Eygpt’s Marsye Schouella has been living in Brazil for the past 44 years and not surprisingly now considers Brazil home. Read her story and some of the challenges she has had to overcome, particularly in respect to raising a handicapped daughter. She shares with us her love of the Brazilian way of life as well as her own perspective on how things have changed in the past four decades.
Where are you from?
I was born in Alexandria/Egypt where I lived for twenty years’. It was the time of the Suez Canal, and we were expelled. We emigrated to France, spending about four years in Paris, working as a Bilingual Secretary.
When did you arrive in Brazil and what brought you here?
I got married and came to live in São Paulo, where my husband was working for a Multinational Company, who had sent him to Switzerland on an Educational Trip.
What do you do?
I work as an English/French Teacher and I am also a Translator/Poet working privately. I enjoy all my activities, especially contact with other people.
What do you miss about home when you are in Brazil?
As I have lived in Brazil for 44 years, I consider Brazil as my hometown and feel quite at ease here.
What has been your most frustrating experience in Brazil?
I would say that nowadays people can be very self-centered and hardly ever put themselves in your shoes. Unless of course you share the same kind of problems, such as having a mentally-handicapped child, as I do. This is a very harsh problem to endure, but is a very valuable experience, I would say, as you are constantly growing over time.
I am quite grateful and consider myself quite lucky, as my daughter has always attended specialist schools/clinics. However society is not very understanding of the difficulties of handicapped people. It is costly to attend specialist schools, which a very valuable but beyond the means of many families.
What do you like about Brazil?
Their warmth/joy/and style of living, not worrying too much and taking life as it is. The hugging and kissing are often so automatic that they don’t always represent sincerity.
Which are your favourite places in Brazil?
I love São Paulo/Campos de Jordão/Ubatuba and also the State of Santa-Catarina as life seems to be quite calm and tranquil there.
Have you tried any Brazilian food and drink?
Yes, I certainly do enjoy the famous Feijoada” but it is quite fattening and I am always trying to control my weight.
What difference between Europe/The States and Brazil, do you find most striking?
Brazilians have an easy-going attitude and are usually quite relaxed, although nowadays, people are always rushing from one job to another to make ends meet.
What are the two things you would recommend to do for a visitor to São Paulo?
Visit the Ibirapuera Park and also spend a weekend in Guaruja/Santos/or Ubatuba to relax/renew energies and discover another pleasant way of living.
Maryse is an English/French Teacher and a Translator/Poet she can be contacted: email@example.com
To read previous interviews in the Brazil Through Foreign Eyes series click below:
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
Are you are foreigner living in Brazil? Are you interested in telling your story? If you would like to volunteer, or if you would like to recommend someone, please send an email with contact details and a brief description of yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org“