Heres a bit that I wrote while travelling back from my recent Brazil trip...
As I start my long journey back to the UK and another barbering adventure in Cardiff, cutting hair for MasterCard at the Champions League final representing Pall Mall Barbers ( I know, Im still pinching myself) I thought I’d use the time on this first flight to write a quick blog about the last few days in Brazil.
It has been a whistle stop trip as always, only spending four nights in Brazil, working three days and travelling the other two but I have seen some amazing things and the people have definitely made their mark on me. They have all been incredibly friendly, welcoming and very happy and I can see why they are the kings of carnival, its always up beat with plenty of laughing and joking. However they are incredibly respectful and their willingness to learn is pretty much unrivalled, for example we finished the class yesterday at 4pm yet the guys all continued to cut their blocks and each others hair way into the night as we had a BBQ at the academy, truly amazing. If this is an example of the attitude of the barbers of Brazil then I am certain that we will be seeing some amazing barbers rising in the ranks of global barbering recognition.
Sao Paulo is a crazy busy place with a huge population and you really feel far from home as the culture, language and people are so different, there didn't even seem to be a huge influence from other countries in music either, everywhere I have been the music has been Brazilian and my google translate is feeling a little warn!
The workshop in Sao Paulo was a new experience for me indeed, having someone translate your demonstration is something I will have to work on as it is a complete different experience. When I demonstrate and teach I have a train of thought and the class all mapped out, having to stop talking to allow Sindi (who was also demonstrating) to translate, as well as giving her time to explain her work meant that something I would normally explain while doing had past and I had moved on. This meant that I had to store up steps and try to revisit and not forget any, as well as explaining my work in a simple way so it can be translated easily. Saying that the class went really well and the people watching the seminar were incredibly engaging. I have never had a reception like the one from the students on this trip, the amount of photos and social media interaction has been incredible, I have even been signing caps, signs, clippers etc which is ridiculous but it was lovely to see how happy it made some of these guys, they were so grateful, which has been very humbling.
Straight after that class we went to the airport to catch a flight to Campo Grande, a much smaller city in the heart of the rainforest. For me personally I preferred the feel of this city, smaller, calmer and laid back, the fact that there were Macaws flying over head all the time and Capybaras wandering around the park was amazing. We didn't arrive until midnight so it was straight to bed then up and ready for the first day of our two day workshop with 13 barbers that had flown in from all over Brazil and even one that came from Paraguay! The whole group were fantastic and it was like they had known each other for years. I asked what the guys wanted to learn and scissor work came up again and again along with long hair, which says a lot. So I demonstrated with a longer hair cut and then they all repeated this on their blocks and the best thing about the whole day was the fact they all worked together and the ones with the stronger long hair skills took it upon themselves to help teach those that struggled. Then whenever we had a break they went back their blocks and practiced and practiced their sections, for me that is really shows passion to learn and the signs they will all progress rapidly. The second day Sindi and I spent most of the day demonstrating back to back giving examples of scissor work and clipper work as well as explaining tools, products and reasons for techniques. When the class finished yesterday at 4pm we stayed at the academy for a BBQ (which was probably THE best steak I have ever eaten)and all the students continued cutting the blocks and each others hair well into the night, it was lovely to see and I also did a few more cuts on the students, it was a great atmosphere. I can honestly say I was sad to see the class end and say good bye to all of the group, although I bumped into two of them at the airport and I think i will have the Chupar la manga (don’t ask) song stuck in my head for weeks yet!
I am currently in the air making the decent into Sao Paulo where I will be meeting some guys from Keune who will be taking me around before my flight tonight at 10pm. I am looking forward to taking in some more of the country before I head home.