Brazil: A Country of Extremes
Posted by agringa
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.