Thursday, March 26, 2009

They poison dogs, don't they?

Seems like even pets aren't immune to the current penchant for death in the neighbourhood.

The neighbour's dog dropped dead outside the front gate on Monday. Later I spotted another dog up the lane being shovelled onto a wheelbarrow. Then the golden labrador opposite the house got terribly sick and was reportedly on its last legs.

It was decided that someone had been putting poison out with food to attract dogs. I mean, why?

Monday, March 23, 2009


I don't know exactly why, but I feel a little more inflated than usual today.

I can't see the diet being to blame. Under any normal circumstances, a near-constant diet of rice and beans (arroz e feijão) would seize-up the most hardy of bowels, but in Brazil circumstances are very rarely normal (yesterday morning, for example, I was accosted by a man in the street asking if I had seen his horses pass by).

Anyhow, as a chef (I share responsibility for preparing lunch and dinner for the teenagers) it is hard not to be offended when you lovingly prepare a shepherd's pie and present it to the hungry mouths, only to be asked where the arroz e feijão are.

< sigh >

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Lake

Out the front gate

Down the dusty lane

Past the old dog with the scary eye
Past the old man's house, straight out of Steinbeck

Big banana trees (I can imagine bigger spiders)
Fire station to your left (I can't remember hearing a siren)

Reach the playing fields
No games today (actually, no games ever)

Skinny horses and skinnier foals
Grazing, pooping

A lone rider enjoying the shallow waters, his two dogs leaping (in tow)
A loner with his pitt bull, straining at the leash

Breaching the peace

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


One of the neighbours was shot dead last night. I heard it from my bedroom. A large bang followed by a woman's shriek. A daughter witnessing her father's murder.

Turns out that it wasn't some drug deal gone wrong, nor some gangland shooting. Just a father and daughter parking their old car in the garage when an opportunist saw his chance.

I went outside and watched concerned neighbours gather while others stopped to rubberneck. From where I stood I could see the man's lifeless feet sticking out of the driveway, while fruitless attempts were made to resuscitate him.

One moment that man is driving his car, with his daughter by his side. The next moment he's dead, with no more life to live.

Do any of us know how long we have?
Can any of us know with certainty what kind of life we will lead?

The Gang

click to enlarge

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Gone fishing...

G's catch of the day

Took the boys fishing out the back of the house. The lake (one of the two which give the area its name - Interlagos) has swelled significantly due to recent rains and we were effectively fishing between goal posts.

I promptly left the water after spotting a water snake swimming by (which was soon after clunked on the head by a helpful stranger).

Who knew that fishing would be so...exciting?

Friday, March 6, 2009

S returns

S came back this week. His return was an emotional one.

After being plucked from the streets and remaining at Casa Elohim for almost three years, he ran away almost a month ago. There was great excitement upon his return, when a frail, incredibly thin young man was welcomed back to the only real home he has ever known.