Trip to Uruguay – September 2018

Just a few weeks ago I arrived back from Uruguay. Thank God I’ve finally been able to catch up on emails, Whatsapps, meetings, and a thousand other things.

When I got on the plane, I asked the person sitting next to me how many hours the flight would be and she left me in shock… 13 hours!! Luckily I didn’t know how long the flight would be, otherwise I might not have accepted the invitation… 🙂

After a week of working, speaking at conferences, meetings, lunches, interviews, radio shows, tv shows, the press and others, my daughter Cuqui (who joined me on this trip) said to me “Mom, I never realized that when you traveled with Dad to other countries you both worked so much…” Well, of course, Cuqui, these trips are non-stop, many people want to take advantage of the fact that I’m here to tell me stories and ask for advice. You could tell that the one who was tired was my daughter, not me 🙂

It was a fantastic experience. First we attended the “Uruguay Family Encounter 2018.” I loved to see so many married young couples that wanted to learn, leaving their kids with their grandparents or with friends to escape a weekend just to be together: to spoil themselves a bit with some time to stop and think; listen to great speakers that might help them on their own journey; enjoy meals with other young couples facing similar difficulties; to smile together and to relax together a little bit… It’s important! Couples need to disconnect from the day-to-day and fall in love again at least once a year!

I remember that I used to do the same thing with Chema. We would return home to the kids with our batteries fully charged.

I loved living and enjoying the South American culture. They are an incredible people – very happy and always giving.

In Uruguay there are 12 million cows (with only 4 million people in the country). That is to say, when we ate, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there was beef. I had one interview with Radio Carve which we did at the most important festival grounds in the country. It’s a festival where they bring in the best cows of every different type and they award each year the winner for each particular breed. At night, there’s a huge party to celebrate, but I left this for my daughter Cuqui, since I wanted to rest a bit and regain some energy for the next day.

One of the nights I gave a course on Family for the International Federation for Family Development (IFFD) to some married couples that have been married at least 20 years. The problems (or rather, opportunities) are quite different for couples that are recently married and those that you might consider veterans, but oftentimes it comes down to a breakdown in communication. You should never go to sleep without learning something new. You can always learn so much from the moderators of the IFFD course: professionals in education for families. They treat education as a science, and as such, there is always something more that we can gain a deeper understanding of.

At home, I left the kids alone. As they’re quite organized, Tere (who is 21 years old) took a paper and pen and wrote down who was in charge each day that I was away. Since there were so many at home that week, each only had one day that they had to take responsibility. It included making dinner and doing helping the youngest kids with their homework. It’s important that they learn to get up each day and solve whatever little problems might come their way. If they can’t solve it on their own, they need to learn to ask their brothers and sisters for help – first ask those who are one year older and if it’s still not solved, wait for the oldest siblings to get home.

On the day I was supposed to leave just before my flight, a TV show found out I was in the country and invited me to their show which has the most viewers in Uruguay for that day: “Informal Breakfasts.” They were shocked and couldn’t believe my story. One of the organizers accompanied me to the door and couldn’t stop thanking me for taking part on their show.

Once we arrived in the airport, a mother of 5 children met us there just to give me a huge goodbye and once again thank us for coming to share our story with their country.

We learned so much in a very short period of time, both Cuqui and I. I am so grateful to everyone that made this trip possible with their dedication and attention. Thank you!

This post was originally published on comoserfelizconunodostreshijos.com on October 1st, 2018.

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