I asked my friend MaryLou the following two questions:
You have traveled extensively; can you write a list of all of the countries you’ve been to? Do you have a favourite place?
I hope I didn’t forget any but I think I have been to thirty different countries.
Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Spain, England, Ukraine, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines, United States, Jamaica, Fiji, Borneo, Singapore, Malaysia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Italy, Israel, Czech Republic, Bali.
I have been to some places many times. I lived in Hong Kong, a part of China, for six years and during that time traveled to at least twenty different cities in China. I’ve been to Thailand six times and have traveled all over in the United States.
I think my favorite place was Ukraine, because it is where my grandparents were born and where both my husbands’ parents were born and on our trip we were able to find all of their birthplaces. I got to have a picnic on my family’s land in the little village of Gnadenthal in Ukraine and see the school and church my grandparents’ attended. I found my great, great grandfather’s tombstone. My grandfather told me many stories about Ukraine when I was a child and so to see it for myself was pretty special.
MaryLou standing on land that once belonged to her grandfather’s family
in the village of Gnadenthal in Ukraine.
Read anything worth recommending lately?
[As I am late posting this, MaryLou response to this question is from the Spring.]
The book I am reading right now is called A Man Called Ove. In the weeks leading up to the Manitoba Book Awards one of the hosts Terry MacCloud was interviewing people at McNally Robinson Book Store about the books they were reading and I heard this interview with a woman who was reading A Man Called Ove. I was so fascinated I bought it the next time I was in the store. It is about a man who gets up every morning intending to kill himself and then something happens. I know that sounds morbid but its actually pretty humourous.
MaryLou Driedger is a newspaper columnist, art gallery tour guide and university student supervisor who lives in an old warehouse in downtown Winnipeg. Her favorite role in life is being a grandmother. She loves to travel, read and blog and dreams of someday having one of the stories she writes for children published.