After some months, after the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games finished where Andrew was working, he started to search for a new job. A job at the IPC - International Paralympic Commitee - appeared in Bonn, Germany.
Andrew had other job opportunities but we discussed the options and we decided that he should go work in Germany and that I could search my family. Andrew accepted the job and we went to Bonn.
Before arriving in Germany our initial plan was to go to Raunheim, to the football pitch and try to ask people if they knew my father, but it was a crazy plan as we don't speak any German and my father died 30 years before. To find people who knew him sounded a bit difficult but we had to try. When we were arrived in Bonn, Andrew started to research on the internet again and for the first time my father's name was in an article on the internet! You can read the article here.
"Over fifty years after their district champion title, the former players meet regularly today", article by Michael Kapp, from Wednesday 19.04.2017."
The picture that they are holding is of their football team as kids, you can see my father, the tallest one, wearing black as he was the goalkeeper, third from left to right.
The part that has my father's name:
"The champion team included Jürgen Eckert, Andi Hofmann, Walter Lösch, Viktor Eichler, Harald Stolle, Rudi Richy, Heinz Blum, Karl Heinz Haberzettl, Manfred Diehl, Wolfgang Hofmann, Marian Sulik and Manfred Knüttel."
"...some of the teammates are no longer among the living. With the regular meetings, the team keeps a lasting memory of all those involved in the success."
The journalist wrote about the football team that played with my father when they were kids and now, over 50 years after they won a championship in 1965, they still meet every first Thursday of the month to keep the friendship between them.
When Andrew showed me this article I got very excited! I told him I needed to go in this meeting so I could meet my father's friends and football team as a kid! It was perfectly timed for this article to appear on the internet, just when we needed it the most and only a few days before we arrived in Germany! Quite the coincidence don't you think?!
So I searched all these football players on Facebook, but guess what, none of them had a Facebook hahaha. But I found the Facebook of the journalist, Michael Kapp. We first tried to write him in English and we received no response, so we asked help of a German woman that worked with Andrew in IPC. She wrote in German to him asking if he had a contact of any of these players and explained a little why she was asking. He answered and gave us the phone number of Wolfgang Hofmann, the only one he had contact with.
This friend, Alex, called him for us but no one answered, this was during the weekend, so we asked her to try again on Monday. Finally she managed to talked with Wolfgang and it went a little bit like this (but in German!).
She asked him: Did you know a Jürgen Eckert?
Alex: Did you know of any connections he had with Brazil?
Alex: Did you know he had a daughter from Brazil?
Alex: So, his daughter Larissa is living here in Bonn and she lost contact with her aunt Gabi. Do you know her? Do you have any contact of her?
Wolfgang: I know Gabi. I know the area that she lives, why Larissa doesn't come to our meeting next Thursday so we talk?
I had to wait some days until the Thursday arrived. Andrew and I had to pay a lot for the train to go to Raunheim as we didn't know that if you buy the train tickets in Germany at the day of your travel, you will pay a fortune! Anyway, dreams have no price hahaha. And to Raunheim we went on June 1st, 2017...
Please look out for "Part IV" that will soon be released in my blog!
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Until the next post ;-)
Honey Bunny Amigurumis