On paper, Katherine Stanley Obando was my editor at The Tico Times for about a year. We developed the “magazine section,” which basically meant writing longer and more colorful stories for the weekend.
Katherine helped me create my travel column, “Pura Via,” and oversaw about 200 news stories, profiles, and features. If our relationship had meant nothing else, we at least did a ton of work together.
But Katherine and I hit it off right away: She’s a fellow New Englander, and she kept a blog about language and parenting. Like me, she was married to her dream-spouse. We had both worked extensively in education. These were qualities that made us very different from our fellow expat journalists. We weren’t really interested in “getting the story.” We were basically essayists in disguise.
Meanwhile, Katherine had moved to Costa Rica a decade earlier and met the man of her dreams – not a fellow foreigner, but a Tico chef. Whereas I ended up being a longterm tourist (two years), Katherine is embedded. Costa Rica is her home now.
I have only read chunks of Love in Translation, but I can say this with certainty: Katherine is an outstanding writer. She’s funny, she thoughtful, and she really knows Costa Rica. She is less a “travel writer” than an immersive anthropologist. She writes with a unique sensitivity: a loving mother raising her daughter in a bilingual world. Whether or not you have any interest in Costa Rica, I don’t think you’ll find a more endearing portrait of familyhood.
You can find the book on Amazon, or order it from any bookstore.