Blogging by candle-light

The power is out again.

Usually it’s from too many people using their air conditioners… but tonight has been chilly and rainy. I’m betting the storm knocked out a transformer or something. So I sit on my bed – the window open, listening to the gently falling rain, a cool(ish) breeze coming through, my nub of a candle in an old green Hieneken bottle, the computer on my lap, ready to sleep…

But my mind is turning, and won’t switch off and let me be.

This morning I couldn’t leave the house thanks to a massive police presence here in Jacarezinho. The APCs (armored personnel carrier) were just down the road, the helicopters circling (and sometimes hovering) overhead. So I got some office work done until they left. Life goes on.

This afternoon, I found out that S, our friend that has been missing/presumed dead might still be alive – hospitalized, or arrested, or both… There is still hope.

I sat down tonight with his dad – a 68 year old gentleman from Peru who married a Brazilian woman, had four boys before she passed away, and struggles with how to keep them off the street and alive… One is in rehab. One on the streets. One in prison. The other is S.

I dusted off my Spanish, as did he. We talked about the problems of living in the favelas – the neighbor he has who schemes with the drug traffickers to get him evicted from his home, or killed. His sons can’t come home (on pain of death.) He can’t sell the home he lives in, as the traffickers threaten any prospective buyers. He is trapped. Yet he remains hopeful. Trusting, as King said, that “the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

And my mind replays what he said… What I said… What I offer… What is… What could be…

We’re sitting down again on Monday to talk again. I do look forward to it…

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Filed under conversations, daily life, favela, streets

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