Daily Thandie – Holiday Havens

Mimi ON May 13, 2010 AT 10:00 am

Thandie Newton for Olay

By Thandie Newton

Over Christmas we took the kids to the Cuixmala Estate in Mexico. It’s a haven of eco-conscious natural beauty. Thousands of acres, private beaches, even exotic animals (once a home to business tycoon Jimmy Goldsmith, the family decorated their landscape with a few pet zebras – they’re now in their hundreds!).

They have a successful turtle sanctuary, and during egg hatching season children staying at the estate can participate in hatching the baby turtles and releasing them into the ocean. It’s a breathtaking experience, and a privilege to be part of nurturing a threatened species.

As well as gathering shells, racing hermit crabs, building sandcastles and riding horseback along the beaches I managed to read a few terrific books too.


‘Zeitoun’ by Dave Eggers tells the mind-bending true story of the Zeitoun family in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Dave Eggers is a master of reflecting huge themes from within the lives of everyday people. He reminds us that we are all heroes, or that we all can be. I read his staggering book ‘What Is The What‘ a few years ago, about the lost boys of Sudan.  His books are experiences that have changed me. 

Also, Jonathan Safran Foer’s ‘Eating Animals’ is a terrifically exciting, urgent piece of writing. As a father of a new son he wanted to thoroughly investigate one of the most primal and profound responsibilities that we have as new parents – what do we  feed our children? This question took him on a journey into the bleakest of places – Factory Farming. The real revelation for me came in how much Eating Animals is not only an ethical issue; but also a political, ecological, even a human rights issue.

Click here to read Thandie’s last unmissable exclusive column for BATD…

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