Bio…The Long One

SO THE SHORT BIO WASN’T ENOUGH FOR YOU? …wanna know more, eh? Stalker! Oh, alright then; here’s the extra material:

I was born in sunny Santa Cruz, Bolivia, a city that is in the part of the country (that is, the main part…those highland-dwelling cholitas always get all the attention) that is not mountainous and where people don’t wear llama ponchos, funny fedoras and don’t play the panpipes. It’s the bit of the country where very few tourists go but where Scandinavian missionaries abound. The bit of the country where teenage boys serenade señoritas with bleeding love songs on their guitars, where the warm afternoons are spent siesta-ing in hamacas, where everyone’s favourite word is mañana and where children have pets like armadillos and toucans (for a detailed list of my own tropical pets see Figure Uno; to be read with an open mind). My dad, Julio, is a ranch owner and agricultural economist turned language teacher; and my mum, Gunilla, is an engineer, turned Bolivian housewife, turned chemical researcher. I’ve spent a good part of my life working bad jobs to save up for travels, with the usual paper round at 12 (which got me Christmas presents for the entire familia), toilet cleaning job in a kindergarten at 16 (which was just as traumatic as it sounds but bought me a bus ticket to Prague), working cluelessly at a petrol station without even having a driving license (paid my first trip to India), the warehouse job at 20 (got me a trip back to Bolivia), the short travel reports for Swedish radio (round-the-world tour!) etcetera etcetera. 33 countries to date, which is less than Brad, as he truthfully points out, but that, my friends, is a question of age; there’s a substantial age gap between us, I’ll have you know. My intention is to build up a travel archive here, with short guides to a whole bunch of cities and countries we’ve been to, including top 10 lists of all kinds, slideshows, phrase “books” and short podcasts. One day I’ll also try to compile a downlowdable Teach-yourself-Spanish-with-Sara’s-help podcast series, inspired by the great French podclass teacher Sebastien. But that might have to wait ’til slower times, when I don’t work somewhere that involves a 2hr commute every morning (shout out to Brad for picking me up of an evening!). So that will have to sum it up for now, and that will also have to be a summary of my hobbies, as I don’t have any classic ones like skating or painting…and did I mention I don’t even play the guitar yet?! I do collect surnames though, I suppose, (went from Gómez-Ortega Björk to Gómez-Ortega Hawkes when I wed Brad) but that has a natural cultural explanation. Oh, and I enjoy knitting, but making the thumbs in mittens is presently proving to be a right pain. If you’re a knitting whizz, own up and drop me some hints! Ok, this is all getting a bit narcissistic now so, back to the blog!

Figure Uno: The Assorted Latin American Pet List
1 armadillo, aka tatú (his death was most untimely, as he was a baby and his shield was not yet strong enough to fend off the crazy Doberman’s fangs)
3 yellow chicks (they died one after the other and where never able to enjoy each other’s company, which was the whole point of buying them, one after the other)
1 baby owl, aka sumurucucu (he fell off a tree one night; we think he was either crazy or just didn’t have very good balance…but then aren’t birds supposed to fly?!)
1 ostrich, aka piyu (that one was my dad’s, but as he kept swallowing cutlery when no one was paying attention, he was deported back to the wild)
2 capybaras, i.e. huge water rodents that grow as big as calves (ok, so this one was ignorance on the part of myself and my cousin Karina. We had them a whole day in the blazing sun and forgot they hang out in the cool water…so when we came back in the evening they had departed for a better place…figuratively speaking.)
A wide range of the usual rabbits, dogs and cats…and if you ask my dad he’ll have a whole list of his own to share with you!

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It wouldn’t really be a bio without mentioning a few other ingredients in my life…

MY HUSBAND has a blog for all the boardriders, coffeedrinkers, schoolsworkers, poolplayers, sneakerlovers, languagelearners, Biblebelievers, businessowners, musicmakers, churchbuilders, bookcollectors, fashionfollowers, Appleadorers and travelwriters out there… Mine’s better of course, but he could use the attention, so why not pay him a visit here?

ROOTWORKS is a small company run by the Hawkes family. We provide language services in English/Swedish/Spanish, which mostly means websites, mags, books, articles & the like. Run from home (mostly the lounge room), I do the actual work & Brad does the banking. Recommend us to a friend & we might just send you an exotic Bolivian sweet. Pay us a visit at…or here!