Dear Monika,

Was it hard for you to quit this project in the Boltshauser Club, which you were so dedicated to? Which feelings did it induce in you?

When I was asked to take on that responsibility many years ago I was very proud and just thought: WOW! I was still living in Brazil back then. I took the chance and started off highly motivated and well supported by a wonderful team! When my father, Alex, was president, most of the responsibility was on his shoulders. I, on the other hand, wanted to work more as a team, which we accomplished.


How does it feel when an era like this one ends?

I feel that the individual is replaceable. When I engaged with finding a successor I mainly turned to young people on Facebook who frequently “liked” the contents of the profile of the Boltshauser Club. Clubs can only exist if young people follow and take care of them. It was great for me to be able to hand over the responsibility for the Boltshauser Club to a competent young successor.


Is there any wish that you want to fulfil for yourself, now that you have more time?

(Laughs) My wish has always been to be able to do more work for charity in social services. Furthermore, I have more time for photographing and reading now, as well as for trips, hikes and visits with my husband. I enjoy having half a day at my disposal. My wish therefore has been fulfilled. However, I do not want to state that I have plenty more time now than I had before. I only have a little bit more time.


Not only the members of the Boltshauser family know about yours and Daniels commitment as missionaries in Brazil. Have you kept in touch with your friends in South America?

Yes, with many of them! Daniel and I had to divide the Whatsapp-numbers between each other. These are mostly former homeless boys, co-workers of ours and other friends. Brazil is our second home. Since Brazilians prefer talking to texting, the conversations with them help me to maintain my Portuguese skills.


Are you and Daniel planning on visiting Brazil again?

Yes, probably next year. 2020 will be our 20-year anniversary of returning to Switzerland after we lived 17 years in Brazil.


I got to know you as a very happy person. What do you think is the key to happiness?

To me, happiness means having my family, being close to God, cultivating good relationships and having animals around me. Our dog always wags its tail, no matter if I am happy or sad. This makes me feel good. Happiness is like a fire in your heart that cannot be extinguished, not even by a stroke of fate or by health problems.


Which goals are you pursuing now?

I want to stay flexible. Like a tree, which has strong roots but still is able to move its crown.


How do you wish the Boltshauser Club’s future to be like?

Similar to my personal goals. As a Club we have strong roots. We have an impressive history. However, nowadays it is important to stay flexible in order to be able to attract the younger family members as well.

Moreover, there is this secret wish of mine. I hope that it will be fulfilled: My Grandfather Heinrich lived in Manila for a while. His first wife there was American. One day, she wanted to visit her sick father but when the ship arrived in the US she could not be found, and she has been missing ever since. Who knows what happened back then. That is a secret, about which I would like to find out more.

Monika Bertschi-Boltshauser (former president), Flawil 2019