Paulo Brayner is the latest swim instructor to join the Waitaki Aquatic Centre. Reporter Tyson Young sits down to have a chat with him.
Q Where do you hail from, Paulo?
I come from Rio, in Brazil.
Q What made you want to come to New Zealand?
Actually, my wife, my son and I planned to come here about four years ago. We wanted to move to another country because there’s a few social, political and economical issues going on in Brazil at the moment. At the time, my wife foresaw that these issues would happen. Our first option was Canada, but we instead decided to move to New Zealand because the Kiwi lifestyle appealed the most to us.
Q How long have you lived here?
For about four years. I first came to New Zealand as an overseas student. The first place I lived was Queenstown. While I was studying, I also worked at the Queenstown Airport. Soon after, I was given the opportunity to apply for a work visa. Once I got my visa, I thought it was time to move the rest of my family over. At the end of last year, I managed to get a job here at the aquatic centre.
Q What did you do for a living in Brazil?
For 13 years, I worked as a swim instructor. I did very similar work to what I’m doing now.
Q How are you finding it at the aquatic centre so far?
I love it here. It’s a really good place to work. I can’t avoid to mention Narcis Gherca, the head coach. He was one of the people responsible for my hiring. I see him as both a mentor and a father figure. He’s a wise person. I’m learning a lot from him and we get along very well.
Q When you’re not at work, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I love reading, listening to music, surfing, football and spending time with my family.
Q If you could have a drink with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I would love to have a beer with Bob Marley. What I love about him the most is that he was the voice of freedom.
Q What is it about New Zealand that you enjoy the most?
I do love the beauty of this country, but I’d have to say the hospitality of Kiwis is what I love the most. I can tell you that ever since coming here, I’ve never had any problems with New Zealanders about racism or prejudice. This, for me, is very important because there are many other places where that kind of hospitality isn’t so common.