So I'm cleaning the house like a wild woman today... sweeping, mopping, dusting, scrubbing toilets... everything. We have guests coming to coffee later and the house has to be spic and span EVERYWHERE, not just the kitchen or the living room. In the USA, if the upstairs wasn't clean and perfect, "oh well". Because usually the guests only see the living room and the kitchen and the bathroom anyway, right? Well, not so here in Spain! It is customary to "show the house" when you have guests over. When we have been over to visit others, we are shown the whole house - like a tour. We are paraded through the rooms - every single one of them, even the bathrooms, even the laundry room, even the roof area where they hang laundry, everywhere! The first time, I thought it a little strange. The second time, I thought it even stranger! Then I was let in on the secret... it is customary. Cultural. It is showing you that there is nothing to hide. You have seen it all. You are "in" and accepted. You have been shown the whole house. So, I'm cleaning today in anticipation of having to do the home-tour thing tonight and show our guests the whole house. Not that there is a lot of house to see... but they will see it none-the-less. Dust bunnies, beware! I'm on a rampage against grime and smudges today! Oh the things we do in the name of culture and 'fitting in'...
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!