As announced in my previous post, things are quieting down a little. Today we held a stake-out in and around the room they rented but there were little surprises. Juan Carlos called his dad who finally said he was not going to support them. So, he was angry, at which Sujeylin dropped that they might return to the park today. But when I spoke to them an hour later, things had drastically changed. Now they plan to pawn or sell their mobile phone so that JC can go back to his old job (selling illegal substances – we’ll leave it at that) in order to keep paying for the room himself. He requested a delay in payment today for one night, and tomorrow he’s back at work… So, that will also be our focus for tomorrow then: seeing how his plan plays and if Sujeylin is able to stay behind for the rest of the day.
Which brings me to the crew member of the day: Martha Clarissa’s assistant Morena Guadalupe Espinoza.
Morena is our production assistant. She’s a starter with lots to learn but with a heart of gold. Nicas talk fast, and often with lots of local slang, but Morena talks fastest. I am used to it now, but at first had a very hard time understanding anything she had to say. Tomorrow I start with the boys – first our driver.
Finally, an impressive story. Just when we left to go home, the inhabitants of the twenty-odd rooms available at the place where our protagonists rent were preparing for a so-called “nine-day-vigilance”. Works out that, when someone dies you have to organize some kind of service on the ninth day. A child of one and a half years old died there, just last week. Of something I had never heard anyone die from: diarrhea and vomiting (i.e. food poisoning or a stomach virus). Goes to show that extreme poverty offers all sorts of unimaginable challenges. Here’s a picture of the patio seen from above. I didn’t count, but I gather some 35 adults and 30 children live there.
And finally, a self portrait taken from the door of room 2 – where Sujeylin, Juan Carlos and their daughter live.