I am happy to be attending the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) conference in Denver. Meeting wonderful people!
I am pleased and honored to be staying with friends Candace and Jon Orlando, who I met last year when I was in a very little village in Ecuador, Santa Marianitas (about 1 1/2 hours north of Quito). They came into the village one day to film the work of the women's cooperative I was working with, which makes artisanal crafts from the seeds and nuts (e.g., the tagua nut) of the cloud forest (el bosque nublado). They are in the process of producing an international documentary, Tribe All, on women taking leadership in groups to transform our use of resources. Great work!
Check out Jon and Candace's film
Jon Orlando is also a photographer; one of his projects has been to film returning Iraq War veterans. Beautiful.
See Jon's photography
On top of all that, Jon and Candace are working in Denver's urban agriculture movement! They are slowly adopting urban land and turning lawns into seed beds! They're growing starts inside now, and will sell their food to residents through the CSA system.
I saw the twenty 2-month-old chickens they're keeping in their back room before moving them out into the newly built, hand-carpentered chicken coop in the back yard. (I even held one, and was impressed that their dog, Solstice, was trained not to nab them!) Since the yard has a sweeping view of Denver's skyline, we joke that the chickens will have a better view than the people in the house!