We begin this interview with easy questions about Christmas traditions in Bolivia and games she played as a child. We end with the tough question of going back.
What Christmas tradition did you enjoy or has become memorable?
I remember when I used to save my old shoes for Christmas Eve. Instead of throwing a pair of school shoes away, they were saved for this purpose. In those days we had to leave our shoes on the window sill on the outside actually, and Santa would bring my Christmas presents wrapped in paper and take our old shoes away. We usually received dolls and board games.
What is a tasty treat mothers make around Christmas time? Or that you find at a bakery?
Paneton is a special Christmas bread found in Bolivia as well as Brazil. Sometimes the workers came home with paneton, a turkey, or a bottle of wine. Those are things you either receive or give around Christmas. Two years ago one friend from Brazil gave me paneton for Christmas, I asked, “Where can you buy it?” She told me about Lucky’s Market or Sam’s. This year, I already picked one up for the holidays.
If someone travels to Bolivia, where would you suggest they visit?
La Paz is a big city where you can take a bus and go to different places, like Salar de Uyuni. For Salar de Uyuni expect to see multiple kilometers of snow-like landscape of salt. The salt is processed there to sell it at the markets there and they can show you how it was processed. In the middle of Salar, there is a mountain that has giant cactai. Not only that, there is a special event where a race is held through the salts, motorcycle or race cars, I can’t remember.
Or stay in La Paz and visit Titicaca Lake where you will see an island in the middle of the lake. You can take a boat to visit the museum there. You walk around the island and enjoy the mountain and ruins. You can see how the ancient people engaged in agriculture such as vegetables.  This lake is half in Peru and half in Bolivia. 
How would you describe your childhood in Bolivia? What images come to mind?
Playing outside my house with neighbors. We had hiding games, and lots of jump rope with chants. We were quite expert at it, not to mention hopscotch. We had many games outside using a ball. One was a game with a ball something like a volleyball, and we played a game much like dodge-ball in the United States where you try to hit the children on the other team. Of course we only had TV at home in those days! 
Describe how you ventured out of Bolivia for education or career.

One day after I finished high school my father gave me the option to go to College in Mexico (Mexico City). I said YES!! My adventure began that summer, I had ups and downs, because I missed my family, but my mom encouraged me a lot. There I studied Biochemistry. I went on to do my Masters in Clinical Biochemistry.  I met my husband in those college years, and we moved to USA when my Masters was complete, coming directly to Columbia, Missouri home University of Missouri.

How are you adjusting to the United States?

Even though there are difficulties, I had to face the language. At first, I was scared to talk to people. I think now it is much better. I don’t think I can change my home now, I like this country! I used to say to my husband that we will go back to Bolivia for retirement years, but he said you will not, because your kids are here. That is true, now I don’t think I will leave to any place.

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Forest Tang is thrilled with American football

Yaming wonders if she should never have come here in the first place