“I worked for six months in Venezuela selling Styrofoam now I own a Styrofoam boat. How do you like that huh? Boy did I advance in forty-nine years.”
Orlando retired at the age of sixty-two after working various jobs in Massachusetts, Venezuela, and Florida. Following retirement, Orlando spent about a year and a half in Fort Lauderdale, Florida helping his youngest brother Leonardo with the start up of a hurricane window company. During this time, his wife JoAnn was living in Hanover, New Hampshire helping take care of their daughter Jolin’s children. Jolin invited her dad to Hanover, so he took her up on the offer! Even though Orlando lives in Hanover, he still has a house in Massachusetts.
When asked about how he spends his days in Hanover, Orlando spoke of his favorite hobby and working with his daughter:
“Just buying my time…sailing a little boat…I do some work for my daughter when she needs me, I do whatever she asks me to do. It’s totally different than what I did all my life, most of my life I didn’t do heavy work, just pushed a chair from a desk type of job. Now, I carry garbage, clean up construction sites, clean houses, clean toilets, whatever comes.”
In regards to Venezuela, Orlando mentioned a desire to return to his homeland, but only briefly to photograph things that he may have missed during his youth. He is appalled by the corruption that is occurring in Venezuelan society, and until recently, refused to listen to or read the negative news involving the country. Orlando provided the following comparison of the country he remembered and what it has become:
“People were so friendly and so personable…they treated you with respect. Now, *pfft*. Last week…[members of] Congress beat up the other people in Congress, I mean BEAT UP…physically. Oh [man] they’ve gotten very animalistic.”
“Fistfight breaks in Venezuela’s Congress” – News footage of the fight.
Orlando is also “starting to realize that people in Venezuela that are on the low level of society [rely too heavily on the government]. ‘Our country has oil, you owe me.’ Try to eat that stuff it’ll give you diarrhea! … The government or the politicians keep telling people, ‘Oh, we have the oil, we’ll give it to the people – we give to the people.’ So the people always expect to get something. Sad…I’ve become a real philosopher in my old age, pondering the pros and cons of the whole Venezuelan situation.”