The Pain of been judge by the false knowledge of where you come from

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”Can you climb on the table and dance Samba for us?” He asked me with a malicious look in his eyes. I was confused with the request. I was invited to be part of this dinner with a business group to help them with the understanding of the language and my culture. I answered: ”Sorry I haven’t being paid to dance, but to talk. I can dance samba, but I don’t want you to evaluate my work because of how I move my body.” This was the first time I felt that the stereotype of been Brazilian or South American.

”Sorry, I don’t think you can pay for that pair of shoes you want to try. Is too expensive for you.” Said the gentleman when he realized I was an immigrant.

”Excuse me lady, can you pay for the things in your bag, you took from the store?” said this man in the middle of the street to me, after I left his establishment. I looked at him trying to understand what he was saying, since I had not taking anything at all and not believing what he was thinking of me. Again this feeling of being judge because of how I look like, came strongly and I had to control my self not to cry with anger right there in front of the gentleman, that after looking into my eyes and see how surprise I was, realized that he was making a mistake.

”She can’t teach? She needs to have the proper train to teach, I don’t think she has permission to do that.” I was a South American who speaks English as a second language with a strong accent.   I knew I had the capacity, and the proper train, but that question  unfortunately robbed all my security and made me feel inadequate for the task.

Many time I came to meeting and I heard people telling me how they loved my culture and when I asked what they like, they all ways said: ” I like how hospitable you are, how you like to party, how you like to serve, how you like to dance, how you like football, how joyful you are, your BBQ, etc.” I love hearing those things, and in reality all of these are true, but this is not just what I have to offer. I have the impression people likes the fun we have to offer but not what we think about things. Our view of life, how we resolve conflict, how we lead situations, how we think about complicated issues. Is so common to see people been surprised when they discover that we are academically educated or that we can disagree about something or share a strong opinion or just be firm about something.

Working in a cultural orientation program made me way more sensitive towards cultural issues than before. I know that I have seeing things bigger than it is in reality. I am aware that this feelings should not control me, and write about it helps me to detox some how.

I love my work, I love the place where I work, I love the people I work with. I have amazing friends in the land I choose to live. This is not a pity party letter.  I am not asking for any reaction or nice words to make me feel better. I am just trying to be transparent and not let any resentment growing in my heart.

Thank you for reading and hear my heart.

Damares

Anúncios

Tenth anniversary of an arranged marriage

Paulo e Damares

 

 

It was the early morning of June 6th, 2006. It was cold. Our flight arrived very late and our lift would come only in the morning. We had another five hours in this strange almost English summer weather.

 

  Mateus was sitting on the floor playing with the toys he brought in his carry-on luggage. He was three00009 years old at the time. Amanda who had just turned two, had her bright black eyes wide open and was looking around trying to understand what was going on. In her mouth she had a big blue pacifier that was very dear to her. Her hair was scattered around her face like delicate black petals of a beautiful flower. She asked to go down to play with her brother. They were so calm and well. I was expecting two grumpy children, taking into consideration that the last nine months had been chaotic for us. We had been living in so many different places, slept in beds, bathrooms, on floors, in airplanes and hotels. I expected to see them agitated and moody, but they looked fine. They were enjoying the adventure and the attention of their parents. They were always sitting on top of our mountains of suitcases. They felt very important on the top of their world. They were definitely having fun. They just needed to know where we were. Our presence had become their house. If we were with them, they felt happily at home.

After sometime, the00007 kids got tired we had no choice other than to camp there in the airport. Paulo and I decided to create a nest with clothes on the floor for the little ones to snuggle and sleep. They slept so easily, as if they were at home; no fear, no complaints. Paulo and I looked at each other in silence. We had no courage to express our fears. We had so many… At such times, a look can communicate more than words. We had no idea of how the future would look. We decided not to create expectations. We left absolutely everything and closed the door behind us. We knew that if we would have left an open door we would turn back to Brazil at the first difficulty. In reality, I felt like running back home already. We lost 90% of our support when we communicated to our churches and friends we were coming to England. For them the UK was not a mission field. I felt as though I was on one of those first missionary adventures in the beginning of the last century but in an inverse direction. Lots of questions came to mind and some people doubted if we were making the right decision. I had my doubts as well.

