It’s Saturday evening and Chris Dumont is walking with her husband and a Chinese friend to a restaurant in Sea World, Nanshan.
The woman looks like a normal expat with her deep-cut V-neck vest and short, curly hair, but she has become the face of Shenzhen to many Brazilians who read her Portuguese blog. Dumont, a Brazilian, came to China in 2011 when her husband was transferred to Shenzhen IBM.
“We are going to a French restaurant,” she said in Mandarin. Dumont has been learning Chinese from her Chinese teacher and close friend, Nora Zhao.
“I love the mix of culture at the place,” said Dumont.
Having been a communication manager at Gazeta Do Povo, a widely circulated newspaper in southern Brazil, Dumont opened a blog called “A Brazilian Family in China” to record life in Shenzhen on the website.
“Writing has been part of my life since I was a kid. I always enjoyed writing about my experiences,” said Dumont.
On her blog, Dumont narrates her experiences in Shenzhen.
One entry is about attending “The Most Beautiful Family” contest in Shekou, another entry is about learning to make traditional food for the Dragon Boat Festival. She also writes about attending Mandarin class.
In one story, she relays an anecdote about her maid helping return chairs that arrived broken.
To Brazilians, her blog serves as a guidebook to China, especially for those who get job offers in China but are afraid to come.
Many have reached out to her, asking questions about eating and living in China.
Most of the people reaching out to her are the wives of Brazilian pilots. The pilots plan to work for Chinese airline companies like Shenzhen Airlines.
Aside from blogging, Dumont and four to five Brazilian women gather every week to read and pray.
Each month, they make donations to Promised Land, an institution for children suffering from mental illnesses like autism.
Dumont overcame breast cancer in February this year, a struggle she documented on her blog.