Welcome to the IWP Newsletter
| Dear IWP Members,|
An interesting article came to my In Box the other day. It talked about how ex pats can benefit highly from cultivating three different types of friends. In a nutshell, it mentioned:
The Local Friend - a native of the country where you are currently living. Someone to ask 'How do I ... ?' - a person with first hand knowledge of local issues, customs, language, etc.
Then there was The Friend Back Home - someone who already knows and likes you. A person who offers an emotional sense of belonging that may be missing for a while in your new environment. They may visit you - you may visit them - it's great to keep in touch.
Finally - there is The Fellow Expat Friend - those who are familiar with the unfamiliar. They understand and empathise when it comes to culture shock and possible homesickness and confusion.
IWP obviously falls into the third category and I'm extremely proud of just how many new members we have had join our group. Those who have come before are here to welcome you, offer guidance and easy friendship. As we are able, we will offer more in person activities but in the meantime, we must abide by the latest rules and regs of the GDS - the governmental health department.
Here's to making many new expat friends in the weeks and months to come!
This month, look for the debut of our Charity Spotlight - if you have a favourite charity or non-profit you would like to promote - please let Heather Dennis know at email@example.com
Also, don't miss reading the sweet story of old friends who found each other again on an IWP Sintra Walk! Amazing and true!
| Activities Update|
Q: How happy are we that we can start our Happy Hour at the Baia Hotel on August 13th?
Registration details are on the website of course but we are excited to invite you to join us on the second Friday of each month from 6-8pm at the hotel's rooftop bar, where the view of Cascais Bay is second to none.
Right now, we are limited to 50 attendees and although we're keen to meet your 'plus ones' - we'll obviously honour our members first. Guests are not guaranteed a place until we have our final count of members at the cut off time of 6pm on Wed. August 11th.
State in your sign up if you would like to invite a guest and we'll confirm back with you right after the cut off time if there is space. We appreciate your patience and understanding with this situation.
The hotel will orchestrate the set up so that it meets current conditions and/or restrictions. Vaccination certificates are mandatory per Portuguese law.
On another positive note - IWP Office Hours will start up on Tuesdays, from 12 noon - 2pm, beginning August. 3rd. Anyone and everyone is welcome to drop by Rua Poço Novo 85, Cascais and see the space that we have generously been given by the Town. We share the ground floor with SPEM (the Muscular Dystrophy non-profit) and Coração Amarelo (connecting seniors and volunteers). Either Heather Dennis or myself will be there to welcome you and chat about anything IWP related. The location in the historic district is charming and there are some cute lunch spots nearby. Pop in and say hello!
There will be a formal opening of the space by the Mayor and other officials, along with the media. (date pending).
Our first afternoon Tea and a Topical Talk is scheduled for August 12th at 3pm. Please check the website for details about the venue. Helen Beckett will offer us some fun insights on working with her 'sniffer' dog at Manchester Airport!
If you have something you think would be of general interest and are comfortable speaking about it - let Annemarie Simons know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Fado music devotee, Suzanne Harris, is having to hold off on an August gathering. Hoping to bring you musical news for September.
In this section we would like to introduce some of our talented IWP ladies. This month we are talking with Oonagh Hodges.
(by Sandra De Haan).
Oonagh was born in Derry, Northern Ireland and lived there until she was 21. In 1977 she enrolled in a post graduate course in social work at the London School of Economics whose reputation offered her the opportunity to find work in Canada and other countries. As she was based so near to Aldwych, Oonagh loved visiting the theatres in her spare time using her student discount. On completion of her studies she began working as a social worker and also met her husband Paul.
In 1981 they moved with Paul’s job to North Yorkshire where they bought an old house which took 9 months to renovate and where their eldest son Richard was born. As soon as the house was finished Paul’s job took them to Houston, Texas which was three times the size of Britain with a reputation of everything being bigger, the highways being longer and boring and the weather being hot and sweaty. To her great surprise Oonagh loved it! It was flat with dark earth, beautiful skies, gorgeous flowers in spring and the Texans were extremely welcoming people. Whilst in the US, the family travelled extensively around Texas, California, New York, Boston, Wyoming, Canada and also visited all the main national parks. Mathew, their second son was born in the US in 1986.
In 1987 the family returned to the UK ending up in Manchester buying another renovation project where they stayed until their sons left for Oxford University. Oonagh worked as a social worker in the Manchester area.
The couple eventually moved back to London where Oonagh continued her valuable work in finding foster homes for vulnerable children and also recruiting and training foster carers.
