Q & A with Anastasia Edel: PUTIN’S PLAYGROUND

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 10.00.27 AMToday I welcome my dear friend and author, Anastasia Edel to World Reads, a blog that features interviews with authors who’ve written about a subject/book set outside of the United States for children and young adults. And while Anastasia’s new book, PUTIN’S PLAYGROUND is not specific to children and young adult readers, the language is certainly accessible to all readers young and old. In fact, I’d recommend PUTIN’S PLAYGROUND to anyone curious about or traveling to Russia. And it is definitely a must-read for those who need to get up to speed on what’s happening in Russia who don’t have time to invest reading countless history, political, and cultural books. Edel does all of the hard work for us and presents relevant content for her readers with clarity and vision. 

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 9.16.10 PMPUTIN’S PLAYGROUND is a political, cultural and historical analysis of modern Russia. Written for readers with general interest in Russia and world affairs, the book explores the tumultuous relationship between the Russian state and its people, and traces Russia’s history from its inception through Putin’s controversial rule. In a series of short, punchy essays, Putin’s Playground examines various facets of Russian life and culture―from literature to oligarchs including Peter the Great to punk protesters Pussy Riot.

PUTIN’S PLAYGROUND has already earned wonderful reviews:

“Anastasia Edel provides a beautifully written and richly illustrated introduction to Russian cultural and political history. Russia: Putin’s Playground is equally lively and insightful, a guide to Russia’s future as much as its past, a perfect primer to a country too often misunderstood in America.” ― Anthony Marra, New York Times bestselling author of The Tsar of Love and Techno and A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

This book is perfect for anyone with a growing concern about Russia, but without the knowledge to make informed opinions about the interests of the Russian state and the foreign policy decisions of its leader, Vladimir Putin. This book rightly explains the Russian foreign policy psyche via its history and culture, and explains with nuance as to why Russia and the West, especially the United States, have disagreements on many geopolitical issues.―Dr. Ryan Maness, PhD, Visiting Fellow of Security and Resilience Studies in the Department of Political Science at Northeastern University and co-author of Russia’s Coercive Diplomacy

Excellent introduction to political and historical Russia. Up to date, accurate, and visually arresting. This would be my recommendation for anyone wanting to catch up on and understand modern Russia. ―Dr. Brandon Valeriano, PhD, Senior Lecturer in Political Science and Global Security at the University of Glasgow and co-author of Russia’s Coercive Diplomacy

Smart, balanced, concise, Putin’s Playground includes a history of Russia and an overview of its cultural and intellectual history. Plus, Putin! If you or someone you know has any interest in Russia, get this book! Dan Lyons, former editor at Newsweek and Forbes, co-producer of HBO’s Silicon Valley, and author of Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-up Bubble.

A boy walks past the Russian Buk-1M missile system at the Air defense battle masters competition as part of the International Army Games 2015 in the port town of Yeysk, Russia, August 9, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

A boy walks past the Russian Buk-1M missile system at the Air defense battle masters competition as part of the International Army Games 2015 in the port town of Yeysk, Russia, August 9, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

How are you connected to the subject matter of PUTIN’S PLAYGROUND?

I grew up in a small town in the south of Russia. Putin’s Playground used to be my playground also.

Why did you write PUTIN’S PLAYGROUND?”

I knew about Callisto Media’s “Lightning Guides” series and found the approach—short beautiful books that connect curious readers to big ideas—really intriguing. When they offered me to write a book about Russia, I saw it as an opportunity to create a concise, honest, and educating portrait of the country I was born in. There’re a lot of people who genuinely want to understand Russia, but not all of them have the time to read specialized historical and political literature. The reality of media headlines, on the other hand, is often clichéd and distorted. The idea that I could create something as informed and accurate as academic literature but also accessible, fresh and fun to read, genuinely inspired me. As I wrote it, I often thought of my children, who were born in America: I wanted them to understand the essential facts about Russia, and about what being Russian means. Lastly, as someone who hopes for a better Russia, I wanted to bring to the public eye the names of those Russians who resist the oppression of the state, despite the threat to their lives.

LGRussia_9781942411628_005_iartWhat was the biggest challenge you had writing PUTIN’S PLAYGROUND? How did you overcome it?

