January 26, 2010

Meet Anne Morddel who has lived in Brazil twice, and written a children’s book about an aspect of Brazil. Read the following interview in which she tells us about some of her most memorable experiences and gives some useful advice to newcomers.

1. Tell us a little about yourself, where are you from, what do you do etc.?

I am originally from northern California, but have lived outside of the US for almost 30 years, in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South America.

I trained as a librarian and have a Master’s Degree in Library and information Sciences from UC Berkeley. While in Brazil, I worked in two separate English language schools as the librarian.

2. When did you arrive in Brazil and what brought you here?

I lived in Brazil on two separate occasions: 1995-1999 and 2002-2007. On both occasions, the reason for being there was my husband’s work with an automobile company.

3. What were you first impressions of Brazil?

It was not my first new country, so the shock at things not being American that many people experience was not an issue. I first lived in São Paulo, which I found incredibly ugly. I like nature and the countryside, so the concrete everywhere depressed me. Then I discovered the parks. I think my favourite was the Parque de Agua Branca, with its organic market. Or perhaps the tiny Parque Burle Marx, with its marmosets running about.

4. What do you miss most about home?

Well, I cannot even say where is home” anymore. What I most missed was what I think I have missed in every place (except London) I have lived: affordable books in English. Then, I found the second-hand bookshop at the British church (St. Paul’s Cathedral) in São Paulo. I must have bought at least a thousand books there! Some of them are real treasures. When we moved to Curitiba, I used to fly to S.P. for a day, just to buy books. Now, I live in Paris and I miss that magical little shop in São Paulo.

5. What has been your most frustrating experience in Brazil?

Being stuck in TRAFFIC in São Paulo!!!!!

6. What has been your most memorable experience in Brazil (specific incident)?

A trip to Superaguã was particularly magical, even more so than the trip to the Amazon region. We took a boat from Paranagu across the bay, and were the only clients in the hotel. I went birding on my own and found a flock of more than 30 white-shouldered fire-eyes. Brazil is a bird-watcher’s paradise. It is also a botanist’s paradise, and entomologist’s paradise, a botanical artist’s paradise, and on and on and on.

7. What do you most like about Brazil (in general)?


8. What is your favorite restaurant/place to hang out here?

In São Paulo – Bar des Arts was a place that was a bit fun, if not very original.

In Curitiba, I spent as many evenings as possible at my website.

I was very honoured that the book was selected to appear on the website of the Prince of Wales’s Rainforests Project last August.

My years in Brazil, especially those in Curitiba, changed my life, for the discovery of the beauty of the Atlantic Rainforest and of its urgent need for protection (a much greater need than that of the Amazon region, though both are in desperate straits) led to the book. The book is available in Portuguese as “O Grande Campo”. I am currently seeking funding to be able to donate copies of this Portuguese edition to as many schools and libraries in Brazil as possible, and I would greatly appreciate suggestions from your readers. I can be contacted about this via the e-mail address on the website above.

Are you a foreigner who has lived in, or is living or travelling in Brazil? Are you a Brazilian who has a lot of contact with foreigners and/or lived outside of Brazil? Are you interested in telling your story? If you would like to volunteer for our interview series, or if you would like to recommend someone, please send a blank email to gringoes@www.gringoes.com with “Interview” in the subject. We will send you the interview questions by return email.

To read previous interviews in the Brazil Through Foreign Eyes series click below:

