I am from Brazil, but I live in Kazakhstan for a year. Before, I was here once to hold a master class. After that, I was invited to work in Astana. I agreed and moved.
About first impressions and difficulties
The first impression of the city is incredibly beautiful architecture.
The biggest difficulty is the cold, harsh winter. For Brazilians +1 is a terrible cold, many sit at home and do not go out. The average temperature in winter +12 and summer lasts 9 months.
My body badly reacted to the first winter in Kazakhstan. I had depression, so I took a vacation and flew to Thailand to have summer. I'm going to Brazil this winter.
About life in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is a new culture for me. At first my first visit I had a cultural shock. But after a year, I began to understand more, it became easier for me.
Kazakhstan is a new culture for me
Brazil is a free country in many life aspects.
In Brazil, a mix of nationalities: Africans, whites, Asians. You may think you're looking at a German, an African or a Kazakh, but it turns out that the person is Brazilian.
In Kazakhstan, we can say what nationality a person is. Sometimes people on the street come to me and ask me where I am from. I ask myself: "How do they know I am not from Kazakhstan?".
I feel happy in Kazakhstan. I have a comfortable life. In Brazil, many criminals, people afraid to go out. In Kazakhstan, I leave the house at night with a purse and a phone in my pocket, walk alone on the streets. I am not afraid to be robbed by criminals in Kazakhstan and am happy about it.
We don't eat horse meat in Brazil, but I tried it in Kazakhstan and liked it. I'm open to different cultures, so I try everything. I also ate pilaf. It is similar to Brazilian cachetero.
I'm open to different cultures, so I try everything
I love Kazakhstan. I even have a tattoo with an eagle as on the flag of Kazakhstan. All my tattoos symbolize the time that changed my life.
Most people here speak English, but not in Brazil.
Sometimes people look at me on the street. It used to be embarrassing. Maybe people afraid of other cultures, nationalities, some do not like tattoos. But the new generation is changing the attitude towards foreigners, they are open. Soon no one will think other cultures are bad. We're just different.
About the work
I am a Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach, I coach the national team of Kazakhstan. Before, I lived in the States, worked as a coach, conducted master classes.
I have been practising jiu-jitsu for 20 years: I started in 1999 when I was 17. At some point, I was helping the teacher in the gym. Everyone liked my classes and asked me to open my gym. I opened the gym, then another and another. In Brazil, I have four halls in different cities with many students. I come once a year to show new techniques to my students.
Jiu-jitsu is becoming popular in Kazakhstan. Last month we had a big tournament in Kazakhstan. The best fighters from nine countries came to this tournament. This is a big step for Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan has good fighters. We went to Mongolia for the Asian championship, after Mongolia will be Korea, in November the world championship in Emirates. Kazakhstan is actively preparing.
I conduct classes in Russian because during training I do not need deep knowledge. I know the names of the body parts: elbows, head, knee, back, chest, thigh, and the rest of jiu-jitsu is better to show.
About the plans
I do not know how much time I will spend in Astana. Maybe all my life. I am free, I have no wife, no children. Maybe I will have a family in Kazakhstan.