An Interview with Juan Grande

Interview with Juan Grande

Jim: Today, I’m interviewing Juan Grande. He lives in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and as I understand it, he was a big help to Crystal Moore in A Silver Medallion. How are you today, Mr. Grande?Cover - A Silver Medallion

Juan: I am fine, gracias. I not know where “Grande” come from. Please call me Juan.

Jim: Okay, Juan. Of course, Juan Grande translates to Big John. You must admit, you are a stout person.

Juan: Please forgive my English. I not know “stout.” My wife call me solid.

Jim: Okay. That works for me. How did you get to know Crystal?

Juan: My amigo Bull O’Malley call me . Ask I look after her. Help her if possible.

Jim:   Did he tell you what help she might need?

Juan: He say she want rescue two niñas, ah, girls, from bad man in San Sebastian.

Jim: Just how bad was this man in San Sebastian?

Juan: Muy bad. Kill people. Steal. Lie. I think drugs.

Jim: Kills people? Who is this man? What is his name?

Juan: He is called Josè Rodriquez de Allende.

Jim: Can’t the police arrest him, lock him up?

Juan: He is rich, powerful. Many men work for him. Maybe police also. He own police. We no get help from police.

Jim: That’s sounds like a big order. How did you go about it? And were you successful?

Juan: I no can tell you. Author tell me no give away plot.

Jim: It sounds dangerous. Did Crystal work with you? Did she help any, or did she just come down and ask you and your men to do it?

Juan: I ask her stay in Puerto Vallarta. Me and my men rescue girls. But she say no. She must help. She no can ask me do it and not help. I beg her stay in Puerto Vallarta. But she no let us go and not she go.

Jim: Did she actually do anything to help?

Juan: Si. Yes. She muy importante. She take girls away.

Jim: Took them away? How did she do that?

Juan: I no can tell you. Author tell me no give away plot.

Jim: Juan, your English is pretty good. Where did you learn it?

Juan: Mi esposa, ah, wife, take university in Texas. She speak good English. I learn some.

Jim: How do you know Mark?

Juan: Bull have home in Vallarta. I meet him long time back. He ride the bulls. He ride one time here. We have much memories.

Jim: Juan, it has been a pleasure talking with you. And I’m anxious to find out if you got the young girls free, and how you – and Crystal – accomplished it if you did. Thank you for your time, and stay safe from Josè Rodriquez de Allende.

Readers, as I understand it, Juan Grande was instrumental in the rescue of the girls. And while he wouldn’t say if they succeeded of not, I believe they were successful. Otherwise, Juan Grande might not be here today. But, I’m getting on the Internet right now to get a copy of A Silver Medallion.   Would you like to join me?

Kindle:  http://amzn.to/1WxoEaF

90 secondTrailer:   https://animoto.com/play/key7NqR0qbmN1JVWrCe8RA#

 

 

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What’s in Your Retirement?

Retirement Can Change Your Life – Or Someone Else’s Life.

Retirement. That word means different things to different people. And it means different things to an individual at different times of his or her life.

Some see it as an opportunity to travel, to go places time has not permitted in the past. Others see it as a time to kick back and do nothing, watch more TV, read more books, get in a daily siesta, join a coffee klatch with other retirees, or have no schedule at all.

How many retirees use the additional free time to improve their golf game, or develop a better bridge game. Others use the new-found time to work with charitable organization.

But some choose to use their skills to train or otherwise help people in need.

Sylvia had begun sewing as a child, making her own doll clothes. She continued as an adult, making her husband’s suits, ties and shirts. After awhile, Sylvia Remple began teaching sewing and eventually opened a clothing manufacturing business. It grew quickly and before long she had three hundred employees. In 1982, her company, Sun Ice, outfitted the first team of Canadians to conquer Mount Everest. Two years later, her company was awarded the contract to outfit many Canadian teams for the Winter Olympics in Los Angles. Following that success, Sun Ice became the Official Clothing Supplier to the Winter Olympics hosted by Canada

In 2001, Sylvia Remple sold the business. Retirement. What to do now?

About the same time, she became aware of the poverty in Sierra Leone and in particular, the desperate circumstances for some women. She came up with an idea.

Sylvia and daughters Tammy and Angela formed Sewing Seeds International – SSI. Its mandate was to create self sustaining sewing schools in impoverished areas, empowering women, bringing hope for a better future.

The first project was in Sierra Leone. SSI secured backing from some companies, purchased sewing machines and materials. In Sierra Lione, they found a place to hold classes, then advertised for women who wanted to learn a skill that would help them toward a better future.

The classes were intense. Sylvia also realized that to keep attendance and attention at a high level, the school must provide care for the many young children of the students. So, day care was provided, including meals.

At the end of the three week classes, the machines were left in the classrooms and the women were encouraged to continue working on their sewing skills.

A few months later, these same women were given another three-week school, introducing them to more advanced skills. Again, the machines were left for the students to practice and make clothes for their children and themselves.

A third course was offered. Now, the students were capable of using patterns and making items for sale. But most important for the Sewing Seeds mandate, the best students were trained so they could teach classes to other women.

The success of the school encouraged SSI to move into other countries. Classes have been given in Africa, Europe, South America, and Mexico.

Has it been successful?

Absolutely. All can make clothes for their families. Many of the women now make a decent living sewing for others. Several have formed companies to manufacture clothes. One graduate now has a company with eight other women working, all making a decent living. Graduates of another school formed a co-op which now has a contract to supply all the uniforms for a school system in a nearby larger town.

Because they are set up to be self-sustaining, these schools should bear fruit for years to come. The Canadian government has recognized SSI as a certified charitable organization. In many places around the world, SSI is recognized as a life-saver.

Is Sylvia bored in her retirement? Not even a little. Her compensation? Seeing impoverished women now able to be self-supporting, infused with hope for a brighter future. That’s better than a paycheck.

What is her retirement? To help others.

While going into extremely poor, perhaps desperate, areas may not seem like a fun thing to do in retirement, it must be extremely rewarding and give one a true sense of worth that a game of golf probably won’t.

Sylvia would tell you she has found the perfect retirement.

What do you see for yourself in retirement?  Leave a comment on your retirement.