The flu hit our house just before Christmas. It hit hard and it took no prisoners. Just kicked us in the teeth (and the hips and the back and the head and every other possible aching thing) and threw us to the sofa. All three of us at once. Not fun.
Billy ended up with respiratory complications and we went to the ER twice in 24 hours. They gave him breathing treatments both times, did chest xrays and took blood tests and we don’t even know what else. No pneumonia, but some sort of upper respiratory infection to add to the awesome flu symptoms.
Illness in another country is never fun. Not that illness is ever fun, but at least in your home culture you speak the language fluently and you know the system. In another country, not so much. The one good thing we hear every time is, “You speak Spanish? Thank goodness. Well at least you speak the language.” Yes, we speak the language. But sometimes medical lingo is pretty specialized and we have to fumble around for the vocabulary that fits the situation.
Illness is never fun. Illness + insurance issues + culture + language barriers = YUCK!
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!