I don't work. At least according to the world's definition of "work" I don't. And here's why. Last year I thought I would easily find a job on the base near where we lived. Not being affiliated with the military, however, it turned out to be more of a challenge then we had expected.
Nevertheless, my husband, being the charmer that he is, had a contact who was set and ready to hire me. All I had to do was go to the job fair, give them my name, fill out an application, tell them Al sent me, schmooze a bit and I was set.
Upon arrival they asked me if either me or my husband were military. We aren't. They asked if my husband was a contractor. He's not. They asked who my husband worked for. I said a German company to which they looked at me strange, asked to see my passport, and immediately said, "Oh, I'm sorry, you don't have the right Visa. You can't work on the base." Super. Rejection #1.
Can't work? No problem. I'll volunteer. We knew someone who connected me with the head coach of the youth swim team. I used to swim.
I missed being near the water. It was perfect. I met with the guy, he was excited about me helping out. We went to the personnel office, asked how I could get a pass to get on base for practices, to which they said, "Not possible".
Why you ask? Good question. It turns out I would actually need to get permission from the German government in order to volunteer on the base. Still confused? It's simple really. Taxes. Good ol' Deutschland needed proof that I wasn't trying to pull a fast one on them by working for the American government under the guise of volunteering and therefore jipping them of any tax money they may or may not be entitled to. Awesome. Rejection #2.
Because we were only going to be in K-Town for another 9 months, I decided to forgo my attempts to do anything on the base and chose to learn German instead. Best decision ever. I love when God doesn't meet our expectations by closing doors for us. It's through those closed doors that He is able to help us see new and different opportunities that are far better than anything we could have ever dreamed of.
Here I am with my fellow Studentin. There are 8 different countries represented in this pic. And 8 different languages. Helen, on the far right, she's British. She said weird things like "Proper Jumper" and "Cheerio". That counts as a different language in my book. :)
After 6 months of intense learning and many, many half-understood conversations with friends and neighbors, I was feeling pretty good with my every-day, basic, "I can at least be friendly to people" German.
With my new found confidence, I came up with the brilliant idea of volunteering for a German organization. An awesome friend of mine, Miriam, she's German, although her English is probably better than mine, called a few places for me that she knew needed volunteers.
Apparently they don't need them that badly. Or they just don't need me. Or want me, because everyone of them said no. The hospital where she thought I could maybe play with and read to kids said it would probably be better if I just changed the sheets on beds. Hmmm, no thank you. I do that at home. Rejection #3.
And so that brings us to this week. In January we will finally have been married long enough to qualify for private insurance. It's cheaper than paying the taxes for public. Luis spoke with an agent; answered all her questions about every injury, procedure, or medical related thing he had ever had in the past two years. Given the nature of his job, there have certainly been some big things, but nothing that required in-patient care. We were set. Until, of course, the lady realized she forgot to ask about me.
Last March I had a small surgery to remove a non-cancerous tumor just above my knee. No big deal. Stayed in the Krankenhaus for a 5 days. Played wheel chair hide-and-seek with my man. Hobbled around for a few weeks. Had a good laugh when my left leg became significantly smaller than my right from lack of use. Was better in no time. Oh, and did I mention I paid, out-of-pocket, a total of 70 Euro for the entire thing...from the initial visit to the doctor, to the surgery, hospital stay and follow up appointmentssss, as in 4 of them. Yep, you read that right 70 pretty pastel-colored Euros. Just don't ask how much we pay in taxes.
K, back on track. This 70 Euro experience disqualifies us from being insured. The end. "But it was non-cancerous" my husband explained. "Doesn't matter" the lady said "She's young and prone to tumors. We won't insure her." Ciao. Rejection #4.
I'm a proud educated woman who now, thanks to Germany, happens to be unemployable, unvolunteerable (???) and uninsurable. Luis finds this to be quite funny.
I am married though, which actually qualifies me as having the best job ever because I get to be Luis' wife. And I wouldn't trade that for employment, volunteer opportunities, or private insurance any day.
WARNING: Here comes cheeseyballness! Okay, that paragraph before was a little cheesebally :)
I think my husband's pretty awesome. Not just because he takes out the trash and vacuums the crumbs off the counter for me. But because he brings more joy in my life than any of the three before-mentioned things combined. He makes me laugh when I wanna cry. He encourages me to be strong when I wanna give up. He helps me see what's best in me and makes me want to get rid of what's not so best in me. He lives life with such faith, determination, and passion that I can't help but be inspired to do the same.
And besides, he fell in love with me when I looked like this
And decided he wanted to marry me when I looked like this
What more could a girl ask for? :)