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First days at the favela Babilonia

February 10, 2014

While things in Brazil as regards the health of my daughter and son-in-law are far from perfect, they are not so bad as they might have been. Their injuries are beginning to heal. My son-in-law is not yet out of the woods, but this week we hope he will have his operation and sent home to be with his partner. She is at home, having physio and getting mobile already. She is well on the way to have the pins and brace removed in 3 months time; which is two months sooner that we first feared.
With this in mind we can now make plans for our July visit; when they will be much more able to to receive guests. We bought the tickets before the accident and we feared that our visit would be brought forward for reasons that were less welcome.
Now we can tentatively begin to make plans to extend our horizons when we are next in Rio. Although Rio and the beaches are fabulous, there is still much to see; a bus, train or plane away!
Meanwhile I will look back at our previous visits and the impression they made.

The Cart ... in this together

Today is Monday. My heart is bursting; the sights sounds and smell seem so alien. I don’t know where to begin. I sip green tea in my daughter’s kitchen. It is the hub of her home, a newly renovated and decorated apartment in a recently ‘cleansed’ favela called Babiliona. It was built by the army in 1930 while they were stationed here. One of the first favelas , with Providensia (built 1879), built to give the soldiers homes for a few months. When the army moved out it became the home of migrants, slaves and those who needed cheap living accommodation; now, no longer temporary homes but a vital part of the growing city.
‘M’ moved in here with her recently graduated partner, three months ago. Before that it had been a single story house owned by Seu Manuel. He lived here for over twenty years with his wife and…

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