Jessica Mullins – Switzerland
Evan Soroka – USA
Mary de Camargo – USA
Brendan Fryer – UK
Aaron Sundquist – USA
Jay Bauman – USA
Alan Williams – USA
Derek Booth – UK
Jim Shattuck – USA
Ruby Souza – Hawaii
Stephan Hughes – Trinidad and Tobago
Louis van der Wiele – Holland
Drew Glaser – USA
Barry Elliott – Canada
Joel Barsky – USA
David Drummond – Canada
Liam Porisse – France
Jim Kelley – USA
Max Ray – USA
Jeremy Clark – Canada
Don Fredrick – USA
Jase Ramsey – USA
Ben Pearce – UK
Nitai Panchmatia – India
Johnnie Kashat – USA
Jeni Bonorino – USA
Eric Jones – USA
Bill Martin – UK
Bernard Morris – USA
John Graves – USA
Deepak Sapra – India
Alison McGowan – UK
Brent Gregory – USA
R Dub – USA
Tara Bianca – USA
Jack Hurley – USA
James Woodward – Canada
Tony O’Sullivan – Ireland
Anna Belavina – Russia
Jim Kirby – USA
Linda Halverstadt – USA
Michelle Monteiro – USA
Chris Mensah – UK
David Sundin – USA
Stephanie Glennon – USA
Julien Porisse – France
Hans Keeling – USA
Jim Adams – USA
Richard Murison – USA
Will Periam – UK
Jan Sandbert – Sweden
Jim Jones – USA
Mike Stricklin – USA
Edward Gowing – Australia
Adrian Woods – USA
Kevin Raub – USA
Pierpaolo Ciarcianelli – Italy
Zachary Heilman – USA
David Johnson – Bermuda
Cipriana Leme – Argentina
Timothy Bell – USA
Patti Beckert – USA
Timothy Bell – USA
Paul James – USA
David McLoughlin – Ireland
Pat Moraes – USA
Richard Dougherty – USA
James Weeds – USA
Tom Sluberski – USA
Peter Kefalas – USA
Sylvie Campbell – UK
Kathleen Haynes – USA
Matt Bowlby – USA
Alan Longbottom – UK
Eric Karukin – USA
Eddie Soto – USA
Kieran Gartlan – Ireland
Bryan Thomas Scmidt – USA
Emile Myburgh – South Africa
Bob Chapman – USA
David Barnes – USA
John Milan – USA
Chris Coates – UK
Matthew Ward – UK
Allison Glick – USA
Drake Smith – USA
Jim Jones – USA
Philip Wigan – UK
Atlanta Foresyth – USA
Lee Gordon – USA
Carmen Naidoo – South Africa
Lee Safian – USA
Laurie Carneiro – USA
Dana De Lise – USA
Richard Gant – USA
Robin Hoffman – USA
Wayne Wright – UK
Walt Kirspel – USA
Priya Guyadeen – Guyana
Caitlin McQuilling – USA
Nicole Rombach – Holland
Steven Engler – Canada
Richard Conti – USA
Zak Burkons – USA
Ann White – USA
Monde Ngqumeya – South Africa
Johnny Sweeney – USA
David Harty – Canada
Bill McCrossen – USA
Peter Berner – Switzerland/Brazil
Ethan Munson – USA
Solveig Skadhauge – Denmark
Sean McGown – USA
Condrad Downes – UK
Jennifer Silva – Australian
Justin Mounts – USA
Elliott Zussman – USA
Jonathan Abernathy – USA
Steve Koenig – USA
Kyron Gibbs – USA
Stephanie Early – USA
Martin Raw – UK
Sean Coady – UK
Hugo Delgado – Mexico
Sean Terrillon – Canada
Jessie Simon – USA
Michael Meehan – USA
Thales Panagides – Cyprus
Tammy Montagna – USA
Samantha Tennant – England
Ron Finely – United States
Bob Duprez – United States
Peter Baines – England
Youssef Bouguerra – Tunisia
Van Wallach – USA
Lesley Cushing – England
Alexander von Brincken – Germany
Hank Avellar – USA
Ed Catchpole – England
Penny Freeland – England
Yasemin de Pinto – Turkey
Amy Williams Lima – USA
John Naumann – England
Marsye Schouella – Eygpt
Rita Shannon Koeser – USA
John Fitzpatrick – Scotland
Liam Gallagher – Northern Ireland
Lorelei Jones – England
Adam Glensy – England
Tommie C.B. DeAssis – Japan
Aaron Day – Canada
Graham Debney – New Zealand
Silke Tina Tischendorf – Germany
Tanya Keshavjee Macedo – Canada
Frank de Meijer – Holland
Carl Emberson – Australia
Kim Buarque – Wales
Damiano Pak – South Korea
Jonas Helding – Denmark
Pari Seeber – Iran
John Milton – England
Ken Marshall – Australia

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