Because Putin’s Playground is part of the series, it had to fit into a certain format. The biggest challenge for me was the word limit. How do you fit everything you know about a country—and if you grew up in it, studied its history, its literature, its language, you do know a lot—into twenty thousand words? What do you omit and what do you take out? What helped me tremendously was that, on our family vacation, my husband (who happens to be a trained historian) came up with an idea of viewing Russia as a stage with just three actors: the State, the People, and the Dissenters. It is a very elegant framework, if you think of it: everyone who inhabits Russia fits into one of those three categories. Applying that framework allowed me to avoid the linear, “chronicling” approach, which would have made for a long and tedious read, and concentrate on the critical forces at play in the Russian society. As for the sentences, only the essential words went in. When you have stringent word limits, you are forced to say only what truly matters.

LGRussia_9781942411628_003_iartWhich section of PUTIN’S PLAYGROUND was the easiest to write and why?

“The Russian People.” Because this is where I personally fit in. Being outside of the daily Russian context (I spent roughly the same amount of time living in Russia and in the West) lent a perspective to my observations, allowing for a more objective self-portrait, or so I hope. Besides, Russian people are fun to write about—I mean, which other nation has fights over categorical imperative on bus stations? Responds to the giant meteorite explosion above their heads with a melancholic shrug and a short curse word? Fishes with dynamite, uses arms for windshield wipers, and chases a bottle of vodka with just half a pickle?

DE8A55 'The Decembrist Revolt at the Senate Square on December 14, 1825', late 19th century. Artist: Dmitry Kardovsky

‘The Decembrist Revolt at the Senate Square on December 14, 1825’, late 19th century. Artist: Dmitry Kardovsky

What do you want readers to take away or learn from your book?

Russia is a place governed by highly idiosyncratic principles, many of which run contrary to the Western value canon. Specifically, in Russia individual freedom is always secondary to the interests of the state. In that arrangement, no sacrifice is too big, and no disagreement too small.

What was the most surprising thing you learned while writing or publishing PUTIN’S PLAYGROUND?

The day after signing the contract with the publisher, the ambitiousness of my undertaking had at last dawned on me. I looked at my outline, then at the books in my bookcase, checked local library resources, googled haphazardly—and sunk into deep despair. It appeared to me, with all clarity, that I was trying to embrace the un-embracable (a lovely Russian expression). When I could take it no longer, I did what every normal person in my situation would do: I went to a bookstore and asked the store clerk to show me all the books they have on Russia. That, I believed at the moment, would save me.

But on the corner shelf labeled “History,” I found books on American Revolution, Civil Rights movement, fall of Rome, history of Protestantism and, for some reason, novels of Hilary Mantel. No mention of Russia.

I was seriously considering calling it quits when I noticed a bunch of small, illustrated volumes: “China.” “Cuba.” “Vietnam.” I prayed for the next to be “Russia.” My prayers were not granted. Thinking of the words I would use to tell my publisher why I couldn’t do it, I suddenly noticed a small lightning symbol on the spines of the small volumes that had caught my attention. It was the same as on the publishing contract on my desk. The reason “Russia” wasn’t on the shelf, was because it hadn’t been written yet. I was writing that book for Callisto’s “Lightning Guides.” It was a very strange, almost transcendent experience, after which I stopped agonizing, went home and started writing. “If you call yourself a mushroom,” goes a Russian saying, “get into the basket.”

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 1.50.01 PMDo you have any predictions for Russia and its future? 

When a country is governed by individuals rather than by institutions, predictions are hard to make. Because individuals are unpredictable. As a general rule, given the high concentration of power in Russia, there’s always a chance that small changes at the top will cause asymmetrically large shifts in the country’s course. Right now Russia has entered a period of reaction, and no one knows how long it would last. During this period, it is essential for the West not to leave Russia (and those who stand up to the state’s oppression) to their own devices. If, armed by its nuclear missiles, Russia will hurtle into the abyss, no one will benefit.

What kind of story can we expect next from you?

I recently finished a novel, “Past Perfect.” It is a novel of dislocation, desires and people’s quest for meaning. The novel is now looking for the right publisher. Meanwhile, I am working on a semi-autobiographic collection of short stories, “Intersections,” set between Russia and the West. A couple of those stories are forthcoming in literary magazines in the US.

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What else would you like us to know about you or PUTIN’S PLAYGROUND?

I never thought that I would write a political book. One of the consequences of exile, even if it’s voluntary, is silence, and I don’t mean the type connected to language proficiency. Rather, it’s a silence of a guest who doesn’t want to risk offending her host, be it by ignorance, or by applying an inappropriate cultural measurement.

