My entrance to this world was on a snowy Monday March 2nd, 1981 in the Cambridge Memorial Hospital in Cambridge, Canada. My parents, David and Marie-Madeleine and my older brother Brian, were posted in Brasilia at the time where this Brazilian Capital had recently been created from a whole lot of nothing. Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo had grown to an alarming level (still among the top three most populated in South America), the government had decided to create a new capital city that would attract workers from across the country. Where before there had only been jungle, new infrastructure and a new city was being born. My parents felt concerned with the lack of development and resources, my birth could be dangerous, especially as blood transfusions were incredibly scarce.
|Here I am honing my gardening skills at 16 months.|
Brazil would become my first permanent home when I was three months old. I often hear stories about the difficulties which I was too busy being a newborn to understand. Frogs, lizards, snakes, spiders, all poisonous and in our yard. My parents were instructed by Canadian government staff to check every night in every bed and crib in their home, in each shoe and clothing article before wearing them. My first three years of life were this way and I had also become a very friendly toddler, befriending our gardener, Francisco who for some strange reason had the same name as our dog. I had gained an awareness for languages, knowing the basics: Mom = French, Dad = English, everyone else Portuguese.