I've passed this house half a dozen times this year. Like something out of a fairy tale, it's this one story slapstick building set up in an empty space between two favela "high-rises." It looks like a child's drawing: heavily angled roof, the door so low and squatty that it can't even accomodate a child standing up straight, with just a sheet hanging for a door. When I went visiting with Janneke the other day, to meet with some of the families of the kids who go to the after-school program, we stopped by. And got invited inside.
I'm not kidding, people. I felt like Alice. You crawl through the front door, and there's a whole world under this roof. Three or four rooms that just keep on going back and back, a lofted kitchen and bedroom near the rear, and I could stand up without any trouble. It was eerie.
There are five people who live there permanently, but from the looks of it, there were a whole lot more grandchildren who made it a temporary resting place. The grandmother is the matriarch, caring for her netos who have lost parents or simply weren't wanted...
She has a beautiful smile. And one of the coolest, Escher-esque homes in Manguinhos.