PEOPLE WHO TOUCH MY HEART
It's the people I meet along the way who fill my heart with
poignant memories that make me smile, laugh, cry and love.
Pantaleon Ruiz is proud of his ancestral Zapotec origins and the weaving traditions passed down from his grandfather to his father and on to him. After living in San Francisco for a number of years and traveling the world, he returned to his village eight years ago to confront and master his painting, and to begin weaving. His canvases are huge; (more)
Eva Bergtold is the sole proprietor of The Catalina Beach Resort, Zihuatanejo’s oldest hotel. Built by Mr. Alfonso Galindo Mackintosh in 1952, Catalina Beach Resort (former Hotel Catalina) was the first hotel along Zihuatanejo's beautiful and protected bay shoreline. Perched proudly above the bay, with steps leading down to its private beach, .the views and sunset from the hotel’s infinity pool, bar, restaurant and rooms inspire tranquility and inner calm. (more)
Oro de Monte Alban has been manufacturing Mexican and Oaxaca jewelry for more than 40 years, following the traditions and integrity of Mixtec and Zapotec ancestors. They have built an International reputation for their high standards and ethic principles, and now and have eight stores in Oaxaca, Guadalajara, San Miguel and Mexico City. HEARTKEEPER Ileana Rojas is the great granddaughter of the founder of Oro de Monte Alban. She and her brother Jose are earning their weight in gold and silver as they continue the family legacy with their parents, Inez and Alberto Rojas. Their grandmother remains active in the business as well. (more)
Arriving at Thornybush Lodge, in South Africa, Khalima lifts my fifty pound suitcase onto her head, prepared to carry it to my room which is a bit of a walk over a little bridge. I make her take it off her head and show her how easy it is to pull. When Khalima arrives at my door, the suitcase is back on her head. She explains she carries firewood and water on her head. For her it is easier.
Before leaving for South Africa, I bought a funky pair of robin's egg blue patent leather shoes, on sale for $5, to wear in the bush. .My last day at ThornyBush, I lined up all the servers and asked who wore a size seven shoe. Glory, who had been my favorite( always so sweet and anxious to please) raised her hand and replied, I am missy. I was thrilled she would be walking in my shoes long after I left South Africa; Maryanne took one last picture of me in my blue shoes, and then one of Glory wearing them. I will never forget the look of gratitude on her face when as she laced them up, and twirled for all to admire.
Sevan Bicakci is a remarkable man, and an intricately talented artist who spends his life living his dream and getting paid for it; his intricately designed rings are in the treasured possession of many discriminating collectors of fine art and exquisite jewelry. We meet at the Four Seasons in Istanbul where his work is showcased, as it is all over the world, including Barney’s New York. Emre Dilaver acts as Sevan’s interpreter. Only our eyes and our soul are able to speak the same language. This is a man whose heart is as large as the rings he works months to create. (more)
DORINDA ROSE BERRY
At Banyan Tree on the Thai isle of Phuket, I begin my days meditating with the staff to bring me into the moment, and to fade invasive thoughts carried over from the day before; . We sit on the floor in a circle holding hands; a candle flickers in the center; we are told to concentrate on the flame. it is here Dorinda Rose Berry teaches me to listen to my body, and not just my mind.
ISLAM AND SPA DIRECTOR, HAMIAD ZAKARA
I enter the spa at the Ritz Carlton in Sharm el Sheik, Egypt through glass doors that face the Red Sea. Arab women are on the treadmills, their heads wrapped in scarves, their faces veiled in black with only slits for their eyes, not your usual gym attire and quite an unexpected sight. Islam, a masseur at the spa greets me with the warmest expression “my sun is happy to see you”. He tells me: “I take power from people with power, and give my power when I feel it is needed”.