|About the Book|
You can take scary risks--even when you’re well over that fabled hill. Fish-out-of-water Ginger Lawrence grapples with colorful volunteer exploits in Latin America. Ginger is not a typical volunteer on her Gap year. This book is the surprisingMoreYou can take scary risks--even when you’re well over that fabled hill. Fish-out-of-water Ginger Lawrence grapples with colorful volunteer exploits in Latin America. Ginger is not a typical volunteer on her Gap year. This book is the surprising journey of a woman of “a certain age,” chucking a pampered would-be glamorous life as a Hollywood ten percenter to live in an elbow-to-elbow Guatemalan house while teaching English to the poverty-stricken indomitable children of the city garbage dump.After decades of babysitting actors’ oversized egos, aware that children in Latin America are living ten to a rain-soaked mattress, she abandons life in Los Angeles to see if she can lend a hand. Ginger reasons perhaps, instead of donating money to philanthropic organizations, she can donate herself. Enticed by combining her thirst for travel with helping others, she considers volunteering abroad.It’s possible to change your second--or even third--act. The reader tags along as Ginger ditches her seemingly dazzling show business life, representing actors for motion pictures, television and theatre, for a lump-in-the-throat, life-altering experience.This book is about alternatives and uncharted territory: loneliness in strange countries, safety in places where danger headlines the newspapers, and teaching English to children who barely know the basics of their native language.Ginger finds meaningful fulfillment in the underprivileged schools, and also unlikely passion with a hot-blooded penniless 32-year old Latino who speaks only six words of English.Timid and bashful, with minimal Spanish language skills, she travels alone to Latin America to change the world—one English student at a time. Latin America changes her first.Does This Youth Hostel Offer a Senior Discount? is a chronicle of a cosmopolitan woman adjusting to life where chickens wander the dusty streets. Leaving the circus of Hollywood behind to lodge in youth hostels and home stays in Guatemala, Ecuador and Nicaragua, 65-year-old Ginger struggles to keep up with fellow volunteers who could be her children (or grandchildren), eventually befriending an assortment of international travelers who climb volcanoes and dance salsa ’til dawn. Against a vibrant backdrop, she finds living and working in Latin America to be poles apart from her usual If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium mode of travel- her neighbors wave “Buenos días” every morning- the kids playing soccer on the corner call her by name.Arriving in Guatemala with misgivings, she learns not to just cope but to revel in reserves she doesn’t know she has. After a challenging but fulfilling experience, Ginger regroups with her family in the United States. But she’s caught the volunteer bug. Now somewhat experienced, she’s better equipped to teach in Ecuador. Her former husband’s brain surgery requires an unplanned return to Los Angeles from Quito, but once Jack’s health improves, Ginger eagerly dives into a volunteer organization in Nicaragua. Living in Third World countries requires a particular attitude adjustment- Ginger learns to simply smile when the electricity—and then the water—go out citywide in her Nicaraguan pueblo.Does This Hostel Offer a Senior Discount? is a candid, lighthearted, and original book for grown-ups. People fantasize about escaping their lives. And they like to read about other people actually doing it. Think Eat, Pray, Love, and then add 30 years.After significant work in TV and feature production with such luminaries as Johnny Carson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Orson Welles, and launching a personnel agency specializing in the entertainment industry, Ginger Lawrence was a theatrical agent for 23 years, representing actors such as Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal, Edward James Olmos, and Kelsey Grammar. She has a degree in Telecommunications from the University of Southern California.