On my recent trip to Lisbon Portugal and to other day trips to surrounding cities I saw lots of interesting and magnificent things like this church and beautiful views of the city. However, there was one place that I had not counted on seeing in Lisbon and that was the inside of the ER at a Lisbon Hospital. Our first day of sight seeing begin with a visit to a castle. We rode an elevator to get to a street that was pretty high up and there was a deck with a beautiful view of the city. All of a sudden I felt like I was going to pass out and I did. When I woke up an ambulance had been called and they quickly loaded me up and took me to a hospital. This is where it gets different. Most of us have been to an ER at a hospital and they put you in a room or cubicle for treatment. Not so in Lisbon, they take you to a room that is very crowded, so crowded that the beds are touching each other. There are no visitors allowed unless the doctor calls them back and there is security to make sure that rule is followed. I understand the no visitors rule because they was not room for visitors to stand. When a nurse needed to attend to a patient she had to move the beds over in order to get to the bedside.
Although the ER was crowded, the care was excellent. Most of the nurses and the doctor spoke English. They never asked me if I had insurance or for any payment. They only took my personal information and my address. Turns out, when I got home and check with my insurance company, they will pay for all except the ambulance. They sent me home with a packet of information for my doctor here in Knoxville and it was all in Portuguese. However, thanks to Covenant Health, a translator was provided here in Knoxville so that my doctor had all the notes from Lisbon. It was nothing serious and the next day, I was out touring again. It makes me appreciate the good hospitals that we have here in Knoxville. I feel very blessed.
Oh by the way I have another trip planned and I purchased trip insurance, just in case.
My New Year started off in Lisbon Portugal. I have been blessed to get to travel with my family a couple of time a year. This year we left for Portugal the day after Christmas and spent 10 days there. Our apartment was in Lisbon but we took one overnight trip to Porto and several day trips outside the city. One of the highlights for my 11 year old granddaughter, Kate, was the trip to Porto to the bookstore that was visited by the author J.K. Rowling when she lived there and was writing one of her Harry Potter books. The bookstore charges to get in and they have to limit the amount of people in the bookstore. There is a line for tickets and after getting the tickets a line to get in the store.
As you can see from the smile on her face it was very much worth it. She also got to purchase a Harry Potter book, which was pretty heavy but she was willing to carry it around until we got back to the hotel.
This trip was very physical because Lisbon is very hilly, and in fact most of the towns that we visited were hilly. We tried to start at the top of the hill and walk down and then when I got too tired, we used Uber to get back to the apartment.
It was a wonderful trip but all of us were glad to be home. Our luggage did not arrive with us and it was the next day before I could leave Nashville and drive back to Knoxville. I am glad that today is Friday because I am still trying to recover from the trip. It takes a few days.
One of the pleasures of this job is that I get to meet new people everyday and to hear their stories. Yesterday was especially good because I went to Bridge Refugee Services and met a very special person, Drocella Mugorewera the Executive Director. It opened up a whole new prospective for me. I guess I had not given a lot of thought about the difference between a refugee and an immigrant. Refugees had fled for there lives from countries where had they stayed would have been killed. Imagine arriving in a new country not knowing the language, having no job and probably with the clothes on their back. That is where Bridge Refugee Services comes in. They help the refugee get settled into housing, help getting a job, help learning English and so much more. As I sat in the hallway waiting for the meeting, their was a video playing that was in several languages and it was explaining that in the US, it is illegal to hit your wife, mother, daughter or any other female. The cultural differences are great and each refugee must learn to live in the US under our laws. I got to hear Drocella’s personal story and was overwhelmed with what she had gone through.
Several churches in the area support Bridge Refugee Services and hopefully my church will soon be another to give a helping hand.
As with any non-profit, it takes money to provide all these services. If you are interested in helping, you can go to their website to make a donation.
Hope I get to meet a lot more people with the compassion and caring that Drocella has for all people
Willie and I met when our oldest children were just babies. Our husbands worked together and planned a trip to the mountains for the day without asking either of us. I really did not want to go, nor did Willie, as we had not even met. We went that day and had a great time and we our families have been close friends for 50 years. They live in Atlanta but we manage to visit as often as possible. Even though it might be months since I have seen them, it is like I just saw them yesterday when we get together.
Recently I drove down to Blue Ridge GA where their oldest son Doug has a cabin. I was able to visit with some of their children and granddaughter and we tour the big town of Blue Ridge. I think if you have friends like this you are truly blessed.
Joy, Kate and Phyllis
I have been on a Stay Vacation for several days and yesterday was my first day back at work. My granddaughter Kate came to Knoxville to spend time with me. We had a great week, just hanging out, shopping, eating at our favorite restaurants, going to Dollywood and touring Burns Mailing & Printing to show her how the printing and mailing process works. On Sunday, Joy came to pick her up but not before we had a day in the mountains at our favorite swimming hole. Our family has been going there since I first met Ken in 1960. That is where my daughters learned to swim and we have lots of good memories there. As I sat by the river, images of family playing in the water and picnicking with family came to mind. Joy and Kate had tubes and they rode the tubes for hours. We did this a couple of years back but we have decided that this will be a yearly thing and that we want to make more memories that Kate can look back on and cherish.
I have been working on updating my house for the last few years. Hopefully the last thing that I am doing is the kitchen. I had a customer a few years back that paints kitchen cabinets and they do a really good job. My cabinets are pretty old but were in good shape. I had to take everything out of the drawers and they took the doors and drawers back to their shop for repainting. I put everything in boxes according to the drawers and was able to cook despite the mess. Last week they finished and it makes the kitchen so much brighter. Today the granite people are coming to make a template of the counter tops and they have to have everything off the counter tops in order to do this. My job this evening will be to put everything back in place. Hope I remember how to hook up the computer.
One thing that I have been putting off for years is cleaning out the attic . When my youngest daughter Joy was in college she asked when were we cleaning out the attic. I told her we were not cleaning it out and that we were going to die and leave everything to them, including the attic. I was only kidding but I bet she was surprised when I had it cleaned out. I had 3 helpers and it was a trip down memory lane for sure but what a mess. All 4 of us were covered in dust and it took some time to vacuum up the mess.
With the remodeling, puppy sitting and working, my summer has started off very busy. I think I need a trip to the beach already.