In this section we would like to introduce some of our talented IWP ladies each month, this month we are talking with Barbara Schafer.
(by Sandra De Haan)
Barb grew up in Bellingham, a small town in Washington State. After high school she enrolled in the nursing program at the University of Washington in Seattle. While still a student, in 1968, she married Chuck. He graduated that year from UW and was commissioned into the Army. In 1969, Chuck was posted to Korea and Barb took a year out of her studies to join him on the adventure. By good fortune, Chuck’s cousin also lived in Seoul and was married to a local lady who helped Barb immerse herself into the culture. This was a life-changing experience for both Barb and Chuck, who have loved travel ever since.
After a year in Korea, Barb returned to nursing school but, before she could complete her program, Chuck got a job with Pier 1 Imports and was transferred to Berkeley, California. They lived there for a year, during which their daughter was born.
Chuck really didn’t enjoy working in retail, so he went back to university to study accounting and became a Certified Public Accountant. They moved to Bellingham, had a son in 1976, and raised their kids in Barb’s hometown. During this period, Barb, at 30 went back to school, got a degree in Accounting and became a ‘CPA’ as well. She spent most of her career working as a controller or director in professional firms, primarily law firms. When both kids were out of high school, Barb and Chuck moved from Bellingham to Seattle, where they lived for the next 24 years.
For their 25th wedding anniversary, they went on a Mediterranean cruise and fell in love with Italy. That reignited their love of travel, and they have since seen much of the world.
2018 was an incredibly special year and they wanted to do something extraordinary. That year they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, Chuck turned 75 and Barb turned 70. Initially they planned to live in Italy for a couple of years, which they had already visited about 10 times. To their great disappointment, this was not possible due to Italian immigration problems. A friend had a client who lived in Cascais and introduced them. They came for a three-day visit, went back to Seattle, sold the house and the car and, after getting a visa, moved to Portugal.
When Barb arrived, she joined IWP and met Joia Lewis who was then the President. Before she knew it, she became the Treasurer of the organisation, a postion which she has now held for almost 3 years. She looks after all the financial aspects of IWP, reporting monthly to the Executive Board and reporting annually to the members at the AGM. IWP has been a wonderful part of her life in Cascais, providing friends, advice, entertainment and help. Barb is happy to give back some of what she has received.
Barb enjoys reading, tennis, walking, sewing, cooking and baking and loves drooling over Michelin starred “24 Hour Kitchen” TV chef Henrique Sa Pessoa. In her “spare time”, she is studying Portuguese. She and Chuck just completed the B1/B2 course.
By far the most important things in her life are her husband, her two wonderful children and her three amazing grandchildren. Barb feels very blessed with all that life has given her.