I'm a retired university professor, with a lifelong passion for Latin America, its languages, its cultures, and its peoples. I have a degree in Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education and spent over 30 years teaching English as a Second Language and teaching others how to teach English as a Second Language.
I spent 3.5 years in Colombia, South America, after earning my degree. I call myself "media paisa", or "half Medellin", the city I lived in. From there I came to Iowa to work. I grew up in Indiana, lived in Wisconsin and Illinois, and now have been in Iowa for many years. I am a consummate Midwesterner--except for the "half paisa" part, lol.
With retirement came the freedom to pursue other passions....and then the family separation policy ignited protests all across the country and I had to get involved. Thus McAllen, quickly becoming another part of my heart and identity.
I have to say I sometimes met volunteers who knew what "Iowa" is but not a single native. I recall one even said something vague about potatoes, reminding me of a common refrain:
Iowa. It's a place. And we don't grow potatoes.
I even had my Iowa Public Radio t-shirt on, with an outline of the state...still blank looks. Ok, how about Baja Minnesota? That was met with COLD! But I bet they couldn't find it on a map lol.
I truly liked the native Texans I met but I am wondering....if you are from Texas, you really don't need to know or care about anywhere else, maybe? Gotta say if I chose anywhere to go for retirement, Texas would have been last on my list, lol.