The English woman’s blog is about life in the small Brazilian fishing village where I live. Owing to the difficulty people have with my name, I am commonly refered to as “A mulher Inglês”, The English woman, or “A mulher do Neu”, Neu’s woman, which in English sounds a little too Neanderthal for my liking.
My name is Claire, I grew up in North London with a love of Rock n Roll and motorbikes. I worked as a Montessori nursery teacher and as a support assistant for children with special needs. I trained in art, belly dancing and then the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira, which ultimately brought me to Brazil.
Following a massive upheaval in my life, I bought my three children to Brazil on what I thought would be nothing more than a grand holiday, no one was more surprised than I when I met and fell in love with Neu, a native fisherman 15 years my junior.
There followed a few years of coming and going and a great deal of heart searching but finally the decision was made and just after the birth of our son, I moved with the two youngest children from my first marriage, to the village and a new life. My eldest son chose to stay in London where he still lives, it was terribly hard to leave him but was the right decision for him.
Many years on and my daughter now lives and works in the south of Brazil whilst my middle son returned to England, where he is now an apprentice gardener. Both say they value the experience of growing up in a different culture, feel as much Brazilian as English and are glad they came.
Unfortunately my husband Neu developed kidney failure, which went undiagnosed until the condition had reached an advanced stage. We’ve had a bit of a roller coaster ride over the last few years in coming to terms with his illness, its effect on him and the different treatment options available. Thankfully Neu is greatly improved but still requires monthly trips into the city for the dialysis clinic. He carries out daily peritoneal dialysis at home and is able to fish once or twice a week, something that is of immense importance to him.
Owing to Neu’s illness we are no longer offering accommodation in our home to visitors, it was impossible for me to care for guests and promote a business whilst we were seeking treatment for him. Due to the long-term care his condition requires, this situation remains unchanged, although I am always happy to meet with visitors to help you get the most out of your stay in Prainha and can offer help with translation, organising accommodation, tours etc, just let me know when you’re coming (use the contact form below).
If you are interested in visiting Prainha, there are many guest houses (known as Pousadas) and this link will take you to the site of the Association of Prainha do Canto Verde (in Portuguese) or here for the site in English* where two of the larger pousadas are featured, although there are many other smaller pousadas also available.
Prainha is part of Tucum, a network organisation that helps develop and promote community based tourism along the coast of Ceará. On their website you will find links to beautiful, unspoilt coastal communities where the revenue generated from tourism stays within the local community and benefits the families who have lived and worked there for generations.
I now divide my time between caring for my family and our numerous cats and dogs, painting, drawing, photography and craft work, teaching English, helping out in the village school and of course writing my blog on the adventures of life in the village, the traditional fishing techniques and the problems the fishers face, particularly those caused by illegal fishing.
If you like a bit of adventure, or are just curious for tales from a life very different life, click the Follow button (bottom right) or the [Sign me up] box and my posts will fly straight to your inbox.
I welcome your thoughts and comments, so please tell me what you think and if you have any questions I will do my best to answer them. Please use the contact form, or leave a comment in the box following any of the posts or pages.
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*There is a second association in Prainha (ACV) but I do not support them as the basis for their creation is the revoking of the Extractive Reserve status and their funding comes from one wealthy individual who stands to gain half the area of the reserve if they were to achieve this. I believe if Prainha were to loose its reserve status the area would quickly disappear under a sea of development as has happened and is happening all along the coast of Brazil and usually results in the native population being forced to leave their land and head for the cities to live in slum accommodation there.