Brazil: A Country of Extremes


A couple of kids routing through rubbish. It was not clear to me whether they were playing or looking for something. As all the rubbish on this embankment has been thrown there from the houses these kids live in, I tend to think that they’re playing. Two more kids look down from the top of the wall, pointing. I think this scene is equivalent to retrieving a ball that’s gone over a neighbour’s fence.

This is the view from the side window of my apartment. These are my neighbours.

This rubbish strewn embankment (and our condo’s high wall with electrified fencing on it!) is all that physically distances us from the inhabitants of this small favela.

The local shop here caters to a real jumble of social classes. It’s frequented by us and many of the other condo inhabitants as well as a good proportion of the favela dwellers. The local supermarket has even more of a mix. I so often see people there who seem to be barely above the poverty line (in fact, they are probably a fair way below it). Dirty children in torn clothing, adults with no teeth or with limps, people who must be relatively young but who look ancient – to sum up, people who are struggling to get by (I know that was quite a sweeping statement – I’m just judging by appearances here).

Then there are the ‘well off’ people, the smartly dressed people, the suits, the jewellery, the people who come in cars and who don’t have to drag their children along. I’m assuming they have nannies (A lot of people here have home ‘help’ of some kind or another; maids, nannies, cleaners, nurses, etc).

And then there are the people who seem to be at about the same level as my husband and I; not rich people, by any means, but somewhere in the middle of the scale. To my eyes they simply look ‘normal’.

There is more I could say on this subject. I’ve seen things that have made me want to cry, things that have made me angry, but I’ll keep my other observations for another time.


Posted on April 25, 2011, in Life in General, People and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. You and me both, my friend. You and me both. I don’t think you were following our history back when I had similar photos, but they will be back in time. I know exactly what you are feeling.

    • No I wasn’t. I’ve been picking my way through your blog but you have lots of posts I haven’t seen. I haven’t even nearly read everything yet. I’ll come back over and have a look further back in time.

      • I’ll let you know when I make the relevent entries public again – it won’t be until my family are on a plane!

      • Ah, I see. When you ‘release’ the posts again please send me the links. I’d be interested in seeing those.

        From your latest posts it seems that things are looking good. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you both. xxx

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