Orlando and Maria migrated from Uruguay to Australia in October 1980, and now have two daughters and a son, and several grand and great grandchildren.
Orlando came originally from Ukrainia, but his family moved to Uruguay and bought farming land when he was a boy. When he was 19 and a farm mechanic; Orlando met 17 year old Maria, and they married.
In the late 1970s their son followed relatives to Australia to see what it was like. He returned to Uruguay and convinced one of his two sisters that it provided a better life than what they could live in Uruguay. She convinced her parents and her brother to move with her to Australia.
Orlando and maria believe moving to Australia was a positive thing. “We are very happy here, the health and medical support is so very good, compared to what we would get in Uruguay,” explains Maria. Now that they are both in their 80s, and their children are established in their lives and have their own families, Maria and Orlando have a lot of time at home alone. “I like being busy though,” declares Maria, who is an avid reader of suspense and crime novels. “I think I would make a good forensic scientist,” she laughs as she tells us about the type of books she reads.
They used to have an extended network of friends, but it’s now difficult for them to meet up with other Spanish speaking people on a regular basis. Both Orlando and Maria enjoy meeting people and trying new things. In Uruguay Orlando was a committed hobby fisherman, and with many creeks and rivers close by; fishing became his passion. While Orlando continues to enjoy fishing once a week, they both wanted to meet other people and still enjoy speaking Spanish. Independently they join other Spanish speakers their age once a week through annecto’s Spanish Speaking group. Orlando joins a couple of Spanish speaking women and support worker on an outing, each week. “They’re older than me (the women), and walk very slowly. I have to accommodate my pace for them when we go to the park,” Orlando chuckles. “But I like to go out and visit new places; this group gives me the opportunity.” Maria also participates in a separate Spanish speaking group, giving them both an opportunity to have some time with other people.
For more information on joining an annecto group, call annecto on 1800 266 328 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org