Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The old man

As I've mentioned earlier, my hostel roommates name is Gary, a nickname for Gerd and he's 67 years old.

He was born during World War II. His dad was in the German army. His family was in Austria at the time of the war. He was just a baby/small child. He told me he had to go into a bomb shelter at some point when his city was being bombed and during that time he lost his hearing in his right ear.

He's also a cancer survivor. He had spinal cancer. Through chemo and radiation he beat it. Now he takes meds to regulate his body.

As a cancer survivor he feels like he has nothing to lose anymore. Every day is a treat.
He's just living life the way he wants to do it. He lives in Rio and in LA. He's been trying to decide which of those 2 places he should move to permanently.

In LA he said he was a private school administrator, but he wasn't enjoying his job anymore so he quit a couple years back.

He's a really nice guy. He speaks a little bit of Portuguese. He's very sociable and was doing a great job connecting people together in the hostel everyday even though this was the first time he stayed in one. He was so enthusiastic about going places and doing things everyday. He has a friend in Manaus that he met in Rio named James. James took Gary all over the place to see things in Manaus and sometimes I went with them.

It's been a privilege to meet Gary. I'm glad that he's enjoying his life.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The World is a book.
and those who do not travel
read only a page"

Saint Augustine

I got this from an invitation letter of Jong-a(sister of Ojaeng)'s wedding reception.

The old man is anther page for you.

March 11, 2009 at 10:31 PM  
Blogger Lucas said...

Glad you're having fun with Gary. Hey make sure you go to "Pao de A├žucar", really great view, but 45 (reais) bucks to get in.

March 12, 2009 at 4:36 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

That's a great story and wish everyone could/would have his philosophy in life. One should wait until some type of major life event to realize how precious life is on a daily basis. It is life lesson like this that makes your trip worthwhile.

April 2, 2009 at 1:27 PM  

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