Fernanda | Brazil

“I came to Auckland 10 years ago, actually 11 years ago for holiday. Then I met my current husband here. We got married in Brazil, moved back here to have a safer life, because where I come from in Brazil is not really safe unfortunately.

I mean, nowhere in Brazil is safe, but I come from a very humble background. A pure, poor community in Brazil, and so I found life here would be better for us. I’m a technician and I’ve been working with this here in New Zealand, but at the moment I’m out of work and I’m trying to complete my studies, complete a degree in engineering, and then that’s life, yeah.

Thankful for life every day, mostly because sometimes I just think about people might be in hospital. I actually received very bad news from back home in Brazil. A gentleman I used to work with, he was diagnosed with cancer, but then his wife was diagnosed with cancer two years before him, so his wife has passed away like two days ago, and I got this bad news, and he now has cancer. So I feel really sorry for them, but at the same time I feel thankful for life every day, the life I have, yeah.

The reason for that; I’m grateful for life because life is what you make of it, I would say. Even if I was, well today I have a very different mind from 10 years ago when I came, but sometimes a person comes looking for a better life. Okay, you can find it here. You can find safety, but at the same time I lost things. I left things behind, I left my family behind, I left a job behind, I left my friends behind, beautiful weather all year round and good foods. So I lost a few things by coming here. However, it’s what you make of your experience.

I think it’s finding reasons to be thankful every day. It’s finding beauty in life from the simplest things, like I love going bush walking here, and just looking at nature. It makes really happy. I just feel really peaceful, because back home we don’t have as many green spaces. I love to hear the birds singing and I’ve noticed there is loads of birds all over Auckland. Right now we can hear them, they’re just sitting in the trees and they are singing all day around, so you can just sit and listen to them the whole day if you wish. That’s beauty for me, and that’s a good thing in life.

Everybody has problems, and it’s okay to have problems, because no-one’s life is perfect. So, I think it just really depends on your attitude, what you make of life. It’s really important. I think it’s the key, because if you look for things to complain about, you will find them. Like I said before, no-one’s life is perfect.

You can’t find perfection all the time. There are things that are out of your control. So, if you don’t keep on looking for things to be grateful for, you will fall into this trap of negativity, and that’s really consuming. That’s really bad for you, because it drags you down. You’re just going to find trouble, you know? If you don’t strive to see the positive things in life, even if you have some problem you, it’s not all bad; it’s not all negative all the time. It’s not all 100 per cent bad. Like my friend back in Brazil who had this cancer; he can just look back and see the life he led, and also he’s got three beautiful children who have all done well in life and are close to him, and turned out to be good people. So, it’s something to be grateful for and just to be alive and just talk to people. Be mindful of others as well, because you cannot live alone in the world. It’s really important to look for things to be grateful for.”

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