People often ask me what is different about living here versus Paraguay. I never know where to start, because it's everything.
—Miriam Rudolph, author of "David's Trip to Paraguay"
Miriam Rudolph loved her Grandfather's stories so much that when she was ten years old she began writing them down.
Her Grandfather was a Canadian Mennonite who moved his family to
Paraguay in the 1920's. So Miriam was born in Paraguay but she ended up
moving to Manitoba when she was 20. She came here to study art and
education at the University of Manitoba.
Miriam Rudolph has since
turned those stories she heard as a child into a children's book that
she wrote and illustrated. The book is called David's Trip to Paraguay, The Land of Amazing Colours and it is being launched Wednesday, March 14 at McNally Robinson.
Miriam Rudolph now lives in Minneapolis. We invited her to share the experiences that led to writing this book:
Canada! When I was little and growing up in Paraguay, Canada seemed like such a far away country on the other side of the world that I knew only through the stories from my grandfather -- memories of a boy who had lived on a farm in Manitoba almost 100 years ago.
Illustration from "David's Trip to Paraguay" by Miriam Rudolph
I also knew a little about Canada from my uncles who had moved back to Canada and I smelled the different and fresh scent of laundry detergent on clothes they sent us... to me and my sister that was the smell of Canada.
I was thirteen the first time I visited Winnipeg during my holidays. When I stepped out of the airport it was -42 degrees (before windchill). Despite that first impression and several similar visits I decided to move to Winnipeg in 2003 to study fine arts.
It was a good move, but it took me many years not to break down crying during the winter months. I was missing home and family like crazy, the warm climate, the green foliage year round, picking fruit in the garden during any season, the intensity of light and colours, the blossoming of trees and bushes, the slower rhythm of the day with more breaks and the siesta at mid day.
People often ask me what is different about living here versus Paraguay. I never know where to start, because it's everything. So, part of my grandfather's stories, which are quite extraordinary, and part of my own experiences, such as the difference of colours between the tropics and Canada I put into the book David's Trip to Paraguay, the Land of Amazing Colours
Miriam Rudolph (Andrew Sikorsky)
In a way the book is a very personal book, but it also pertains to an episode in Mennonite history and I believe it is overall an exciting read for anyone interested in other people's stories. Hear Miriam Rudolph on air with Ismaila Alfa from Sunday March 11.