00007The kids were fast asleep and I needed to have some time on my own. So, I left them with Paulo and went outside. I was so scared and insecure. I needed to feel and smell the fragrance of this country that would be my home for the next years to come. I wanted to smell England. LOL! Funny how my memories are always linked to the smell of the moment. The smell was damp and cold, but brought me comfort some how. I closed my eyes to let my mind take a photo of that moment and I thanked God for His faithfulness in bringing us to this nation. I had no idea what the future was holding, but in that moment I decided to trust that I was not alone. I had God, I had Paulo, a man of faith, that loves me and has been proving his love day after day. I had Mateus, and Amanda. I had what and who I needed with me, the rest would come at the right time.

Today 10 years later, I still sense that smell whenever I travel and come back home. Every time I come out of the airport after an international trip I can sense the fragrance of England and then the memory of that night comes out from the memory boxes and then I remember that first encounter with this country that has now become my home, my nation.

I think of my relationship with England like a marriage, an arranged marriage. I didn’t choose to come and live here. It was Paulo’s decision, I just agreed.

So the beginning was not a relationship of passion and attraction. Everything was strange and I felt so lonely. I could speak the language, but that was not enough. Love was not natural and emotional, like I was used to in my own culture. I am an energetic South American lady full of passion and emotion. Here I was, in this relationship that challenged my world view. I had to embrace who I was, accepting another way of being. I had to learn about this nation if I wanted this relationship to work. Then I decided to read about their history, it’s kings and queens, industrial revolution, Northern culture, Southern culture, drinking tea…I learned so much, and started to love what I was learning. Knowledge brings understanding and value to the relationship. We decided to take one day at a time and let our love grow gradually, no hurry, just one step after another. So, it has not been easy, but it has been beautiful and definitely worth it.

00018In this arranged marriage, like any other, England offered me a wedding ring as a symbol of the importance of our union, a symbol that would connect me to this land forever. The ring was my third child. Six months after arriving here, without having planned, I got pregnant. At the moment I discovered the pregnancy, I was confused, lost. It was as if I had received a wedding ring, but did not feel ready to commit myself at that level. How could I have a child in this strange place? I always planned that all of my children would be born in Brazil, in the comfort of my house, my nation, near to my parents, my friends, my family. If I had to move to another country it would be only after I had my children, and this is what I did! Now I was pregnant and I lost all the control that was so precious to me and felt I was being thrown into a hurricane of emotions. I was vulnerable and there was nothing I could do to change that feeling. I had to face the fact that my marriage with the land had become more real. I felt God whispering in my ear, “Receive the gift and enjoy! Just take another step of faith.”Lucas e Damares

Then Lucas arrived, and like a wedding ring that you have with you everywhere you go, this is what Lucas became. He helped me to learn to love and to let this nation be part of my life and eventually become my own nation.

Today, 10 years later, I can say without a doubt that it was worth it !!!!

DSC_4645Thank you for being part of this journey with us. With the lifestyle we choose to live, your friendship is key. We wouldn’t be able to celebrate this anniversary without you. We are grateful for your life. Thank you for having patience to read our newsletters, and for praying for our family and ministries. Thank you to all who have received us in your church or in your home. Thank you for sponsoring us in our projects. You are definitely part of our history. You have been a key part in the construction of this arranged marriage with so much love and affection.

Happy 10 years in England for us !!!!

Paulo, Damares. Mateus, Amanda and Lucas

Aniversário de dez anos de um casamento arranjado

DSC_4645Foi no dia 06 de Junho de 2006, Mateus com três anos, estava sentado no chão, brincando com os brinquedos que tínhamos trazido na sua malinha de bordo. Amanda que tinha acabado de completar dois anos, tinha os olhos de jabuticaba arregalados e chupava uma chupeta azul com muita vontade… Seus cabelos estavam espalhados como se fossem pétalas negras de uma flor delicada. Coloquei ela sentada com o irmão para brincar também. Estavam tranquilos. Nem parecia que os últimos 9 meses tinham sido caóticos. Sem lugar fixo para morar, dormindo em quartos, banheiros, no chão, em aviões e hotéis. Mesmo com todas essas mudanças eles pareciam felizes e bem humorados. Era como se tivessem numa aventura em um parque de diversão. Nos vários aeroportos que passamos eles sempre estavam sentados em cima das montanhas de malas que estávamos carregando. As malas eram suas naves espaciais que eles usavam para se movimentarem em terra. A única coisa que eles queriam saber era que um de nós estivéssemos por perto. A casa deles tinha se tornado nossa presença. Se estivéssemos com eles, se sentiam tranquilos e seguros.

