Things started happening quickly! A book distributor from Miami informed me about a writer’s seminar in Santa Cruz, one of the mayor cities of Bolivia. The company I had in mind to approach was hosting it. The information came to me in the morning.
Immediately my husband got busy working on getting me an airline ticket to fly out there in the afternoon. I packed my bag and made sure to take every piece of curriculum I had published. The most important were the nine books with 20 lessons each, together with activity pages and stories to go with each lesson. Nothing fancy, but lessons written from the heart.
This would be a defining trip. We had missionary friends in Santa Cruz; actually our daughter’s former teachers at the Swedish school in Cochabamba. At least I wouldn’t have to stay at a hotel.
I rode a taxi to the Bible school complex where the seminar was held. That’s a very common way to get around anyplace in Bolivia. I was clueless about who I was going to meet and how I would approach the subject. I only knew the daily testimony of “Miami te espera,” and the powerful urging in my heart to set course for the Florida shores.
I met with the editor in chief of the publishing company. I wish I could remember how I introduced myself. But, no, those words are lost forever. What I do remember is what he said to me: “Sell yourself!”
He wanted to know everything I knew how to do. He said that in the States you can’t be bashful when you’re looking for a job. You have to sell yourself. I had the words from the Bible clear in mind, about letting others praise us and not our own mouth. But I took his advice.
I told him of God’s calling on my life to serve children; about being interested in publishing ever since I was a young teenager; about my first feeble attempts of publishing take-home papers for children on a alcohol duplicator; about stepping up and using a mimeograph; then moving to Bolivia to start a publishing company as a joint venture between Peru and Bolivia and how we updated to Offset publishing.
My dream of publishing materials with photographs of children from the area had come true. Almost all teaching materials available came from the States and were translated from English. Much of it was not very relevant for the children I worked with. People were happy to get teaching materials written specifically for them.
Now God was directing my path to go to Miami. So I humored this very delightful man, and I sold myself. “I can do curriculum!” I said to him.
“We are looking for someone like you!” he said.
He took my stack of books with him back to the States. “We’ll study this and then get back to you,” he said. “But be aware that it will take time.”
My husband was all for a “slow motion” development. I had a strong feeling things were going to happen quickly.
On the way back to my missionary friends my heart was doing somersaults. The butterflies were working overtime in my stomach. I don’t have words to explain the feelings that invaded me. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I had taken a big leap in the right direction!
Now I had to go home and talk to my husband. I had to tell him that I had done the unthinkable! I had sold myself! (To be continued)
La Perlita was the take-home paper children loved. These are cut-outs of activities completed by my daughter Eva-Marie. She would be so excited if she knew the stories are being “recycled” and published weekly in another format on the internet. This week was story #131. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s smiling down from heaven.