How are you?
Here is our 2002 news.
We are just about to finish our three-year
project and in 2003 move to the beautiful Spanish colonial town of
Antigua, high in the mountains of Guatemala.
Barbara & Tomas
After a holiday in Antigua, we bought property in 2000. In April 2001
we started building and the "house-portion" was completed in February
2002. During that time, it took us 15 months to sell our apartment
in New York, which stood just 2 1/2 blocks from the World Trade
Center; and after 25 years in New York City, we moved in January 2002.
Tomas bought a tractor and 48' trailer,
loaded our possessions and spent 12 days on the 3,800 mile trip to
Antigua with a Guatemalan friend driving. They spent three days on
the Mexican border negotiating permits, then another three on the
Guatemalan border completing paperwork and paying taxes. Within a
month in Antigua, Tomas sold the tractor/trailer and paid the cost of
insurance, taxes, fees, hotels, food, fuel - making the move free.
At the same time, Barbara and Jennifer moved to our house in the
Catskill Mountains. Jenny started school locally. Because of the
small class size and a technical school nearby, she gets ½ day at each
location. David spent his last six months in a Manhattan sublet to
finish his high school and graduate.
Antigua is called the "City of Eternal Spring”. All
streets are cobblestone, and it has many churches and monasteries. It
is fully wired for the internet. Our house is on a main street
between the ruins of a monastery and the main market. We have cut
the property in half. In the back, we built a beautiful, Spanish-Antigueño-style
house with a courtyard, a fountain and a garden. In the front, we
will complete, by Spring 2003, a commercial half, with shops (possibly
a bank), a video/DVD rental shop for Jennifer, offices, apartments and
a courtyard, four fountains and a garden.
(go to part 2)
The guest apartment is finished. Tom’s mother from
Germany, our first guest, will be using it later this month when the
whole family visits. You can plan a visit here sometime in the
Antigua is a cosmopolitan town with good food and many cultural
events: festivals, ballet, classical and jazz concerts - some in the
main square, some in the many colonial churches or in the ruins of old
monasteries, several of which have been made into concert halls and
amphitheaters. It’s close to the airport and Guatemala City, where
there are all the "name" shops and a major cultural center. It’s
within easy reach of two major Maya sites (Tikal and Copan). We are
making many new friends and slowly learning Spanish.
Barbara has been extremely busy after joining the Board of the Pratt
Museum. We have always helped them with fundraising, but this year
Barbara is working on many aspects of their organization and
finances. She is doing substitute teaching in several local schools
and this winter will, again, do income tax preparation. Tomas has
been busy managing the house project. After arriving here, relations
with the architect deteriorated. In the end he fired him and spent
several months with a new architect, negotiating with the town over
the redesign of the commercial half, fixing plumbing and other items
the old architect did not finish. His
Antigua web supersite project
has suffered, but is now getting started again. You can see the
progress of our house at
Jennifer (19), started in January at the local school. A school bus
picks her up in front of our house. We planned to move to Antigua in
January 2003, but she loves the school and the school loves her … she
is studying well. They will
(go to part 3)
allow her to graduate at the end of the current school
year. Clearly, a high school graduation will be a very important
achievement for her. She is already planning her graduation party in
June 2003. David (18) graduated from Stuyvesant High School and we
all attended a big graduation (900 students) at Lincoln Center where
Bill Clinton was the guest speaker. David worked as a lifeguard in
the summer and in August left for the University of Rochester, 4 hours
by car from Prattsville on Lake Ontario in northwest New York. It’s an
excellent national university and David is trying out various
subjects to figure out what he would like to study (undeclared). He
is enjoying psychology, or may try brain cognitive science, a UR
No more weekend trips between New
York City and Prattsville – over 17 years, we must have traveled that
road 750 times and driven a quarter of a million miles. However, we had many trips between Antigua and New
York. A week in London and the English countryside with Sona, our
exchange daughter, who met us there again from Armenia. Two trips to
Jamaica. Another trip to London in the Fall to see a few plays.
Tomas visited his mom in Germany. Trips to grandparents in Delaware.
Jenny had four weeks in camp in the Adirondacks, two as a student,
two as staff. David spent a week in Florida, playing baseball. We are
planning 3 Christmases: Delaware before Christmas, Prattsville for
Christmas and Antigua for New Year.
Barbara and Jenny will move to Antigua in July 2003, after Jenny’s
high school graduation.
excited about our new life. Please tell us yours.
OUR BEST WISHES FOR 2003 !!!