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Nine Months Later...

Updated: Feb 18

How (&Why) Did I End Up Here?

In April 2023, I finally made it to Portugal to visit friends who moved here about six or seven years ago. I helped them with various projects before they left the USA, where we became friends at a local church in North Carolina about 30 years ago. Our children played together every week when they were young, while Marina and I would work on Children's Church lessons. Later, I worked for Mark when he started his own business. Our kids attended youth group gatherings together, and we were there for each other at the loss of my first husband, Vinnie, and her mom the following year.

After helping them with some admin work as my friends were raising support and establishing an association now known as The Illuminated Lighthouse of Portugal, they asked why I'd never come to visit them. So, I arranged to visit in April 2023, a week after they moved into the Lighthouse and completed their first community event.

During that visit, we met a young man, Max (pictured here, left center), while attending an international church in Coimbra. Max ate dinner with us that Sunday, and we all spent the day, far into the evening, getting to know one another.

Marina kept telling us that she and Mark had been praying for a team to join them. Max and I began to wonder if our meeting that day was divine intervention. Over the next several weeks after Max and I returned to the USA, we each felt clear that God had a plan for us at the Lighthouse.

Nine Months Later

On the 8th day of January 2024, after Max and I spent the holidays with our families, we began our move--Max from Wisconsin, and me from North Carolina. I flew into Lisboa (Lisbon); Max flew into Porto. We arrived on the 9th, exhausted. But despite hating to leave my two daughters, six grandchildren, my sisters, my 89-year-old mom, and almost 94-year-old dad, I was excited to start this new journey in my life.

Living Among the New & Ancient--The Sites, Smells, Scary, & Unfamiliar

Now that I've given some background about why and how I live in Portugal, I want to share the experience of living in this modern, yet also ancient country. As I experience the sights, smells, and the scary, and unfamiliar, I hope you'll become part of this journey with me each week. While you might experience this same journey differently, you can enjoy the ways I'm processing my new life here without even having to board a plane!

From this point forward, every weekly blog post will be about new things I explore or experience, and how I process those experiences daily. Living in a foreign country is exciting but it can also be so uncomfortable that it can shake down even the most confident person. But I'm saving that for another time. Hope you'll join me each week! I look forward to sharing more with you.

More to Come

I have many stories to share in the weeks ahead, but for now, you can look through some of the photos I took from my first visit here last year. I will be sharing details about some of these photos in the weeks ahead. For now, just take a peek; enjoy Portugal through my eyes. I'm sure you'll find it, "e' muito bom!"

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