Author: Elizabeth S. Steger
The following review was contributed by: Sue Vogan: To read more of Sue's reviews Click Here
If you've ever wondered about orange juice, how you can make your dreams come to life, or how well-known people rose to the top, Dreams of an Immigrant is the book for you.
Elizabeth S. Steger, "president and CEO of Citrus Consulting International, provides forecasting, harvesting optimization, and aerial tree inventory for private corporations" -- and, through Dreams of an Immigrant, she offers us an insight to how a little girls from Paraguay gets to America, in a big way.
"Some dreams come true, while others die, but the real one always stay alive." Those are the opening lines of the poem, "Why Dream," that Ms. Steger wrote, "dedicated to all my readers who want to fulfill their dreams." She ends with, "and then someday because of you others will see that dreams come true." Ms. Steger's "inspiring story is filled with hope and perseverance while providing practical ideas to help readers become successful and make the right choices in life." She has the support of her family, faith in God, and "takes the future in her hands and makes her dreams a reality."
Kathleen Steger, daughter of the author, sums up her feelings about her mother's book, "Of course, if you know my mother, you realize that no project is too big for her. Now that I've read her manuscript, I believe she definitely had a life worth sharing." Kathleen continues, "It's hard for me to imagine anyone reading this book and not being inspired by it. Mom has a lot to teach us about motivation, hard work, and accomplishing dreams." After reading the finished product, this book reviewer agrees.
To say the least, Dreams of an Immigrant, is inspiring. We all have dreams, but they may stay unfulfilled without structure. Ms. Steger generously offers a simple outline of how she made her dreams come true with easy to understand language, simple to follow instructions and a directness that addresses obstacles with "if there's a will, there's a way" attitude.
Elizabeth Salomoni Steger "has always been a dreamer with a purpose." She grew up in Paraguay and "dreamed of earning a degree from an American university." She also dreamed of writing a book. Ms. Steger earned her Ph.D. in industrial chemistry from the National University of Asuncion in Paraguay and two master's degrees from Purdue University, where she also received "Distinguished Alumni" and "Master Awards." She fulfilled her second dream with Dreams of an Immigrant, where she shares her course and offers positive tidbits of wisdom learned along her journey.
Growing up Catholic, with an uncle as a priest, she read books about how Christians should live, said daily prayers, and went to church on Sunday. She confesses that her "knowledge of God was restricted to the catechism, the Ten Commandments, the rosary, and the Mass." She recalls praying to various saints for " good grades," better health, "and to the Virgin Mary for different people and their many needs." She had been forbidden to read the Bible "for fear" she "might misinterpret it." Later, she would learn that "the church thought there was some risk in us reading chapters, a risk that might make us question the church's teachings." Ms Steger gives the example, "I learned as a child that Virgin Mary had only one son, Jesus. The Bible quotes in a few places that Jesus had brothers (Acts 1-14 and I Corinthians 9:5)."
Her priest-uncle Oscar, who had read the Bible to her as a child and later married Elizabeth and Fred, didn't show up for mass as he usually did one morning. Uncle Oscar had been beaten with a bat and robbed of his watch "and some cash." It remains "an unsolved mystery" as to who would kill and rob this priest.
Fred and Elizabeth met when she came to America. Elizabeth "felt God" had sent her to "find this wonderful man," who, at the time, wanted to be a priest. Fred has had an important, stabilizing role in the foundation of the Steger family. He supported Elizabeth in her life choices by taking care of Kathleen and the home, moving along the ever-changing path easily, truly believing in his wife and her goals. As it stands, they are not only in business of being a family unit, but are in business of running a business together -- a true partnership.
Ms. Steger's work mainly brain-work, and she states that "a simple way to feel more alert when performing mental work is to eat protein, raw vegetables, and a small portion of simple carbohydrates." She provides a short list of "food products" she eats "on a regular basis" to keep her mind in good shape.
Dreams of an Immigrant covers trips to foreign lands, stresses, foods, hard work, and more -- ever broadening Ms. Steger's mind and life-experiences. She even offers advice to parents. Her lesson learned "as a parent is to be aware early in life of your child's skills and strengths to be able to guide them toward the path to success" is worthwhile counsel.
And, there is humor. "One day, while sitting at the kitchen table, my daughter Kathleen, who was six years old at the time, asked, "Mom, are you an orange doctor?" Elizabeth laughingly replied, "why do you ask that?" Kathleen's reasoning was "people call you a doctor, and you work with oranges, therefore you must be an orange doctor." Dr. Steger claims she has "never forgotten that nickname" for the work that she does.
The process of how juice is made, from removing the juice from the fruit to how the natural flavor is added back in is "amazing." And, the orange, as we learn in Ms. Steger's book, "originated in China and came to this country with the Spaniards." Facts about orange juice presented in Dreams of an Immigrant just may give you a new appreciation for the breakfast drink we routinely consume.
Dreams of an Immigrant is a well-rounded read. The orange business is interesting, Ms. Steger's life is fascinating, and the entire book is educational.