Can you tell us about yourself?
Most certainly! I am a mother to 4 wonderful sons and a grandmother to 7 fabulous grandchildren. The only problem with that is where they have chosen to live their lives: around the world. But hey, who can blame them? Their mother was born in the US, raised in Germany, then raised her sons in Guyana, S. America and eventually India. She has a German and American passport and at the moment, is living in Scotland.
My initial schooling was all in German. But because we spoke English at home, I was able to make the adjustment to college and higher education in the US. I have studied Nursing and Education. Only after leaving India, where I lived for a span of 23 years, did I decide to become an English language instructor. My choice was motivated primarily by the flexibility and opportunities this can bring. Opportunities are important to me because I am an adventurous person with a bucket list of things to do in places not much travelled. You see, besides my family, my passion is trekking. This is where you hike for long distances with a backpack that contains everything you need for living. I always think of it as
walking with my household on my back – with my tent, sleeping bag, clothes, medicines, cooker, food and water – all strapped to my back.
Much of my walking has been in the area I call home: West Virginia. I have a small cabin in the woods of the mountains of West Virginia. I find nature peaceful and healing, giving me energy to live the next part of my life’s journey. When I am there, my visitors are raccoons, squirrels, bears, opossums, turkeys and deer. It isn’t often that people come around. One night, a bear visited and knocked down flower pots and bent my bird feeder down to the ground. Of course he ate all the bird feed! But my first big walk was on the Camino de Santiago, in northern Spain. It was here that I fell in love with trekking. I have since then walked across Spain from West to East and South to North as well as many other routes. The most daring trek I undertook was in New Zealand. The Te Araroa stretches across both of New Zealand’s main islands for a distance of 3000 km. I have started that trek and hope to complete it once this pandemic is in the past. Another dream of mine is to trek in Patagonia, South America.
What else can you tell us about yourself?
I see life as an opportunity to live and learn, and an obligation to make a difference. The years in South America and
India were that for me. Especially, in India where I worked with women and children but also young people and students. I started a charitable organization that is helping women and children who have been marginalized and discriminated against. It makes me angry when I see people treated unjustly and I it makes me want to fight for them! I guess I have always been like that.
Because I have lived my life on 4 continents, I understand how difficult it can be to learn another language and to try to understand the culture. I have felt the feeling of ‘homesickness’ or ‘being lost’ many times. I suppose it is the trade-off for being able to experience the world.
Some of my favorite things: to blow bubbles; stand on a mountain top; play with my grandchildren; ride a horse; strap my backpack on; drink coffee in a plaza; dancing; make a snowman; watch birds at the bird feeder; sit in a rocking chair on my porch.
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This blog was written by Intrepid English Teacher Ruth.
Find out more about Ruth on her Intrepid English Teacher profile page.
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