Being raised by only grandparents is not easy. “Maya’s Notebook” tells this story of adversity and hope. Aftertimes the best story, like this one, reveals the strength of a young woman. A teenager named Maya Vidal was nineteen years old and lived in San Francisco, California. She was “shipped” to Chiloe by her grandmother Nadia(Nini). Maya has been in undisclosed trouble, and was being hunted down by the FBI and Las Vegas drug dealers. She was raised by her Chilean grandmother and African American grandfather, Paul Ditson the II, who is Nadia’s second husband.
Maya’s father, Andres (also known as Andy) was a pilot and he was always away working. Maya’s Danish mother abandoned her right after her birth. Nidia and Andres immigrated to Canada after the Chilean military took over Chile in 1974. Nidia soon met and married Paul(Popo). Paul worked as an astronomy professor. They both moved to Berkeley, California. Nadia arranged Maya to disappear in Chiloe, where her Nidia’s old friend Manuel Arias has agreed to have Maya to stay with him.
Before she was shipped to Chiloe she was cutting class, and hung out with her best friends Sarah and Debbie. The three of them shoplifted, experimented with drugs, and ranging from marijuana to ecstasy to cocaine. She was determined to lose her virginity, and she chooses a wannabe thug named Rick Laredo to deflower her, only to have him follow her around like a lovesick puppy. Rick helped Maya, Debbie, and Sarah to extort money from pedophiles by answering their online ads and then accusing them of attempted rape.
With Maya’s mistakes she has made throughout her life she was shipped off to Chiloe a beautiful place that turns her sober after a year destroying her body. Maya’s journey too Chiloe was during the summer of 2009. She introduced herself in a new culture and cleansed herself from all the drugs she was addicted to. While Maya was in Chiloe Manuel introduced her to a really close friend and her name was Blanca. Later, during the summer Blanca revealed to Maya that Manuel was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm ten years ago, and that the aneurysm will burst at any moment.
He lived close to death that he made peace with it, allowed himself to live in the present. Maya wondered why they don’t simply admit their feelings and use whatever they had time to be happy together. When she had the time to talk to Blanca and Manuel by themselves, she would try to convince them to be in a relationship and live in peace together. Manuel and Blanca refused to be in a relationship because they both had diseases and they don’t want to hurt each other. A year before Maya went to Chiloe, she escaped from rehab and she needed a someone to take her back home.
She came across a freeway and someone was nice enough to take her to Las Vegas, but the driver forced her to stay the night with him at a hotel. That night she was sexually assaulted and the next day the driver dumped her in the streets of Las Vegas. That’s when she ran into Brandon Leeman, he provided Maya a place to stay and a job so she can make money. He told Maya the rules on how to run his job, she couldn’t speak to anyone, she couldn’t go anywhere by herself, and she had to go to the gym to keep herself in shape.
Leeman isn’t a type of person who abuses women physically, but one time he caught Maya talking to someone at the gym and he slapped her to remind her that she isn’t to talk to anyone. She was also peripherally aware that Leeman was working for the worst things, for example: drug dealing and car theft. Leeman suggested they should deepen their working relationship, and Maya knew she was in danger, but was too incomprehensible to take steps to save herself.
When Maya is in Chiloe she spends time with Manuel and Blanca by going on a tour in different parts of Chiloe. She ran into a tour guide by the name of Daniel and she ends up falling in love with him. She realized that the nine days she spent with Daniel were the happiest days of her life. Manuel tactfully goes on a three-day trip to Santiago, leaving Maya and Daniel to get to know each other. Then Maya’s trust in Daniel grew and she finally told Daniel about her addictions, her rape, and her enslavement to Leeman.
Back in autumn 2008, after Leeman dropped her off at the gym. Maya walked to the sauna to decide on what to do on how to get herself back to California because she has no money and no one she knows to help her to get her back home. She feared calling her grandmother and dragging Nidia into the potential danger she was in. A former worker for Leeman showed up to the gym and warned her about that Joe Martin and Chino killed Leeman(Joe and Chino were Leeman’s body guards). They both wanted to find the money that Leeman was hiding for his brother.