When Fabiano decided to come compete in the United States – through an invite from PBR – he knew that English would be a major challenge.
We knew we would experience a huge culture shock coming from Brazil and being so far from family and friends would also be complicated.
American culture was a consumer’s dream. We grew up hearing about the American Dream, but it is not easy. It’s challenging because you have to change the way you think, act and get used to new habits and learn a new doctrine. We extended the reach of our social circle and came to a country where we didn’t speak the language and knew nothing about it; it would be as if we were born again and needed to learn how to do everything from the beginning, for all of the support and security we once knew had disappeared. Being here is a daily lesson as we search for ways to meet our daily needs.
Sometimes it is frustrating that we cannot communicate with people the way we would like; I feel embarrassed when I am not able to answer questions or reciprocate endearments with words that in Portuguese would be so easy to our new family and friends.
Jilian and Fabiano with their daughter Emanuely at Disneyland.
After three years I can say that it is not easy being a foreigner, but on the other hand, I can say I've learned to put my game face on and meet new challenges head on. We have been able to raise and educate our children while integrating them into the American society. The result is amazing because now we see a world of possibilities, and it has made our reality richer because of it. Perhaps since we only knew Brazil, our world was very closed before. We were happy, of course, but now knowing the opportunities that this country offers, the respect and admiration that the people have shown Fabiano and the affection they have given everyone in our family we know we made the right choice in coming to the United States.
If you would have asked me my opinion about living in the United States two years ago, I would have possibly said that it was crazy and I couldn’t wait to go back. Today, when the families of other bull riders ask us how it is to live here, I tell them that at the beginning it is very, very difficult, but if the family is united, they will surpass the early shock and come to enjoy the benefits that this country offers.
I first have to thank God for allowing us to realize so many victories in our lives and also the PBR for offering us this opportunity. I cannot forget the friends who always help us and finally, my family, for they are the basis and foundation that grounds us here.
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