Affaires russe are a different matter. Despite considering America my true home, Russia is the country that has shaped me, the country whose cultural fabric I carry in my bones. On things Russian, not only I can take a stand—I can also back it up; I just have deeper pockets of cultural references. In this respect, writing “Putin’s Playground” felt like breaking a long-standing covenant of silence. An unexpected gift.

51VjV1cS1oLCan you remember the first book that made an impact on you? And why?

There’re so many… In the environment of late USSR, with two channel programs and limited outside entertainment opportunities, books have always been my primary companions. I read everything, adventure and science fiction, I read Chekhov, Tolstoy, I read Jack London and Emily Bronte. But perhaps the one book that captivated by imagination was Bulgakov’s “Master and Margarita,” which I read in sixth grade for the first time. It was so different from everything else. I grew up in a place where people went to church secretly, in fact where many churches were converted into warehouses. And “Master and Margarita” had Jeshua and the Devil, and Pontius Pilate, those intense discussions about good and evil, about immortality, betrayal, art, love… Reading Bulgakov’s book meant awakening to life’s astounding complexity, to the passions and struggles hitherto unknown, to the world outside the known universe. That’s what great books do.

What advice can you give to aspiring writers?

Don’t be afraid.

Where can readers buy your book? AMAZONBARNES AND NOBLE, and Indie bound .

What other books would you recommend to readers interested in Russia?

Below are the few of my recent favorites:

Svetlana Alexievich. Voices from Chernobyl

Victor Pelevin (Blue Lantern, Hall of The Singing Caryatids, SNUFF)

Peter Pomerantzev. Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia Paperback

Rihard Pipes “A Concise History of the Russian Revolution”

Varlaam Shalamov “Kolyma Tales”

Alexander Solzhenitzin “One Day of Ivan Denisovich”

Ilya Ilf and Yevgeny Petrov “Twelve Chairs”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Brothers Karamazov.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 11.31.34 AMPUTIN’S PLAYGROUND is THE perfect read if you want to understand what’s going on in Russia now and how it got to this point. It is also a MUST READ if you are traveling to Russia anytime soon. It’s packed with lots of relevant information in fun, evocative language. I spent many of my working years in Russia when all of the changes first started during the Gorbachev era in the late 1980s and wish I had had PUTIN’S PLAYGROUND along for that journey. So if you or someone you know fancies anything Russian or is traveling to Russia, PUTIN’S PLAYGROUND is an excellent, compact, and well-written resource one could easily read in one sitting or on a flight to Russia.

To contact or learn more about Anastasia Edel, please check out her website.

Thank you Anastasia Edel for joining us at World Reads! I see a bright future for you and look forwarding to reading your fictional work. 

Q & A with Shawn K. Stout: A TINY PIECE OF SKY

Shawn K Stout A TINY PIECE OF SKY BOOK COVERToday I welcome fellow VCFA alumna and dearest friend, Shawn K. Stout to Dog Reads, a blog that features interviews with authors who’ve written a canine story for kids or young adults.

I have been looking forward to Shawn’s A TINY PIECE OF SKY’s launch date of January 19, 2016 for a long time now. Middle grade (ages 9-12; grades 4-7) and historical fiction readers will not be disappointed. See the reviews below for advance praise.

Shawn, who is your key dog character and what kind of dog is he/she? Tell us a little more about him/her.

Bismarck, a German shepherd.

In A Tiny Piece of Sky, Bismarck is the family dog of Hermann and Mildred Baum, and their three daughters, Elizabeth, Joan, and Frankie. Hermann found Bismarck along a road on one of his business trips and brought him home to surprise Mildred. There was something about the dog’s eyes–their almost human quality–that convinced Hermann to save Bismarck. That dog, as Hermann liked to say, was smarter than most people; not only did he listen to every word that was spoken to him, but he seemed to understand. Bismarck was a loyal companion to the Baums and even helped at the family’s restaurant, delivering inventory.

Shawn K Stout PHOTO OF BECKS RESTAURANT

Beck Restaurant

The story of A Tiny Piece of Sky is based on true events, and Bismarck is based on a real dog. My grandparents, Albert and Mildred Beck owned two restaurants in Hagerstown, Maryland in the 1930s, and Bismarck, their German shepherd, would carry bags of potatoes or other items in his teeth through the alleyways between restaurants.

AOB: In 70 words or less, provide a succinct plot description of your story.

