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..from Araçuaí via Baixa Quente, Coronel Murta to Montes Claros and Janaúba December 9, 2005

Posted by ditta in Uncategorized.

yesterday was definitely a long rainy day.. we left araçuaí in the morning to drive 12km through muddy paths, which could hardly be called a road to the small rural village of Baixa Quente to visit the local school, creche and the community centre (wish you could see the pictures right away, but this e-cafe has very very slow connection, and lost patience with uploading pictures..).

The countryside being nice and full of green, the village was full of mud


(as none of the streets had actually asfalt) and animals (especially piglets) walking freely around..


The talk with the head teacher and two other teachers in a run down school in miserable conditions did not give us a very encouraging picture about the situation have to live in and the teachers (all 30 teachers coming everyday from Araçuaí) work in. The teachers working in poor conditions, with practically no training possibilities, with parents not caring about their children and many kids with learning difficulties in more than 300 pupil school, was not the most positive picture I have ever encountered.

Baixa-Quente-(16).jpg Baixa-Quente-(13).jpg Baixa-Quente-(14).jpg But definitely an experience raising lots of questions about the Brazilian education system, where under the new law no child in the first 4 grades is allowed to repeat a year no matter what is his/her learning progress, etc. It also gave us an example of one of the schools Kelly´s project should take place in.. but the school had internet connection and a few very motivated kids that will surely make it in life.. and there was a much better looking kindergarden and a community center..


The situation in Coronel Murta or as we got to know Itaporé – the original name of the place before one of the mayors changed it to his name (the city is nowadays lead by the grandson of the original Coronel who is now in function for almost 8 years with apparent dictator practice) was however contrary to Baixa Quente


. This small city of 45,000 inhabitants was clean, colourful – painted in the colours of the mayor (yellow and blue), and full of progress .


The local NGO that we visited showed an amazingly good practice in child care and community development

Coronel-Murta-(16).jpgCoronel-Murta-(7).jpg .

Although no signs of youth work apart from some very motivated youth volunteers working with children,


it seemed that the Locomotive of Transformation could make a real difference here.

at around three after a nice lunch in a local restaurant, where we had the opportunity to meet the mayor – eating with another group from some federal government project, we sat on the bus


and went via Salina (the city of Cachaça) to Montes Claros, where we stayed over at Kelly´s cousin place. Talking to her – a social worker at the municipality, I discovered some other amazing stories from the urban area – from sexual exploitation and drug abuse by teenagers, child cancer, to well, anything that can go wrong in a poor urban area.. and the few existing measures that are there to help.. very confonting..

but well, a new day is here, and after a good morning rest (finally) we took a ´taxi´ (a car-driving service that collects people house to house) to Janaúba, where Kelly´s brother Troj is going to get married to Kaila in a local catholic church in about 2 hours (at 8PM).. As Kelly (the witness) is at the hairdresser I had a moment to write these few updates..

the weekend will be spent here hopefully relaxing and working on some rests from Europe..

wishing you a great weekend, wherever you are!! dd



1. DeAngeliS - October 3, 2006

Olá, I am of Clear Mounts, without wanting I found its blog, I found legal, I only say English for translator, it wanted to understand all these photos, it seems that it passed for here is not? Or still it is here? I hug!

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