MANCHESTER TO BRAZIL : Beautiful Country

This week my guest is Jamie Kennerley – a Mancunian living and working in a small town in Brazil.

He shares stories aboutWorking in the tv and commercial industry Learning to speak fluent Portugese And making sure Manchester gets recognition for something other than football

Can you tell me where are you right now? 

I’m in Brazil. I’m in a town called Paraty which is in the state of Rio but it’s about four and a half hours from from the city of Rio de Janeiro and it’s actually kind of in between Sao Paulo and Rio on the beach. We’re just slightly up into the mountains. It’s lovely.

Wow! How long have you been there? 

Living for almost six years now. 

What was your first contact with Brazil? How did the connection begin? 

Everything really comes from my now wife, I guess. We met in Manchester in 2004 and I remember it was the Commonwealth Film Festival at the time, and so yeah, and started going out and she’s Brazilian, I should say. I think the first year we actually came to Brazil together — and obviously my first time to Brazil — was 2007, I think. 

It was just on holiday really and then we would kind of go out there periodically. Actually in 2011 we bought a piece of land which is where we’re living now. You know we didn’t really have any grand plans to live here but it was just kind of a brave move that we did. At that time we were living in London and my wife was working in fashion. You know it’s a tough world, the fashion world and she was getting a little bit ill and we thought about moving back to Manchester but actually the house was ready here and we thought, ‘Let’s give it a try,’ so we’ve kind of been living here since then really – you know the last six years.

Amazing! How far have you got with the language? 

Yeah, I’m fluent. I mean I have to be, you know, because of work. I mean, you could get away with living here without speaking the language but for work …

I’m so jealous. Whenever I meet a Brit living in another country that learned the language, it makes me feel so self-conscious because I didn’t learn it.

I know but Finnish language – I remember singing in the Manchester boys choir, we did a couple of songs in Finnish, it’s just another world, you know. I can’t imagine what it’d be like to live there.

Well that makes me feel a bit better. So, Portuguese you picked it up – how long did it take you? 

(Listen to the full conversation on the podcast)