Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Meet Author Mary Atwood on Friday, September 9, at the David M. Hunt Library

The David M. Hunt Library in Falls Village is pleased to announce a presentation by village resident Mary Atwood on her recently published book, I Drank My Tea: Family Adventures in Kyrgyzstan (2011, CreateSpace). The event will take place at the library on Friday, September 9 from 6 to 8 PM. A slide show will be featured and the author will sign copies of her book during a brief reception following the presentation.

Mary and Tracy Atwood have long traveled the globe and lived in some remote places while Tracy worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). As newlyweds, the Atwoods went to Yemen in 1981 and were in Mali from 1987-1991. In 1999, after anchoring for eight years in Washington, DC to raise their three young children, the Atwoods were posted to Kyrgyzstan, part of the former Soviet Union, where Tracy would serve as the USAID Country Representative. Their teenagers, John, Joseph, and Catherine, would continue their education through correspondence courses. All of them would study Russian. Preparations were made for the big move including the purchase of consumables and the transportation of the family cats, Nibble Toes and Cloudy Spy.

Mary's memoir of four years in Central Asia contains stories of everyday life mixed with accounts of adventurous travel throughout the country. She makes a home in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, copes with the challenges of independent study, discovers a Baptist church on a snowy Christmas morning, entertains guests including her eighty-six year old mother, and makes trips into the mountains for encounters with local people, yurts, fermented mare’s milk, vodka and slaughtered sheep.

Though Mary found the Russian language to be her biggest challenge, she and her family nonetheless made many Russian and Kyrgyz friends. John, Joseph, and Catherine successfully completed their studies and went on to college. Kyrgyzstan was a wonderful experience for the whole family. Lasting ties were developed. The Atwoods helped a Kyrgyz friend Medina come to the US to study nursing, and brought home a new cat, Dudley, a native of Kyrgyzstan.

I DRANK MY TEA: Family Adventures in Kyrgyzstan by Mary Atwood
David M. Hunt Library, 63 Main Street, Falls Village, CT 06031, 860-824-7424
Friday, September 9, 6-8 PM
Refreshments, on-site free childcare; wheelchair accessible

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