Saturday, January 10, 2015

Our New Neighbors

We hope you have each had a good first full week of the New Year!  98% of our week consisted of our regular office duties, but we do have a few things to report.  The lack of excitement in our week gives you a clue to just how consistent our lives are!  :)

I have posted pictures before of the deserted house across the street from us and up a few yards where junk accumulates.  The good news is that the house is no longer empty!  The bad news is that those who have taken it over are a hodgepodge of homeless people!  I don't know if you can see from this picture, taken ever so subtly as we walked to the office on Tuesday, the group of people in the house.  
Makes our apt look pretty good!
By Thursday, they had more friends join!  Right after taking this picture, because I wasn't watching where I was going, I nearly stepped on a rat - I am afraid we will be having more and more of those.
Sadly, this isn't the worst it has looked this week...
Keep in mind, this "house" is right across the street from this modern-day condo that is being built.  There are NO zoning laws here!!!  The condo grounds will be lovely, and well-fenced, keeping the world beyond the fence out of sight and out of mind!

I should take a zoom shot of the work elevator  SCARY!
One of the inhabitants in this house is a mother with her five children.  One of them is a little girl who has stolen Craig's heart.  While she is probably more street wise than either of us, we think she is just 6 or 7.  She sits outside our bakery, asking for coins.  Craig has started giving her bags of bread and cheese instead of coins to make sure she gets fed, rather than just having the money being turned over to some of the men in the house.

She is always very pleasant and grateful for
whatever Craig gives her, bless her heart!
The other day as we were walking home, she was carrying her 2-year-old sister on her hip while carrying a 5-liter bottle of water that she had just filled with water from the construction site, taking it to the house.  (The men who share the house were sleeping on the sidewalk...)  I was so frustrated that I didn't think to get a picture - frankly, I try not to look at the kids because the whole situation just makes us so sad.  The really tragic part is that school is not mandatory in Brazil - in fact, the parents have to pay to have their kids go to school, so these little kids don't have a very bright future.

The same day I about stepped on a rat the electricity had gone out in our house in the morning because I overtaxed it with a (purchased-in-Brazil) blow dryer.  (I wasn't finished - What's another bad-hair day!!!)  Poor Craig got it up and running only to have it go out again at night because I used the microwave for dinner.  Doesn't bode well!

As we walked along the beach today (staying on the sidewalks!!!) I was amazed that in the middle of their summer vacation, the beaches are nearly vacant.  This is the most people we have ever seen on this beach.  Of course, we didn't go to the New Year's Eve party that we showed pictures of last week!  The beaches are so beautiful, and people come here to Fortaleza to vacation, but they don't really go to the beach, unless there is a big party at night!!!  I know what our excuse is, but wonder about theirs???
The few people who are on the beaches are usually
men and/or boys playing soccer!  A few swim and even
fewer try to surf.

A new pier that just opened - no guardrails - wonder
if they are planning to put them up or not???

Our Love to All!!! 

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