Meet Helena Paneyko, Always smiling.
born and raised in Caracas,Venezuela. Helena moved to the U.S. in 1997 and relocated to Port Townsend WA. Before moving to the U.S. she worked as a weekly columnist for a newspaper, worked as a Spanish Professor at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA and San Antonio, TX. She was also trained as a veterinarian and had her own private practice for over 20 years, and in 1985 was elected to a five- year term as a member of Venezuela's Congress. Helena said she was the youngest in the National Congress at that time. Helena has been very passionate about sharing with the community about what was going on in Venezuela , the most beautiful place you could ever imagine, but she says with sadness ”it is not my home anymore”. Venezuela has been under a Communist dictatorship for too many years.
Helena has walked solo the Camino de Santiago from Lisbon, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, Spain (2015) she also has lived in Ireland for a year on an organic farm. She loves to travel and has been to many countries....Helena says she still has a long bucket list which seems to get longer and longer...
Since living it Port Townsend WA Helena has started a business "The Voice of Spanish”, offering translations, interpreting services, and Spanish classes along with Creative Writing Workshops and book publications. So far, she has three books published and working on her next one! By the way, if you are ever looking for someone to sit with your dog or cat, Helena also runs a pet sitting business.
Helena is a mother of two, Alejandro and Daniela, and grandmother of three. Currently she lives on a mini farm surrounded with chickens and goats. She has recently started a goat walking program with volunteers. Helena wakes up each morning to the sound of her Rooster "Tio Simón”, fresh farm eggs, goat’s milk, Red Californian worms..., and cuddles with her dog Mía.
On the pickleball court Helena brings a lot of smiles and positive energy, if you have played with her before, you know she will bring her A game every time. I have played with her and against her several times and she always inspires me. Helena and her partner could be down by 5 or 6 points and with a smile she will look over at her partner and say " Okay here we go, we can do this" and by golly she was right, they come out on top for the win!
Helena says “my community becomes my extended family! I am grateful for all!”
National Congresswoman, representative "Helena Paneyko"
1979 - 1984, Photo sent in by Helena.
Helena walking solo on the Camino de Santiago from Lisbon, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, Spain (2015)
A book signing in Seattle, WA.
Friends and fans who have been a support to Helena.
On her mini farm, Helena spends time giving love to all her animals.
Helena and her dog "Mia."
A few short interview questions:
How were you introduced to pickleball and how long have you been playing?
It was here in Port Townsend. Maybe I was curious and went to see people playing? I really do not remember. A few years?
Would you like to someday participate in a pickleball tournament?
What do you love most about Port Townsend WA?
There are so many things I love about the area. Nature, serenity, community, safety, activities and interesting festivals, smiles.
What are you most passionate about?
Life, my family, animals, friends, and my blessings.
Do you have a favorite quote or words of wisdom you would like to share with our readers?
The only constant is change.
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