World War II is coming in Europe. At least that’s what Frankie Baum heard on the radio. But from her small town in Maryland, in the wilting summer heat of 1939, the war is a world away.

But when some people in town start accusing her father of being a German spy, all of a sudden the war arrives at Frankie’s feet and she can think of nothing else.

Shawn K Stout PHOTO OF BECKS RESTAURANT BAR STAFF

Beck’s Restaurant Bar Staff

Some awesome reviews include:

“At turns hilarious, at turns heartbreaking, Shawn Stout’s story shows us the damage that a whisper campaign can do to a family and a community, and at the same time shows us, each of us, a way to find our hearts. Frankie Baum is a hero from a distant time and yet a hero for all times, the kind of hero who never gets old. I loved this book from the very beginning to the very end.”—Kathi Appelt, author of the National Book Award finalist and Newbery Honor book The Underneath

“Through warm, funny characters Shawn Stout builds a riveting bridge from the past that sheds light on today. Wholly memorable.” – Rita Williams-Garcia, winner of the Coretta Scott King Author Award for P.S. Be Eleven

“Shawn Stout’s Frankie Baum is that rare creation: a character so real, so true, we don’t just feel we know her—we are her. Irrepressible Frankie meets issues like prejudice and loyalty head on, in a story both highly entertaining and deeply thought-provoking. She may be #3 in her family, but she’ll be #1 in the hearts of all who read this book.”—Tricia Springstubb, author of What Happened on Fox Street

“Stout uses an archly chummy direct address at several points, successfully and humorously breaking up tension in this cleareyed look at bad behavior by society….Successfully warmhearted and child-centered.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Through Frankie’s thoughtful insights, Stout addresses injustices such as racism and xenophobia without turning didactic…and the conclusion is a realistic mix of bittersweet and heartwarming.”—Publishers Weekly

“This is a solid, engaging tale of historical fiction.”—Booklist

Shawn K Stout PHOTO OF BECKS RESTAURANT MENU

Beck’s Restaurant Menu

AOB: What inspired you to write this story?

This story is inspired by the lives of my grandparents in the 1930s. My grandfather, Albert A. Beck, the son of German parents, was a restaurant owner and businessman in Hagerstown, Maryland. Amidst the post-WWI anti-German hysteria, he was accused of being a Nazi spy, and there was an organized boycott of his restaurant.

I grew up listening to my mother’s stories about her family’s restaurant, about the rumors of espionage, about the boycott, and about Bismarck, their dog.

Many decades later, after my grandmother died, we were cleaning out her apartment and found letters dated 1939 from local civic organizations, which voiced their support for my grandfather and his restaurant, denouncing the accusations that he was a German spy. I held onto those letters and knew that one day I would write about his story.

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The author with her dog, Zed.

AOB: What was the biggest challenge you had writing your story? How did you overcome it?

I’d never before written a story that was based on real people, not to mention family members. For me, the biggest challenge was walking the line between fictionalizing the characters and their situations but at the same time capturing the true spirit of the times and what they experienced.

AOB: What other YA/MG books have you written? Do any of them feature a key dog character? If so, which ones? What are these stories about?

I’ve written two middle grade series, the Not-So-Ordinary Girl series (published by Aladdin/Simon & Schuster) and the Penelope Crumb series (published by Philomel/Penguin Random House).

Unfortunately neither of these series features a dog, which now makes me really wish they did. What was I thinking?

Shawn K Stout PHOTO OF BECKS RESTAURANT KITCHEN STAFF

Beck’s Restaurant Staff

AOB: Yes, indeed! What were you thinking? What kind of story can we expect next from you? Is it about a dog? If so, what is it about?

I’m working on a new middle grade novel now, but it’s still too early to say what it’s about. I can tell you that there’s a girl, an unkindness of ravens, and some magic.

AOB: Maybe there’s time to bring in a dog character? What else would you like us to know about you or your story, A TINY PIECE OF SKY?

Let’s see…oh, the letters in the book from the civic organizations that voice support for Hermann Baum in the wake of the boycott of his restaurant. These are the actual letters that were sent to my grandfather—I just changed the names and addresses.

Shawn K Stout AUTHOR PHOTO

Author Photo by Erin Summerill

AOB: Can you remember the first book that made an impact on you? And why?

I think I would have to say A Secret Garden, because it was the first book that I read over and over again, that I wanted to be a part of, and the first book that made me wish I could be a writer.