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Era muito tarde. O avião atrasou muito e chegamos no aeroporto de Luton já de madrugada. Estava frio. Por fim o sono chegou e como não sabíamos que horas chegaria nossa carona para nos levar para a nossa nova casa, decidimos montar acampamento ali no aeroporto mesmo. Sem nenhum problemas os menores se aconchegaram no ninho de pano que fizemos no chão pra eles e dormiram como se tivessem em casa. Eu e Paulo olhamos um para o outro em silêncio. Não tínhamos coragem de expressar nossos medos. Nesses momentos, um olhar pode comunicar muito mais do que palavras. Não tínhamos a mínima ideia do que nos esperava. Decidimos não perguntar, para não criar expectativa. Tínhamos deixado absolutamente tudo pra traz e fechado a porta, para que não tivéssemos que ser tentados a voltar nos momentos difíceis que sabíamos que iriaamos passar.

00007Me lembro que enquanto observava meus rebentos dormindo decidi ir la for a pra sentir cheiro desse pais que seria minha casa pelos próximos anos. Queria sentir o cheiro da Inglaterra rsrs. Engraçado como minhas memórias sempre estão ligadas ao cheiro do momento. O cheiro era úmido, e me trazia conforto. Fechei meus olhos para poder fotografar na minha mente a fraganciadaquele momento e então agradeci a Deus pela sua fidelidade em nos trazer para essa nação.

 

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Hoje 10 anos depois, o continuo sentindo esse cheiro. Sempre que viajo e volto, é como se a fotografia na minha memória fosse retirada da gaveta para que possa lembrar aquele primeiro momento nesse país que hoje se tornou minha casa, minha nação.

 

 

Consid00010ero minha relação com a Inglaterra um casamento. Foi um casamento arranjado, não escolhi vir morar aqui. Muitas vezes tive que escolher amar esse pais, esse povo mesmo quando meus sentimentos me convidavam a voltar para o Brasil. Foi um amor que foi construído aos poucos. O conhecimento da cultura foi me ensinando a admirar e a amar sem pressa sem cobranças.

 

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Nesse casamento, como em qualquer outro eu ganhei uma aliança como símbolo da importância dessa união, Um símbolo que vai me ligar a essa terra pra sempre. O meu filho Lucas. Seis meses depois de chegar aqui, sem que tivesse planejado eu engravidei. No momento que descobri a gravidez, fiquei confusa, perdida.

Era como se tivesse recebido o anel de casamento, mas não me sentisse preparada para me unir com com esse noivo que ainda não conhecia direito.

Como eu poderia ter um filho em um lugar estranho? Toda minha vida de casada tinha planejado que todos os meus filhos nasceriam no Brasil e qualquer mudança de pa[is aconteceria depois de concebe-los, no conforto do meu pais, dos meus amigos, da minha família,.

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Porém nossos planos não são os planos do Senhor. Lucas é a minha aliança com a Inglaterra. Ele, que foi concebido e parido aqui, foi quem me ajudou a aprender amar e deixar essa nação fazer parte da minha vida e eventualmente se tornar minha nação.

 

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Hoje, quando completamos 10 anos que chegamos nessa terra, eu posso dizer sem dúvida que valeu a pena!!!!

Obrigada por ter feito parte dessa caminhada conosco. Com estilo de vida que escolhemos viver, só é possível permanecer o apoio de amigos e familiares. Você faz parte dessa caminhada. Somos gratos pela sua vida. Obrigada você que tem paciência de ler nosso informativo, que tem orado pela nossa família e ministérios durantes esses anos, que nos recebeu em sua igreja ou na sua casa, que nos patrocinou em nossos projetos. Vocês fazem parte da nossa história. Vocès fazem parte da construção desse casamento arranjado com tanto amor e carinho.

Feliz 10 anos de Inglaterra pra nòs!!!!

The Calais Jungle 28 de Outubro 2015

The Calais Jungle

Last month I went to Calais in France, to a place called The Jungle. The Calais Jungle is the nickname given to a series of camps in the vicinity of Calais, France, where migrants live while they attempt to enter the United Kingdom by stowing away on lorries, ferries, cars, or trains traveling through the Port of Calais or the Eurotunnel Calais Terminal.

