Friday, 3 December 2010

No Olha da Rua 02/12/2010

Elisangela's Electricity Bill / Vinicius and Sandra / Licaõ's Christmas Decorations

Elisangela moved in to her new apartment about 4 months ago and for the first time in her life she has received a bill - R$75 (about £28) for the electricity used September to November. Of course, she hasn't saved or got the money. She's in her mid 30's, has been on the street since she was 12, living dangerously and in chaos but without any of the boring responsibilities of a 'normal' life.
It seems a bit crazy to think that she will be able to deal with this kind of stuff without regular support, but on the other hand she's deeply suspicious of any help the local Prefeitura are offering. Bilu, who is staying there too, says if he's really lucky he might make R$30 a day collecting rubbish for recycling, but he needs a trolley which would cost a few hundred or he needs to rent one, which is risky because they are routinely stolen. He has stolen trolleys in the past, but then someone else always steals them from him....

Vinicius was one of the crowd who initially lead us to Elisangela's house. In a quiet moment in the combi on the way back to Gameleira he told us that Sandra had been on the list for one of those apartments. So when she was killed in the car crash he lost his love of 6 years and the opportunity to have a family life in a real 'house'. He has no rights to an apartment - of course they weren't married and we assume he's not registered as the father of their 2 kids who now live with Sandra's sister.

Licaõ's place was all cleaned up today. All the mess swept up and they'd had a bonfire. It's not a bad advert for street life, under the shade of mango trees heavy with fruit, away from traffic noise and dust, and electricity bills....
Several (probably all) of the people there are using crack but the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. Licaõ says he likes Vinicius and would invite him to live there except he doesn't want people sniffing thinner around. Haidé hands another film over saying it will be the best yet. Eduardo wants help to get into a rehab centre. Telec has lost his sandals.
We like a picture of Licaõ's. He and a mate are up in the mango tree - a christmas mango tree. The decorations are up in all the shops so why not at their place?

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