Laverne Waddington: born in India, raised in Australia and now living in South America. I have been here since 1993.
I spent the first five years in the southernmost city on the South American continent – a wild and windy place called Punta Arenas. My winters were spent backpacking around Peru and Bolivia learning to weave with indigenous teachers. The beautiful long summer days allowed me to explore Tierra del Fuego and the spectacular parks, fjords and glaciers of southern Chile. And, between seasons, I taught English to private students and wove.
In 1998, I moved to Santa Cruz in land-locked Bolivia – a large city with a small town feel. Life here is simple and laid back despite the crazy traffic and the blaring tropical rhythms. Quite a change from Punta Arenas with its whistling wind and tossing seas. It was an interesting change of scene and climate but I had no intention of living here. The plan was to stay and work for three to six months in several places before heading home to Australia. Well, I found a great job teaching English here, my students and colleagues were friendly and enthusiastic, I made some friends in my new hostel home, met my ”gaucho” boyfriend and here I am fifteen years later. It is a perfect base from which to travel and continue learning to weave, braid and spin as it shares borders with Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile and Peru. Since moving here, I have continued to travel and learn to weave beyond the neighboring countries in Ecuador and even further afield in Guatemala.
I have kept journals in which I have meticulously documented all the techniques I have learned here over the years with diagrams and step-by-step photos and it is only recently that I have found a forum in which to share all this with other weavers around the world.
So welcome to my blog. I hope to be able to tell you all a little about my life here in Santa Cruz and my weaving and learning experiences. But let’s try to make this as interactive as possible-leave comments, ask questions, give me suggestions. I would love to hear from you all.