People from many different countries live, study and work in Eindhoven. Every week, Innovation Origins has a talk with an international about what brought them here and what life is like in Eindhoven.

Name: Pollyanna Niehues
Country of origin: Brazil
Work and Study: manager Broeinest Café and  studying to become a yoga teacher

In the mail contact prior to the interview, Pollyanna invited us to her workplace, the Broeinest Café on Strijp S. Broeinest is a materials library and meeting place for (interior) architects and designers and they have an in-house café. “Welcome!” says Pollyanna with a big smile as we enter the café. It’s the afternoon, the lunch rush hour is over and there are a few people in, drinking coffee. “Not only the visitors of Broeinest come here, also a lot of people who work on the other floors. I know a lot of them and how they drink their coffee. We also take care of the catering for meetings and events, so there is no time to sit still here. I prefer good upbeat Brazilian music when I’m working, it gives me a lot of energy.”

Back in Brazil, Pollyanna worked as a journalist for different media and made content about market fairs. Besides her work, she managed also to obtain a master’s degree in literature. Not long after her graduation she and her husband came to Eindhoven. “My husband is a designer and he wanted to do his masters at the Design Academy. That is the reason why we came to Eindhoven. I didn’t have big plans though. I was quite tired of working a lot and finishing my study. I took my time and started with a volunteering job at the Genneper Hoeve. That farm is such a relaxed place! Later I also volunteered in a second-hand shop and worked as babysitter via a company. I worked mainly for international families, but also for a Dutch family who wanted their kids to learn English. It was a lot of fun, being part of these families lives.”

Pollyanna didn’t have a lot of expectations on living in the Netherlands. “We knew the Netherlands, but not thát good. We did expect people to be less open, compared to Brazilian people, and in a way they are. The Dutch keep things more to themselves, and that isn’t a bad thing. I like that life is more structured here. In some way, this gives less stress, because a lot of things are just very clear. If we want to get something done at for instance the municipality, it is not a big hassle. I also like it that I feel save here. For me, that is a big thing. Here I can cycle or walk on my own, and feel relaxed. In Brazil, I had to be on my toes, and going out alone at night was a no go. Living in the Netherlands is very pleasant.”

“In my spare time, I love to go cycling. As a kid I cycled a lot, so thanks to all the bike lanes it’s like paradise for us. We don’t have a car but is very easy to do everything by bike or public transportation. I used to be in a choir, it is called Vonderkoor, named after the Vonderkwartier neighbourhood. With a small group of that choir, we formed  new choir focused on the Brazilian Bossanova. The director of the Vonderkoor choir told me he liked the music of my country and that was the starting point of forming this new group. It makes me so happy. I’m also in the Storytelling Group of the PIP project of the Parktheater. Soon we will start rehearsing with a new group. Besides these great opportunities to perform on stage, I also study very hard to become a Kundalini yoga teacher. Talking about all these nice things in my daily life, you could say I found  my way around here in Eindhoven,”concludes Pollyanna with a laugh.

Photography: Diewke van den Heuvel