I grew up watching documentaries with my grandfather. He was the documentary king! He even made his own little documentaries of family vacations and trips using the home movies and photos he took. He would spend countless hours filming (remember the old super 8 movie reels?) and recording his voice, trying his best to narrate the action and share the experience for all to see. Really, he was a teacher in the deepest part of his soul and these films were always attempts at teaching the greater public about the places that he visitied. I have fond memories of sitting in his living room with the shades drawn on the windows, watching the home movie screen and listening to the clackity clack of the movie reel and my Pop Pop's voice.
Later in life, I would watch PBS documentaries on TV with him. We watched travel documentaries and history documentaries. My favorite was on Sunday nights when we would sit together and watch the Nature documentary series.
Somehow, I think my love of learning stems from the thousands of hours of watching documentaries with my Pop Pop, not to mention the countless trips he took me on, the numerous visits to the zoo and the ballet and the symphony, and the non-stop lessons that he was always teaching to anyone who would listen.
He was a great man.
I think it is no surprise that I love learning. And I love teaching. I can't get enough. I soak up new information like a sponge, and I can't wait to share it with others.
You are the learner today! :) Thanks for letting me share what I learned with you:
Yesterday, while on a little day off excursion with two other missionary families, we sort of stumbled upon a treasure trove for me... Roman ruins! Okay, I guess I can't say we 'stumbled upon' it, as one of the girls in our group actually pointed out to us that we were very near an archeological site and that we should go see it. So, we did.
With five kids in tow, in the 100+ degree heat, we headed 9km outside of Sevilla (just a mere 1.5 hours from my front door) to the site of Italica, an ancient Roman city built in 206 BC. Yes - BC... as in Before Christ... as in OLD!!! Like, REALLY OLD!
We walked up to the entrance where two Spanish women were attending the gate. European Union residents get in free (most historical sites are considered property of the citizens and are super cheap / sometimes free to residents) and foreign visitors pay 1.50. We flashed our resident cards and they waved us through. Cool! I love FREE!
Shocked is not even adequate to describe my feelings as I saw this site. This is an all-out Roman city! I have been to Rome and to Cypress and Turkey and many other sites of Roman history. This place was not to disappoint!!! Who knew?!?! This thing is right in the middle of nowhere, 9km outside of Sevilla, and only about 7 or 8 other people were there the whole time we visited.
Some Italica facts:
Founded in 206BC
Birthplace of two Roman Emperors Trajan and Hadrian
It was a full Roman city, with aquaducts, theatres, temples, ampitheatre, theatre, and palacial homes.
Italica's amphitheatre seated 25,000... half the size of Rome's Colosseum and was the third largest amphitheatre in the Roman Empire.
The city began it's decline in the beginning of the 3rd century AD when a flood changed the route of the river. Sevilla became the main city of the area (known as Hispalis in Rome).
Many centuries later, little Italica would also become the sight of a monestery... and would harbor the 'rebels' Casiodoro de Reina and Cipriano de Valera who defied Rome and translated the Bible in to the native language of Spanish (Rome wanted it to forever be only available in Latin). This Bible was known as the Biblia del Oso (Bible of the Bear) because of the cover drawing that showed a Bear reaching for honey - a clever way to disguise the translated Bible's appearance. This Bible is today known as the Reina Valera.
Yep... it happened right here in Italica! The modern-day town of Santiponce now stands on Italica's doorstep and is built over parts of the ancient city.
My Pop Pop would LOVE this!
In my USA life, I was a teacher in Texas for 15 years. I was also a professional photographer, a soccer mom, a horsewoman, and the neighborhood hospitality queen. I did "Joanna Gaines farmhouse style" before Chip and JoJo were even a thing - we restored an 1884 Victorian farmhouse in small town Texas and did shiplap walls until I thought I'd go crazy. I taught at NASA, scuba dived with astronauts in training, and studied animals at Sea World for educational purposes. I've tried just about everything, because I have an insatiable need to know if I can do it! Never underestimate a Texas girl in cowboy boots!
In 2006, my husband Billy and I became cross-cultural workers (CCWs) with TMS Global. For five years, we served in three rural Quechua Wanca villages in the Andes of Peru. And when I say rural, I mean RURAL - like no potty! I spent my days in Peru learning to live a Quechua lifestyle in a rustic adobe house - cooking Peruvian foods, sewing with Quechua women, raising my chickens and goats and pigs, and planting my gardens. Now I live my life in small town Spain, serving other cross-cultural workers via teaching and training and care, and helping displaced people to navigate their new reality in Europe.
I'm passionate about fostering personal growth, growth in community, and growth in The Kingdom. Walking alongside others and helping them to use their unique design, their gifts and strengths and maximize their abilities to fulfill their God-given purpose - that's what makes my heart sing!