Reading Recommendations: Santiago's Children, What I Learned about Life in an Orphanage in Chili, Steve Reifenberg-Foreward by Paul Farmer.
Unclear about his future career path, Steve Reifenberg found himself in the early 1980's working at a poor orphanage in a poor neighborhood in Santiago, Chili, where a determined single woman was trying to create a stable home for a dozen or so children who had been abandoned or abused. With little more than good intentions and very limited Spanish, the 23 year old Reifenberg plunged into the life of the Hogar Domingo Savio, becoming a foster father to kids who stretched his capacities for compassion and understanding in ways he never could have imagined back in the United States.
In this beautifully written memoir, Reifenberg recalls his two years at the Hogar Domingo Savio. His vivid descriptions create indelible portraits of a dozen remarkable kids, mature-beyond-her -years Veronica; sullen, unresponsive Marcelo; and irrepressible toddler Andre's, among them. As Reifenberg learns more about the children's circumstances, he begins to see the bigger picture of life in Chili at a crucial moment in its history.
The early 1980's were a time of economic crisis and political uprising against the brutal military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Reifenberg skillfully interweaves the story of the orphanage with the broader national and international forces that dramatically impact the lives of kids. By the end of Santiagos Children, Reifenberg has told an engrossing story not only of his own coming of age, but also of the courage and resilience of the poorest and most vulnerable residents of Latin America.
And, The Last Lecture, Randy Pansch, Professor, Carnegia Mellon, with Jeffrey Zaslow.
A lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture". Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?
When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegia Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have, and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.
In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration, and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.
"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." - Randy Pausch
Two beautiful colorful coffee table How To books I'd like to mention-
Care and Repair of Antiques and Collectibles, a step-by-step guide, Judith Miller.
Every home has a store of treasured objects that have suffered from the effects of use and age. Judith Miller draws together her vast experience in the world of antiques and collectibles to provide all the information you need to know to look after your everyday antiques and collectibles. Judith Miller is world renowned in this field.
New Bungalow Kitchen, Peter LaBau.
Craftsmanship, comfort, and a little piece of history. That is what bungalow kitchens are all about. Lushly illustrated and packed with design tips and historical information. Peter LaBau's The New Bungalow Kitchen is the definite guide to creating one of these gorgeous kitchens in a new or old house of any style.
See you at Rylander!