I was happy to contribute to the ‘Ten Easy Pieces’ feature on The Moodie Davitt Report. This is where they get up close and personal with leading travel retail personalities via ten snapshot questions. Here is just a small sample and a link to the full feature…
1. Where were you born and raised?
I am a proud gaúcho, born and raised in the south of Brazil, the oldest of four children, with two brothers and a sister. Due to my father’s career path working for different companies, we ended up moving around quite a lot, living in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and then in the capital, Brasilia.
As a child I remember being outdoors all the time, playing games with my brothers and friends. My love of football dates from then, playing until it was dark. We ran barefoot and didn’t worry about a thing.
2. You were 15 when your family relocated to Scotland. What prompted that move and how did you feel about it at the time?
I was a teenager when my father was offered, through sponsorship by the British Council, to do a PhD in Scotland. I felt like I had been picked up from sunny Brazil and dropped into a cold, dark place called Dundee.
Luckily I spoke English as a second language but nothing prepared me for the ‘shock’ of the Scottish accent. I still remember initially not understanding a single student at school, only the teachers. It was a very tough first year but you have to adapt and I believe I did just that quite quickly. I don’t think anyone at the school had ever met anyone from Brazil before so I was a bit of a novelty.
I was quite good at football and remember well the first time I went out to play in Dundee. I was young and naive, went to play in just my shorts and a T-shirt and oh it was bad. I’ve never been so cold in my life!
On the plus side, the PE teacher always picked me first for his football team. Another nice touch is that some of the students I met at school in my first year are still my friends today 26 years later.
For the remainder 8 questions and answers on this feature – please click here.