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### From Brazil to Pubs: Our Journey to Mortlake and Kingston

From Brazil to the UK: Our Journey to Running Pubs in Mortlake and Kingston

My sister and I, both born in Brazil with Italian ancestry, have always shared a close bond. Despite the challenges, our journey has brought us to where we are today: running pubs in Mortlake and Kingston.

Our story begins in the south of Brazil. My sister, who was living in São Paulo at the time, decided she wanted to learn English. She invited me to join her on a three-month trip to the United States. This was about 30-32 years ago. At first, I was skeptical. I lived in another town, had to pay rent, and was attending university. Our financial situation was tight, with our mother struggling to make ends meet.

Initially, I thought it was impossible to save enough money for such a trip. Working multiple jobs in Brazil wasn’t as straightforward as it might be in the UK. However, my sister reassured me. She planned to sell her car and use her savings to help me. In return, I promised to pay her back once we were in the United States.

Our plan hit a snag when our US visa applications were denied. Undeterred, my sister suggested we go to the UK or Australia instead. She contacted a family friend in the UK, who offered to help us with accommodation.

At the time, I was 19, studying business administration at a less-than-stellar university, and working early mornings until mid-afternoon to cover costs. My academic and professional life felt like a dead end. However, a stroke of luck changed everything. Two years after applying for a bursary due to our financial situation, I received a significant amount of money. In December, my sister mentioned her desire to go abroad, and by February, I had the funds.

Excitedly, I called my sister, Lucia, and told her to buy the tickets. We were set for our big adventure. We arrived in the UK with £600 after covering all expenses. Despite the challenges, we were filled with dreams and determination.

Our journey from Brazil to the UK wasn’t easy. We faced numerous difficulties, but the experience was invaluable. Today, as we run pubs in Mortlake and Kingston, I reflect on our journey with gratitude. The opportunities and experiences we've had in the UK have shaped who we are. Despite the hardships, I wouldn't change a thing.

I remain ever grateful for the chances the UK has provided us, and I am proud of the bravery and resilience we demonstrated along the way. Our story is a testament to the incredible journey of economic migrants striving for a better life.

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