She and Paul didn’t want to 'grow old' in London and desperately wanted to live near the sea, so with Brexit looming they decided to move to Cascais as they already knew the area and loved the environment, nature and being near Lisbon. Only a two hour flight meant their boys would be able to visit regularly.
Any day of the year you can find Oonagh taking a swim in Cascais or in her pool in Murches as she is still very 'sporty'! She used to play tennis but now mainly walks and cycles. She is the Captain of the IWP Paradão Walk on Monday mornings. Her other hobbies are sewing, interior decorating, cooking and when possible, she attend trips, concerts and the theatre. She is also studying the Portuguese language.
Throughout her life she has had a passion for art and in London she exhibited and sold her paintings. She continues to create art, mainly in her home studio.
| Opportunity Knocks|
IWP can provide a communications platform for your ideas. If you have the time and talent to lead a group, plan an excursion, host an activity - let us know. Send your ideas to email@example.com, including details about time, place, transportation or materials. Get together with a new friend and brainstorm. The Executive Board will let you know if any further information is needed and if your plan is workable under our legal constraints. As we deal with Covid restrictions, we would love to hear from you and start making pns.
| Charity Spotlight|
This month, we are delighted to have received information from Marsha Turner Pluhar about a cause that is near and dear to her. Read on!
General Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
For upcoming actions and to enroll please go to: https://ambiente.cascais.pt/pt/formulario/acoes-voluntariado-ambiental-inscricao
Are you environmentally conscious? Ambiente Cascais is a program for the promotion and defense of nature and biodiversity carried out through volunteer actions.
Why get involved? The indigenous forests are composed of native trees of the territory. They are very important for the balance of the local fauna and flora. On the one hand, they are more resistant to fires, pests and diseases and are better adapted to our climate – droughts or intense rain. On the other hand, they serve as a refuge area for a large number of animals exemplified by the eagle of Bonelli, a species in PNSC (Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais)
- community involvement in nature conservation actions, for example: tree planting, removing invasive species, building bird nests and insect shelters, and butterfly capture.
- promoting active citizenship by raising awareness and society's role in preserving them
- training volunteers as agents in the process of change
Get involved – meet like-minded members of the community - it is a great activity for the whole family!
If you’d like to receive the schedule of upcoming Ambiente Cascais actions directly, please contact Marsha at email@example.com. Did I mention that the activities are lots of fun?
Members have been actively involved since 2015 when IWP adopted a plot at Cresmina Dunes in commemoration of the club's 25th anniversary.
| Ladies we have had a donation of German books by one of our members. If anybody is interested in reading them you can pick them up from the IWP Office which is located at Rua Poço Novo, 85, Cascais and open Tuesdays, between 12pm and 2pm.|
When you 'like' the IWP Members Forum page on Facebook, our administrators will let you in. It's a great place to stay up to date with current activities.
| and finally ..... |
Sintra Hikes and Lost Friends: The Story of Madeleine and Stina from Sweden. On one of IWP's Sintra Hikes, Madeleine and Stina separately organised to get a ride with the lovely Olgita to the meeting point of the hike. They were chatting in the car and were surprised to find out that they were both from Sweden. They had joined IWP as they were both keen on meeting international women rather than just Swedes. As they got out of the car and took off their face masks and sunglasses, they were both thinking that the other had a somewhat familiar face. It was a fleeting thought, so they didn’t think more of it and headed off on the hike. As always, the hike was wonderfully organised with a great group of women. There were fascinating hilly trails through forests and beautiful scenery. On the way back Stina and Madeleine got a ride with Olgita again and continued chatting about their lives. Stina began thinking that something about Madeleine’s life story sounded very familiar. Suddenly it dawned on her and Stina blurts out “We have met before! My maiden name is Stina Swartling”. Madeleine couldn't believe who was sitting next to her in the car! Soon all the memories started coming back. Their friendship began in Sweden around 1969, where they lived in the same neighbourhood. They attended countless birthday parties and played together during their childhood. Then Madeleine moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1971, while Stina stayed in Sweden and it wasn't until 11 years later, that they met up again. Madeleine was living in Brussels and Stina visited her there on her move back from New York to Sweden. And then for 40 years they went their separate ways. Both travelled and lived in different countries during those years, but somehow the road for both of them led to Portugal and IWP in 2018. What are the odds?! So the other day, they decided to meet up for lunch and Madeleine’s sister, Gunilla, who is also a member of IWP and also knew Stina back then, joined them. They had a wonderful reunion and spent hours catching up on the last 50 years. Old photos and guest books were brought out and as you can imagine, there was lots of laughter and joy going down memory lane. They are now continuing their friendship where they left off in 1969 and are looking forward to building new memories together again here in Portugal.
My best to you all,
Executive President of IWP