AOB: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read a lot. And show up every day to write, whether or not any words come to you, and whether or not they are rubbish. Just show up.

AOB: Click on the links to below to connect or learn more about Shawn K. Stout. Teachers be sure to look for Shawn’s Teacher Guide created by Deb Gonzales.

Web page

Facebook

Twitter

Thank you Shawn K. Stout for joining us at Dog Reads and for sharing photos from your family archives! I have placed an order for A TINY PIECE OF SKY and can’t wait to read it. Good luck, Shawn! I always enjoy your writing and wonderful sense of humor. Your books teach me so much about writing humor for kids.

BOOK REVIEW: THE BOY WHO WOULD BE TSAR by Prince Andrew Romanoff

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Signed Copy of THE BOY WHO WOULD BE TSAR

For Christmas I received a signed copy of the book, THE BOY WHO WOULD BE TSAR, written and with Shrinky Dink art by Prince Andrew Romanoff–yes, the grandnephew of Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, who was murdered alongside his family in 1918.

For years I’ve often been gifted a book about Imperial Russia and/ or its history during the Christmas holiday and would devour it curled up by the wood burning stove my father kept stoked 24-7 in the New England home where I grew up. My head would be lost in early 1900 Russian images of troikas, Palekh, borscht, caviar, borzoi, birch trees, babushkas, Lenin, bolsheviks, revolutions, and the last Imperial family.

 

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The Book Cover of THE BOY WHO WOULD BE TSAR

This year the tradition continued, but in (much needed) rainy northern California snuggled under down blankets with two borzoi and a silken windhound at my feet as I read THE BOY WHO WOULD BE TSAR with delight.

 

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Prince Andrew at the desk where he creates his art.

 

THE BOY WHO WOULD BE TSAR gives readers a glimpse into Prince Andrew Romanoff’s life growing up on the grounds of Windsor Castle post the 1917 Revolution, as well as in California where he finally settled down not far from where I currently live. Romanoff’s book is a quick read in that his stories and moments from his life are told through Shrinky Dink art (plastic sheets that shrink by 2/3 when cooked in the oven – if you’re old enough, think back to when you were a kid) opposite short vignettes describing the memory.

 

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Prince Andrew getting a pat on the head from” Auntie Mary,” the Queen of England when he was six years old.

Prince Andrew Romanoff gives readers a look at royal life through the emotional lens of a child and the witty humility of a man who has experienced more than most. Whether he’s sharing chance moments with the Queen, showing us why he’s afraid of dogs, or being asked to avoid walks in the private gardens when the British royal family was visiting, or eating the chocolate Easter eggs taller than himself that were intended for the then Princess Margaret and Elizabeth, or even how his grandmother, a royal herself, would kick up her heels like a commoner at a request to have tea with the Queen, or when he was playing a game with the then Princess Elizabeth and told to let her win because it was her birthday, Prince Andrew captures each moment with honesty and humor. His drawings brought me back to my own childhood and inspired me so much I was one click away from making a Shrinky Dink Art Kit purchase myself when my own writing deadlines loomed large on my conscience.

 

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Dinner at Balmoral Castle where Prince Andrew was told to let the then Princess Elizabeth win a game they were playing because it was her birthday.

Also included in the book are numerous photographs from his childhood including his mother and father’s artwork and Andrew’s official Royal navy mug shot.

 

For more information about Prince Andrew Romanoff, click the links below.

Wikipedia

SF Chronicle Article – May 15, 2015

ART PROJECT A

To Buy the Book

Author Photo

Author Photo

Thank you, Prince Andrew Romanoff for sharing your work with us and giving us a glimpse back into history. It was a delight to read your book. I will treasure it and keep it in my library among and in good company with my other signed books.

 

The next book on my reading list is PUTIN’S PLAYGROUND written by my brilliant friend, Anastasia Edel. Her book gives readers the pulse of modern-day Russia under Putin’s leadership, as well as a Cliff Notes version of Russian history.

Be on the lookout for an author interview with Anastasia Edel! Coming soon!

2015 Writing Workshop: MALDIVES

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Map of Maldives – Look for the red circle!

