My Place of Solace

“In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.” ― Mark Twain


People often ask what we do all day since we are retired. One thing is for certain. We have stopped watching world news. It is too depressing. Besides, there is very little we can do about fixing the big problems in the world. But, there are many little things we can do as expats to help make the world a little better for our local communities.

I started a children’s library in our small La Paloma Elementary school two years ago. It has become my solace and place of refuge from this mad, mad world in which we live.
It is my place of hugs, laughter, and wisdom absorbed through my skin.


When I am feeling down or frustrated, my fix is to go to the library and read to the children. It always brightens my day and I return home refreshed, renewed, and rewired.

When we returned from a visit to the states, the organization, Go for Hope, was waiting for me. I partnered with this wonderful organization last year, and they provide volunteers, supplies, and donations for my library.

IMG_1592This year, they built a PVC pipe puppet theater for the school. Living in a country that does not have a culture of reading is particularly challenging. I am constantly trying to create new and fun ways to get the children excited about reading.

Now, with the addition of our portable puppet theater, we can read books together, create puppets from the characters of the books, and put on puppet shows for the community. What fun!

IMG_1611The volunteers of Go for Hope held a puppet show party at the Puesta del Sol community center. There was music, dancing, a puppet show, coloring activities, and a piñata party.

IMG_1617It was a beautiful thing to witness. The children had never seen a puppet show before. Oh, the plans I have for introducing literacy into our little community! And at very little cost!

IMG_1626So, in our times of trouble, let’s celebrate the small accomplishments and contributions we can all make to help make our world a better place.


Thanks to generous donations, volunteers, and Go For Hope International, my little place of solace in this troubled world is growing rapidly.

Where do you find your solace? If you are an expat, what do you do all day? 

13 thoughts on “My Place of Solace

  1. You were led to Nicaragua to be of service .

    God planned this for you and your life and those around you .
    What a wonderful gift he our Lord Father gave you!! thank YOU Jesus..
    the grace and wisdom he put into your heart far exceeds , and God grants these special paths to those whom he knows will do his work .
    we are not on this planet to just be for ourselves…

    If many more people would open their hearts , they too would be led to do whats correct and gain entrance into the world of …peace ..
    .the peacemaker will allow you to be on his right side.

    What a gift , such joy this path will give you,,,you will see, as you are being allowed to this favor…wow!!!!

    i only pray that in my new home of Portugal,,,whee I was “‘ led.”” …by the way…..
    doors will open to where I can do my share of my own heart -work.

    The world were in NOW…. in this material world….is the …. ”:new norm ..”
    There will be sorrow and destruction for many years coming ,

    You have found and boldy created the place and the space where God grants you peace of mind…..
    you have been led .. and loved ….
    en joy and give thanks and praise .
    Light to u ,
    Heidi lane

  2. Boy do I agree! We need to stop watching world news. It’s one disaster story after another. And as you said, there’s little we can do about this stuff so best to concentrate on our communities. I think we’d all have far less stress.

    I love libraries and think that’s the perfect place for solace.

  3. You’re awesome Debbie!

    Your library and all your efforts to bring literacy to those kids and adults will be rewarded in heaven. You are a sweet soul and I can’t wait to share many peaceful hours with you and Ron when I finally make it there.

    From California, Felicidades!!!

  4. I so much agree with you. There isn’t usually a thing we can do about events in the wider world. I could email one of my readers in Instanbul during the recent coup attempt, but other than that? There was nothing to do. I could contribute money after the Ecuador earthquake, but otherwise? There was no way to help in the rebuilding.

    And the 24/7 news cycle — along with the expectation that we should keep up with everything happening in the world — is unhealthy. Generally, there isn’t any real “news” — there’s only a rehash of what already has been reported, and an unhelpful replay of the most disturbing images possible.

    Engaging with the world around us in ways that make life better for others is the best approach there is. It helps them, and it helps us. Some people’s circle of influence may be larger, but local willl do, and your library’s a perfect example.

    • I hear you loud and clear, Shoreacres. Sometimes I feel so helpless. Truthfully, I am relieved my circle of influence is small. It keeps my frustrations at bay and I can get to know my little community intimately. Thanks so much for your thoughts.

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