Thursday, February 02, 2006


My feet are tired. We walked all over Centro again today, looking for kids. And because Rich said that he'd been seeing them traveling in larger packs, we brought more milk, more sandwiches, more fruit, and water down with us. No one at Praça XV, not under the highway or by the water. No one in the square. So we walked over to Candelaria and on to Sardinha, where we saw, yup, no one. And by now, even Rich is tired of carrying all of this food around with us. So we had some juice at a cafe and just sat for a while, waiting to see if anyone showed up. I ate my first sardine. I am a convert. Battered and fried, they're amazing. No wonder they're for sale everywhere...but anyhow, while we're sitting there a girl comes up selling gum and she recognizes us (sidenote: I really wonder how famous we are among the homeless and street people of Rio. I feel like every street person I see recognizes me, even if I can't place their name or face...)...and after chatting for a bit, tells us that everyone is at Praça Maúa, where the Federal Police building is. Eventually, we make it over there and run into Diana (who is like a gypsy queen mother figure) and the rest of the gang. "Where have you been?" they exclaim, as if we should have known they were here, in the fourth new place they've been in the last two months. Possessing neither exceptional ESP nor a GPS tracker that hones in on street children, I'm not sure how they thought we were going to find them...but then, that's street life. Everyone is always around the next corner...

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