I was raised in Bolivia, as a missionary kid. It might appear to be a severe sort of life, with few of the comforts that we expect these days, but the rewards far outweighed any hardship. I was exposed, daily, to cultures, languages, and ideas completely foreign to a North American setting. The gift of living surrounded in a native tradition, which I experienced as very nourishing, gentle and rich, continues to inspire my art and my life. I have come away with no regrets, and so much gratitude for a childhood that prepared me for a life of flexibility, simplicity,and service.
My parents taught me that service to others is the highest and most rewarding calling. Even when we considered ourselves poor-as-church-mice, in Bolivia there were always people in far greater need. My mother was very clear about giving free meals to every street child she met, and endless healthcare to anyone who showed up at the clinic. A regular form of payment for her services might be a stock of bananas, a l