In keeping with original Mormon teachings, much of the property in Hildale and Colorado City is held in trust for the church. Striving to be as self-sufficient as possible, the community grows a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and everyone, including children, is expected to help bring in the yield.
Even if he was happier in Asia than he'd been in Latin America, the wanderlust still worked on my father's insides like a disease. One of the most recurrent memories of my childhood is of him sitting in his armchair in the evenings, poring over atlases the way other fathers read newspapers or books.
Waitresses, soldiers, rickshaw drivers, old ladies selling vegetables - my father would schmooze anybody. He was Clintonesque before the word existed. And, of course, it paid dividends. Ill-tempered guards at the most notorious border crossings waved him through with cheery smiles. Haughty maitre d's fawned over him.
As a journalist, I try to avoid talking to American diplomats, because I am stunned again and again by just how little grasp they have of what people are really feeling in a country. Especially CIA guys. Maybe they're just really good at playing stupid, but I don't think so.