When I decided to visit the Jungle, I thought the work would be the same, but I was wrong. For 14 years I worked on the streets, with street kids and homeless, so, in my mind it would be something similar, but to my surprise, it was not.

There I saw people in very basic living conditions, with almost nothing, but definitely they were not homeless in their hearts. In my experience in Brazil, the biggest challenge working with children on the streets was not to take them off the streets, but the hardest work was to take the street off the kids’ hearts. The people in Calais had not the street in their hearts. They were not homeless by nature. They were people who were fighting for survival.

Lots of stories!!!! Lots of needs, lots of lies. It is hard to identify the ones who are telling you the truth or not. In situations like that it is normal to mix stories and create situations that will help them to make their way to a better life. It’s not that they want to deceive anyone, In a way I can understand how the story of my brother can easily become my story when I need to convince someone that I need help. Their needs and the war in the nations where they came from is a reality we cannot deny. No one would put their lives under such conditions if they would have other options.

Great Britain is their promised land. They have the idea that if they arrive here, their lives will be transformed. That the government will embrace them and they won’t have to fight for survival any more. And when I see where they are coming from, I can understand why they think this way.

It is so hard to see so many people dreaming and risking their lives to come to the land you just received your Citizenship. I never had this dream and never thought we would be in England for so long. To see this group of almost five thousand people putting their lives in danger to reach the land where you live was an impact to me. No matter how I feel, I don’t think I can ever put my self in their shoes. It is to imagine what they lost and what they had to overcome to be able to be where they are.

Coming back from the Jungle I knew that I had to do something. I don’t know what or how. There is a lot of donation of food and clothes. They need more than materials. There is a desire in my heart to teach English, but I am not sure if this is the way. There is a desire to do documentaries, to tell their stories . We don’t know yet. We will be back in November for another day, when we will try to identify the real needs. Please pray, for wisdom and guidance for what to do.

Our family is doing well. Amanda is in Secondary school now and is loving it. Mateus just turned 13 and is becoming a very charming young man. Lucas asked to continue in Home Education. I receive his desire as a gift. I love to teach and have my own boy choosing me as his teacher is wonderful.

Thanks for all your support and love. We are not here alone. You are part of our work and we are so thankful for your life.

God bless you!

The Carvalho Family

Please take a look in this link to see the video Paulo did about the work we are

https://vimeo.com/141643506

Documentario Sobre Turismo Sexual no Brasil

Paulo e Damares Paulo e DamaresO ano passado Paulo decidiu fazer um filme, para trazer conscientisaçao com relação ao trafico humano.

O nome do filme eh The Cage (A Jaula). Este filme acabou abrindo postas para outros projetos nesta mesma area.

No momento Paulo esta no Brasil fazendo parte de uma equipe que estao fazendo um documentario sobre o Turismo sexual nas principais cidades onde os jogos da Copa do Mundo acontecerao.

Quatro minutos deste documentario sera mostrado em fuas companhias aereas que estarao levando passageiros para os jogos, durante a copa.

O alvo eh tentar alcancer possiveis clientes do turismo sexual.

O Brasil hoje tem sido conhecido internacionalmente como um dos principais polos de turismo sexual do mundo.

Estamos sendo comparado a Tailandia.

Este projeto eh de estrema necessidade, mas requer muito cuidado.

Precisamos de cobertura de oracao, tanto para Paulo e a equipe como para nos como familia. Paulo ja esta a mais de tres semans fora de casa e tem ainda mais de tres semanas ate que o projeto termine.

Tem sido pesado pra mim, Damares e as criancas, mas reconhecemos a necessidade de que este projeto aconteca.

Nosso primeiro filme sobre a realidade do Trafico Humano, pode ser encontrado neste

Motivos de Oracao Para o Mes de Novembro

Motivos de oracao

* Por Paulinho que esta viajando pelo Brasil e tendo que filmar em areas perigosas
* Por Damares, Mateus Amanda e Lucas que ficaram segurando a corda
* Por nossas financas. Perdemos alguns mantenedores e isto tem trazido algumas dificuldades que esta nos levando a tomar algumas decisoes que talvez venham afetar nosso ministerio.DSC01192