One of the most wonderful things about IWP is that it is big enough to contain all of us. Many of us have lived all over the world, grown up in cultures different from that of our parents, fallen in love with partners and raised children in cultures different from our own childhoods. The joy we feel encountering others whose complex lives reflect our own is profound.
Others are living in a foreign country for the first time, facing culture shock and language barriers without any previous experience. We can feel homesick, isolated or lonely. It can be challenging!
And so we need each other! What we share far outshines our differences. What keeps us going to our meetings, activities and “happy hours” reaches past our separate languages, experiences and cultures to a deeper understanding, even when words fail. We have a common understanding —when we feel joy or sorrow or pain, when we laugh or cry—we see ourselves reflected in each other. We are not alone.
As women, we know that reason and emotion, thoughts and feelings, nature and nurture, are vitally intertwined at all times. As international women building our lives in beautiful Portugal, we know we cannot do so alone. Our nature is to share our lives with others. Our needs are intertwined, and simply caring about each other is the purest form of communication.