Wednesday, August 1, 2012
I'd Like to Introduce You to . . .
Gerson's dad is from a part of Bolivia called Los Yungas de La Paz. In his prime, Fermin was a professional soccer player for a team in La Paz, Bolivia called Municipal. In total, he spent 6-7 years playing soccer either professionally or semi--professionally. He's a jack of all trades, however, and also worked with heavy machinery when Gerson was a young boy. One of his bigger projects was asphalting the runway in Tarija. He also mined and worked various other jobs to help support his family throughout the years. Playing professional sports in Bolivia is not as lucrative as it is in the States. He made enough to support the family, but did not make an overabundance to continue supporting them once he was out of professional sports.
Dora is from Tarija, Bolivia. Her joy in life is cooking! She loves to be in the kitchen cooking for her family. And she's a TREMENDOUS cook! From the time she gets up in the morning until it is time to serve lunch, you can find her slaving away in her kitchen. This is her way of serving her family.
Gerson has a half-brother, Aldo. He and his family live on the other side of Santa Cruz, so they do not come over to his parents' house often. Aldo is taxi driver and that is how he supports his famiy. Judith runs a little store from inside their house, selling staple groceries to families in their little barrio (neighborhood). We're happy that so far we've seen Aldo and his family 3 times since we've been here!
Cathy is the family care-giver. She is a true SERVANT! She lives with Gerson's parents and takes marvelous care of her mother when she is sick. She also keeps the rooms of the house clean, does the yard work, and helps in the kitchen when Mama Dora is sick. She has just finished taking her classes at BEU to get her degree in English. She has her final exam to take, and then she can graduate! She works at a Christian school within walking distance of their home, where she teaches English to elementary children.
Silvana is a professional basketball player here in Bolivia. We went to one of her games, but she didn't get to play because the other team didn't show up. We were disappointed and hope that she will play again before we leave. As I stated above, although she is considered a professional, the pay is nothing like you'd expect for a professional athlete in the States. However, she does make enough to support herself. She rents an apartment several blocks from her parents and lives independently --- which is NOT normal for a young female in this Latin culture.
So, now you have met Gerson's family! This is them in a nutshell. :) I am blessed to have such incredible in-laws who embraced me and accepted me from the first moment Gerson introduced me to them. It's a joy to be reunited!