MOON, and UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY (all HarperCollins).

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Posted in WWWS
4 comments on “What you can save in Uvita
  1. Iosifina says:

    Delightful story, Pamela. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    One of the wonderful qualities of true artists is that they see the significant in the mundane. .

    Like

  3. Rosalind Andrews says:

    This is a lovely story. Thank you.

    Like

  4. Roz Andrews says:

    What a lovely story and experience.

    Like

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Sunday, May 6, 2pm reading from latest work at Hexagon Brewing Company, Knoxville, TN.

Thursday, May 10, 6-8 pm presentation on research on the historical novel, Blount County Library, Maryville, TN.

When We Were Strangers, Italian translation, to be presented in Pescasseroli, Italy, August 2018.

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“Absorbing and layered with rich historical details, in Under the Same Blue Sky, Schoenewaldt weaves a tender and at times, heartbreaking story about German-Americans during World War I. With remarkable compassion, the author skillfully portrays conflicted loyalties, the search for belonging, the cruelty of war, and the resilience of the human spirit.”—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel Dupree

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