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Living in Belize

How to Cook a Tapir

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Award winning author launches international book tour in Belize.

Award winning author Joan Fry came to Belize as a 20 year old American girl in the early 1960’s to live in a Kekchi Maya village in Punta Gorda. Nearly 40 years later, she has written about her experiences in the book “How to Cook a Tapir” – A memoir of Belize, an extraordinary story of how she learned so much from the Maya about life and love – even more importantly, she learned how to cook.

Newlywed to the first anthropologist to study the Kekchi Maya in Belize, her honeymoon involved sharing a boat with livestock from Belize City to Punta Gorda, arriving to discover that her new home was a thatched hut, with a dirt floor and the only available toilet being ‘bush’. Unable to speak the language and feeling ridiculous at times for not being able to accomplish the simplest tasks, such as carrying water from the river or making corn tortillas, Joan struggled with trying to create a life for herself, find acceptance by the Maya people with whom she lived, and learning to cope with an increasingly unsatisfying marriage.

“How to Cook a Tapir” is a book of sensory experience. The author ensures that you share the sights, smells and sounds of her Belizean adventure – especially through food. Every chapter, set against the exotic background of village life in the rain forest, gives the reader the opportunity to accompany Joan as she develops lifelong friendships with her Maya neighbors, teaching their children, nursing their wounds, sharing their losses, and dancing all night with them during celebrations. Every chapter ends with a recipe, some of her earlier attempts being both hilarious and pathetic, but as she learns they become a true representation of authentic Maya cooking.

Joan Fry will be visiting Belize on a national book tour prior to her tour of the United States, offering people a chance to meet the author, attend readings, and even taste some of the recipes. One special event, which will be held in San Pedro, will raise funds for the Maya Educational Foundation, a non profit organization which runs a scholarship program for Belizean Maya secondary school students in financial need.

How to Cook a Tapir – A Memoir of Belize book tour is as follows:

Belmopan – 14 April 2009
Belize Bird Rescue
Welcome party and reception.
Meet the author, readings and book signing. By invitation only.
(For more information, call Belize Bird Rescue at 610 0400)

San Pedro – 19 April 2009
Hummingbird Cafe and Pages Bookshop

How to Cook a Tapir Culinary Experience – Fundraising dinner for the Maya Educational Foundation, Belize Scholarship Program. Meet the author, readings and book signing.
(To purchase tickets call Conch Creative at 624 8251)

Belize City – 22 April 2009, 10:00 AM
Museum of Belize

Meet the author, readings and book signing.
(For more information contact Lita Krohn at 601 6919, or The Museum of Belize, at 223 4524)

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