Review from DGO Magazine: One of the best parts about having the bookshop, is learning bits and pieces in the life stories of customers. You never know who will walk in the door! It’s a real treat when a person brings in a book they’ve written that shares their story with the world. Such is the case with Donna Stewart, who started stopping by the shop this past summer. “Yoga Mama’s Buddha Sandals: Mayans, Zapatistas, and Silly Little White Girls” details her inspiring story. Determined to escape her past and on her own since the age of 16, Stewart emerged from the ashes of the school of hard knocks to reinvent herself here in the mountains of Durango. This little lady’s got spunk. She put herself through college with honors, shook off traces of the southern accent that didn’t suit her, and set off for the jungles of Mexico, on a journey fueled by her childhood devotion to Indiana Jones and all things adventure. Far from Colorado with no cash and no one who spoke her language, Stewart’s experiences alternate between conquering her worst fears and embracing the journey of a lifetime. Half travel memoir, half history lesson, and detailing the Zapatista movement Stewart found herself in the thick of, “Yoga Mama’s Buddha Sandals” is a delightful read. Keena KimmelOwner of White Rabbit Books and Curiosities
TOP REVIEWS Terry Bacon 5.0 out of 5 starsAn enlightening journey of character and heart November 13, 2016 Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase On the surface, Yoga Mama’s Buddha Sandals is a travelogue, a young woman’s coming-of-cultural-age journey from the safe life she knows in small-town Colorado to the Chiapas region of Mexico and the Mayan ruins at Palenque, one of the cultural wonders of the world. But this quirky little book is much more than that. Like Ullysses’ journey in The Odyssey, this is really the story of struggle and courage, of daring into many unknowns, of trusting in yourself and finding trust in others, and of enduring some perils, learning much about human nature, and narrowly escaping a horrible fate through the goodness of strangers. It’s the story of survival, too, from being on her own at the age of 16, leaving a family torn by illness and alcoholism, and finding her way through pluck, determination, and the indomitable will to be more than her background would have allowed. One of the author’s most intriguing creations is Gandal-Claus, a conception of God that combines Santa Claus and The Lord of the Rings’ grand wizard, Gandalf. Although raised a Southern Baptist, she struggles with the traditional religious view of God, but when Gandal-Claus shows her what her future will bring, she finds little comfort in that view either. But he assures her that, no matter what the struggles and hardships, she will be okay, that holes in the road are part of the journey, and that the greatest gift of her childhood—self-reliance—will be her salvation. And it is. As I read this book, I learned much about the people of the Chiapas region of Mexico, much about the Mayan ruins at Palenque, and much about the Zapatista rebellion, but mostly I learned about this plucky, silly little white girl and her courageous journey into the unknown—having little money, knowing little Spanish, navigating an unfamiliar culture, and having no close friends to share her journey. The author honestly shares her temptations, frustrations, misgivings, insights, and little triumphs and defeats long the way. Mostly, she reveals much about her character and makes us wish we could have gone on that journey with her. Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
desertMan 5.0 out of 5 starsAdventure, Courage, Discovery... August 21, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase I've never been much for reading fiction, so this adventure tale has me hooked after only a couple of chapters. It's looking like the story of self discovery and courage found at a tender young age. I can hardly wait to get my eyes on the rest of the story. Looking forward to the arrival of my new Kindle. :) Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Billy Wilson 4.0 out of 5 starsAdventure and Humor October 30, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase This is a rollicking, fun travel journal, with just enough history thrown in to understand the terrain and culture that is being described. Ms Stewart writes with passion and the eyes-wide wonder of a child experiencing the world for the first time. If you enjoy self-deprecating humor and inner- , as well as outer- exploration, you will love this book. Now I have to find some Tevas. Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Terry H. 4.0 out of 5 starsCompelling journies, inside & out November 30, 2016 Format: Paperback This is a charming travel story that lets you share in the excitement and thrills of exploration and the cringe-worthy moments of messing up. Like all good travel writing, the inner journey is as important as the external one and Ms Stewart doesn't hold back. I loved the brief, interspersed history lessons: just enough for flavoring then back to stories about being brave, being curious, and being a work-in-progress. I hope we get more stories from this author!! Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
nancy feely 5.0 out of 5 starsRefreshing August 23, 2017 Format: Kindle Edition Having lived in Colorado and traveled the Middle East this book was refreshing to recall all those gifts of kindness to a traveler. Very well researched for the area she traveled. Thank you for sharing the joy of traveling ! Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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