From Brazil to Lake Tahoe: In pursuit of snow
-by Nanda Dozier
I have many fond memories of growing up in Brazil; the culture, the people, the food, and the weather. I’m so proud to be Brazilian. I lived a few blocks from the beach in a town called Santos, in the state of Sao Paulo. I went to the beach nearly every day.
Growing up in Brazil was amazing, but I always felt like there was something missing. As a young girl, I would dream of living in the USA. I didn’t know why I wanted it to so badly; I just had a feeling in my heart that I had to be there.
Learning English came very naturally to me, and I watched American movies, dreaming that one day I’d be in the country, speaking English, living the American culture and most importantly, finally seeing snow!
I always wondered what it would be like to see the snow for the first time; to touch it, to make snow angels and to have snowball fights. The first time I saw snow I was mesmerized by its beauty. It is absolutely surreal and magical to see everything covered by it.
I learned of an international exchange work program that allowed international students to work abroad during their school break. In Brazil, our school break was between November and February, our summer vacation. As part of this interchange program, American employers would hold job fairs in several countries in South America including Brazil, Argentina, and Peru, recruiting international employees to work for their companies during the winter season.
At the time, I was in my second year at the university majoring in marketing and advertising. I used all of my savings to pay for the program. My first ski season in the U.S. was at Dodge Ridge, a small ski resort in Northern California, 30 miles east of Sonora, near Pinecrest, just off of Highway 108. It was a wonderful experience.
My second winter in the states, I worked for Sierra-at-Tahoe, a short drive from South Lake Tahoe. I will never forget the first time I saw the lake; it was sparkling and the mountains surrounding it were covered with snow. It looked like a picture from a magazine I never thought would be possible to see in person.
The more time I spent in South Lake Tahoe, the more I knew it was where I wanted to be permanently. The mountain lifestyle is so amazing and is something I could have never experienced in Brazil.
Over the next few years, I went between South Lake Tahoe and Brazil as I finished my finished my degree, working a total of 7 seasons at Sierra-at-Tahoe. During that time, I met my husband, Jimmy. He’s American, from the Bay Area. We’ve been together for 6 years and married for almost 3 years.
I love living and working in South Lake Tahoe. I can’t picture living anywhere else.