nike air Scots mum Ruth Barclay was so

Scots mum Ruth Barclay was so struck by the poverty in Brazil she is helping families there

AFTER spending four years with her family in South America Ruth is now selling a unique range of Fairtrade products made by the resourceful and talented craftswomen she met on her travels.

AFTER spending four years with her family in South America Ruth is now selling a unique range of Fairtrade products made by the resourceful and talented craftswomen she met on her travels.

AFTER spending four years with her family in South America Ruth is now selling a unique range of Fairtrade products made by the resourceful and talented craftswomen she met on her travels.

AFTER spending four year nike air s with her family in South America Ruth is now selling a unique range of Fairtrade products made by the resourceful and talented craftswomen she met on her travels.

LEAVING with her family for the sunshine of Brazil, Ruth Barclay was unprepared for the extremes in living conditions she was to witness during the four years she spent there.

But the mum of three from Edinburgh was also to discover the irrepressible warmth of the local people and the resourceful talents of the craftswomen she met, whose innovative, hand made products she has brought back to sell in Scotland.

Ruth, 46, moved in January 2007 to Florianopolis in southern Brazil with her husband Davi, son Miro, now 18, and daughters Eva, 15, and 13 year old Rosa.

As Davi was born in Brazil, they wanted to experience family life in his home country and give the children an alternative view of the world.

Ruth said: “Davi went to work for a family business which made leather products for horses. But t nike air he main reason we went out was because we felt it was a good opportunity for our kids.

“We did a lot of research and ended up deciding to live in Florianopolis, the capital city of the Santa Catarina state.”

The city has a comparatively high quality of life compared with other major Brazilian cities and, with its 42 beaches, it’s increasingly popular with tourists.

“We lived outside the city near the beach,” said Ruth. “We didn’t want the kids to be brought up in somewhere like Sao Paulo or Rio because they’re potentially quite dangerous. This was a much more laid back lifestyle and it felt safe.

“That might have been a slight naivety on my behalf because we come from Scotland, which is safe. In Brazil, there is a gun culture, there is poverty and then there’s extreme wealth and that’s the hardest thing, the difference betw nike air een the poverty and wealth like you’ve never seen. There’s corruption that we just don’t get.”

Settling into life in the country that will become the centre of global attention this summer when it hosts the World Cup was particularly difficult for Ruth’s children, who could barely speak Portuguese.

She added: “The kids went to a Brazilian school with very basic Portuguese. Rosa had done a year and a term at scho nike air ol in Edinburgh. When we enrolled the children, they put Rosa into the kindergarten and we said, ‘Sorry, no way.’ She could already read and write.

“It was really hard work for her in the beginning because of the lack of language. We’d pick her up and she’d always be playing football with the boys because she didn’t have to speak.”

Ruth with kids Miro, Eva and Rosa and their granddad who was over visiting

But it was her oldest child Miro, then aged 11, who found it the hardest of all to adjust and he even tried to run away at one point.

Ruth said: “Miro said he wanted to come back to Scotland and a couple of months after we arrived, he tried to run away. He’d had a bad day at school and Davi had said something like, ‘You’ve just got to pull your finger out and try harder’. He packed a little backpack and snuck out.

“He got to the bottom of the street and he heard a puppy squeaking under a car, so he took her home.

“There are a lot of street dogs in Brazil and she looks like the pack that were in our area. We de flead her and gave her injections. She was only about eight weeks old. But Haggis, as we called her, was a huge part of getting my children settled in Brazil. And when we moved back home, we took her with us.”