Photographs by Mauricio Sampaio
By Miro David Barclay Bersi:
My name is Miro David Barclay Bersi. I’ve lived in Brazil for two and a half years. I’m originally from Scotland. We came here because my dad is Brazilian, and so he wanted us to learn how to speak Portuguese.
At first when I got here I had lots of fun doing activities like surfing, skateboarding and sand boarding for about two months until it was time to go to school. When I got there I was really embarrassed because of the way I spoke Portuguese compared to everyone else. I didn’t have any friends because I couldn’t communicate. After a while I would get so miserable I would feel like crying.
I love drawing. My whole life I have spent most of my time drawing super heroes. One day at break time I sat down to eat my packed lunch. I had recently been trying to imitate some of Leonardo- da- Vinci’s drawings, so had done a small sketch. One of the boys had seen my drawing and shouted for his friends to come and see. Everybody started congratulating me on how well I could draw. Even the prettiest girl in the class came to look at my drawing. That was probably one of the best days of my life.
One day I had had a really bad day at school. The teacher had been really angry about something I had done and I didn’t know what. They had even called my parents in to talk about my behavior. My dad was really, and I mean really, angry with me. When we got home I made up my mind to run away. I remember packing my penknife, clothes and 5 reais.
When I was at the end of the road, I thought I heard a small whining coming from underneath a car. When I looked I found a small puppy. So instead of running away like I had planned, I decided to take the puppy back home. When I got there my mum and dad were so surprised to see me walking down the road with a small puppy in my arms that they completely forgot about being angry with me for running away. When we got inside we gave the puppy some water and decided to keep her. I decided to call her Haggis.
By Eva Barclay Bersi:
When my family and I moved to Brazil in 2007, my brother, sister and I didn’t know how to speak any Portuguese. Of course like any other kid we all had to go to school. At the start it was hard. We had tests but we didn’t understand the questions. We listened to some stories but we didn’t know what they meant. However, every time we went to school we learned a different word and now we speak fluent Portuguese.
Anyway, my brother, sister and I had grown up with dogs but we had never had one of our own. My granny and grandpa always had one or two and we always played with them. So my mum and dad promised us that when we would move to Brazil we could get a dog and we were dying for one because we really didn’t want to move. When we would walk on the street we would see people giving away tiny puppies. We would beg my mother and father if we could get one. They would say, “Maybe later on.’’ So we waited.
When it was Easter we had some friends who came from Scotland. We had a great time with them, until one day my brother got a bit frustrated. My brother had to do some kind of homework. He ran away while my sister and I went to the beach with our friends. He took everything with him. He wasn’t at home so my mum and dad started to get worried.
Later what my brother said was that he was sitting near our house. There was a car next to him and beneath it he saw this scared little puppy hiding next to the wheel. My brother looked and lifted her up. He took her home and when we came back from the beach my dad said, “Meet Haggis.” My brother was sitting on the ground with this sweet puppy and I gasped.
A few days passed and Haggis destroyed everything. The thing Haggis most destroyed were flip-flops. She had these really sharp teeth. They were like needles. Absolutely everything was destroyed. My sister still has a T-shirt that has a lot of holes and it was one of her favorites. The only place Haggis couldn’t get us was on the sofa. She was too small because her little legs could not reach.
Haggis has a best friend called Azul (Blue). Her owner and my mum takes the dogs for a walk. They go on the dunes near my house and it is beautiful. When we go for a walk we pass these pieces of land that are for sale. There is a stick in the middle of one them and there are quero-queros, which is a kind of bird. Haggis tries to catch them.
Now my sister has a hamster and I had a fish that died. He was called Jack. He died of coldness because he was a really sensitive fish. We buried him in the back garden and I was in tears. I am still wanting a new pet but my mum says, “maybe for your next birthday.”