Part of the fun in moving to a new place is really shaking up your routine and meeting lots of interesting new people. When I took part in my international student orientation waaaaaaay back in January, one student in particular intrigued me. Her name was Federica, and she was from Venezuela. She was the only student in that new group of international students who was even close to my age (the other ones were all half my age or even younger!). I made a note to try to chat with her, but I didn’t manage to do so during the jam-packed orientation, and she didn’t show up for the trip to San Francisco on the last day. As Federica had said she was studying horticulture, and all of my classes were in computer studies, I resigned myself to not having a chance to get to know her better. Until….a few weeks later I switched into a different section of my Digital Media class, only to find what I thought was a familiar face. Turns out she was taking that one class in common with me, as she is a photographer and wanted to learn more about digital media in order to best showcase her work! Yay!
Federica has a very exotic and cosmopolitan background. She was raised in Caracas, but studied at university in both Venezuela and the USA. She then lived in New York for a couple of years to pursue her dream of becoming a photographer. Then she moved back to Caracas and ran a photography studio and school with her dad for about a decade and worked as a freelance photographer for awhile after they closed shop. She moved here in late 2014 because of the political instability in Venezuela and to give her son a better life. Her mom was an ornithologist and instilled in Federica a love of nature, so she was also drawn here because of the beautiful trees and vegetation, like myself. She already had sun in Caracas (I think?!?!?), but had lived in apartments her entire life. She is working on her website for our digital media class now, and when she is done there will be a couple of really cool videos and some of her photos, check it out if you have a second. 🙂
Which brings us to the subject of this post – boy has she ever landed on her feet in terms of being immersed in beautiful natural surroundings! She invited me to visit her sweet garden cottage a few weeks ago after class. The property was soooooooo wonderful. There is a HUGE vegetable garden, she has a giant redwood right outside her deck, there is a giant trampoline (yippeeeeee!), she has a kumquat tree right outside her front door (so yummy!), there is a huge prolific mandarin bush out front, she has seen skunks and other critters mosey on by her deck…I was very tired that day because I had been up most of the night prior completing a photo slideshow for our digital media class, so I didn’t have the presence of mind to get photos of all this super cool garden amazingness, but I did take a few pics of the front garden before I left.
So my friends, without further ado, I give you….(just one small section of) Federica’s magical Garden of Eden!!!! Enjoy!!!
(Click on any photo to see captions and more detail) 🙂