Every year I plan a Thanksgiving trip somewhere tropical and reserve a day out of my vacation to do a pro bono writing workshop / author school visit with kids. This year I chose the Maldive Islands off the coast of Sri Lanka. It took 19 hours in a plane, 1 hour in a seaplane, 13 hours in three different airports, a 45-minute Conrad Hilton sponsored speedboat, and a full bag of ginger chews to ward off sea sickness before I reached Dhigurah School where I was welcomed with fresh coconut water by Mrs. Shifana, the Australian-educated principal.

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Welcomed with coconut water by the principal, Mrs. Shifana

Dhigurah is a local island (i.e. no resorts, no foreigners) with about 500 Sunni Muslim inhabitants. Despite it being the first day of summer vacation on the day of my scheduled visit, 25 kids—ranging in age from 9 to 14—participated in the writing workshop. Rather than chill on the beach, their parents sent them back to school for the opportunity to improve their English and future job prospects. As I popped into the only air-conditioned classroom in the entire school, the children’s thoughts seemed elsewhere and their

The girls' side of the room

The girls’ side of the room

faces appeared less than thrilled. So with tempting turquoise seas on both sides of the school, I had to pull a few tricks out of my hat to keep the kids engaged. One of which was some writer-friendly competition of girls-against-the-boys.

We played a game developed by the Society of Young Inklings on building scenes and brainstorming details that evoke the five senses. Both teams were equally matched and highly competitive. So we ended up with a tie despite multiple tie-breaker attempts.

The boys side of the room

The boys side of the room

I was especially impressed with how competitive the girls were, how they duked out every point they earned, and by their expressed interest to one day study abroad.

 

Although the local language is Dhivehi, the kids had an excellent command of English due to a strong government-mandated English language curriculum that caters to the country’s economic dependence on tourism.

Shy girl

Shy girl

Unfortunately, the government doesn’t seem to share the same opinion of building libraries and filling them with books. So the Dhigurah School does not have a library beyond the two books I donated: my debut novel, LARA’S GIFT, and Chelsea Clinton’s book, IT’S YOUR WORLD. As a result, the kids were not familiar with any of the books I cited in my author talk unless they had been made into a movie. Not surprisingly, the principal admitted that the biggest problem continues to be getting the kids to read outside of their assigned homework.

Girls after they won a point

Girls after they won a point

If you’re a teacher or librarian please do share the strategies your school uses to get kids to read more. I’ll be happy to pass them along to the principal at Dhigurah School.

 

If you’re an editor or publisher of children’s books and have some middle grade or older picture books to spare, would you be willing to send them to the children on Dhigurah Island?

School motto: Strive for Success with honesty

School motto: Strive for Success with honesty

Mrs. Shifana’s mailing address is Dhigurah School in care of the Conrad Hilton Maldives Resort, Rangali Island, South Ari Atoll, 20077, Republic of Maldives.

I have no doubt the books will be put to good use and that new readers will be born.

Thank you for your support!

 

Nest stop: Thailand 2016!

Bangkok

Bangkok

Thanksgiving: Maldivian Style

If you ever find yourself in the Maldives …

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I would highly recommend eating at the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant located at the Conrad Hilton Maldives resort on Rangali Island not only for its finest-of-fine dining, but also for the tropical aquatic scenery and friendly service.

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ITHAA UNDERSEA RESTAURANT

Here is an up-close-and-personal photo of our neighbors, Bluestripe Snappers, as we dined:

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BLUESTRIPE SNAPPER

The menu is fixed for each seating and is switched up regularly.

1st course: fresh green pea soup, sage butter capellini, tomato confit, chamomile

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GREEN PEA SOUP

2nd course: green mango and papaya salad, seared sea scallops, carrot mousseline watercress and organic olive oil

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SEARED SCALLOPS

3rd course: grilled reef fish, lemon mashed potato, sautéed young kale tomato lemongrass essence

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JACK REEF FISH

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OUR DINNER’S COUSIN!

dessert: 57% dark chocolate mousse, rice crispy base & Valencia orange parfait

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57% DARK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

For a live tour experience of Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, check out this YouTube video.

For the most recent reviews of Ithaa, check out Trip Advisor.

Fun fact: Ithaa in the local language of Dhivehi means mother-of-pearl.

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ITHAA UNDERSEA RESTAURANT

You won’t be disappointed!

It wasn’t turkey, but we were happy to have Thanksgiving dinner-Maldivian style at Ithaa Undersea Restaurant.

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ANNEMARIE & GOOD CHUM, BEVERLY

All materials © 2016 Annemarie O'Brien. Web site by Websy Daisy. Illustration © 2013 by Tim Jessell