Sunday, July 3, 2011


One of the unexpected benefits of the Kafkaesque bureaucracy here in Brazil is that everything has a paper trail. Even children who have been on the streets for months can be tracked via old (sometimes ancient) school records.

Some recently uncovered documents provide an opportunity to clarify some ages and - in the case of E and R - their mother. They were both insisting that they were the same age, give or take five months, despite us trying to explain that this would be a biological impossibility. Furthermore, R was convinced (and was telling everyone who would listen) that he and I shared the same birthday this week and that he was going to be eleven.

It never ceases to amaze me how these boys forget (or never impressed to memory in the first place) basic place-markers. Like home. Like names of brothers and sisters. But then again, if you’ve just turned nine (as was confirmed in R’s case), you could be forgiven.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was poised to write but couldn't!

I was robbed! mx

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