Downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Northern Shores - Southern Borders

Janet Kurtz
In stock
Article number: BK-NSSB-CS

A brief synopsis of Northern Shores – Southern Borders: Revelations of a Bilingual Life (form the author):

1968. I was fifteen living in a Mid-western town of under 30,000. Being bilingual meant you could correctly pronounce “tortilla” and being multicultural meant you would eat one. That summer, I was in the backseat of Lorraine’s car en route to Mexico for a three-week Spanish immersion program, unaware of the consequences. Instead of merely improving my vocabulary, I was catapulted into a lifetime of real Spanish-speaking people and the lives they inhabited.

In Mexico, Lucio patiently communicated by drawing on napkins. In Spain, Pascual played his guitar through the narrow streets of Seville’s Barrio de Santa Cruz, getting tips in the form of tinto and tapas. Then, Lorena arrived with her Guatemalan newspaper’s kidnapping ads! René, an El Salvadoran soldier seeking asylum, fled to Minnesota, ending up in my living room. 1989. Comer, Georgia. Dominga practiced English before continuing to Canada on the
Overground Railroad.

What was happening?

Along the way, I became bilingual. Spanish led me not just into homes, but into families.

Not just on a medical mission, but into Mayan healing rituals.

Not just to Texas detention centers, but inside Jubilee’s bus taking refugees toward Canada.

More than names; relationships. More than words; revelations.  Northern Shores Southern Borders. Outward adventures. Inner discoveries.

A lifetime paved by Spanish.