Dear Friends and Supporters,
As you know, Aly was here last week for a few days. Finally, we met in person after almost two years of working together long distance! We were both pleasantly surprised by the fact that there were no surprises: each was as he or she had seemed over the phone and email. We fell in together just as if it had always been. It was a fun and busy four days. As promised, here is a short pictorial of Aly's visit.
I picked him up at the airport after a looong 12 hr day (3 stops between NY and NM, sorry Aly!). I recognized him by his carry-on items: a backpack, a giraffe, and a lovely flowered mirror frame.
The next day, we started sorting everything Aly had brought in three huge duffels on the plane. We also talked about new designs and creative aspects that were too hard to discuss by email.
Aly brought me and my family these t-shirts that his artisans designed as a surprise. Love them!
Tuesday, Aly went to Santa Fe with my step-father, Jerry Ortiz y Pino. They visited the International Folk Art Museum and Aly recognized the names of many Haitian artists represented there. I spent the day getting ready for the reception and dressing up the studio.
Velma was a big help.
Aly got back around 4:30 and everyone else began arriving at 5. Aly said a few words and we answered questions at 6.
Whew! It was a busy and fun evening. Many Rewards were distributed and people purchased additional items, which was unexpected and much appreciated. These birds were a favorite.
So were the butterfly mobiles.
The next day, I gave Aly the choice of sight-seeing things he would like to do. He chose the zoo and the Museum of Natural History. I took pictures with his camera of him in front of every single animal and every single dinosaur bone we saw. Really. He was so intrigued.
I asked Aly what one of his biggest impressions of the US was: "People are busy all the time." And one thing I learned about Haiti? There are no liquor laws. Anyone can drink anything, whenever and wherever and as much as they want. (Aly was continually surprised that he couldn't order beer for breakfast at most restaurants.)
Finally, here are a few things Aly saw or did for the first time on his first trip to the US:
1. Watch a gorilla eat corn.
2. Watch a gorilla stand on its head, regurgitate corn, and eat it again.
3. Swim with a polar bear.
4. Sit on a dragon.
5. Stay at a B & B for one night (thanks Tammy at the Mauger Estate for the wonderful hospitality!)
6. Meet me.