Pros and cons of the park

My prediction came out before I even wrote it down this weekend. Juan Carlos went to pay the promised 50 Cordobas for the room on Friday night. On Saturday, the husband of the woman who had made the arrangement with them came to announce that they owed 150, not 50. I don’t get the math either, but a few hours later they were back in the park. With the intention to stay.


Good thing about the park is that there is no rent to be paid, and Juan Carlos is really in his element there. He knows everyone and I believe he has quite a thriving little business going. The bad side is obvious however: it’s the worst place to be for a newborn. Although they sleep on the covered sidewalk, they are largely unprotected. What’s more, the other inhabitants are glue addicts, often unpredictable and sometimes out of control. Although most of them are quite fun, and very nice. For an adult. But not for a baby.

The only true event we knew was going to happen for sure today was an ultrasound of the baby. So, after two weeks, we were back at public maternity hospital Bertha Calderon. This appointment was made related to the problem with the amniotic fluid, but they found out that the kidneys and bladder of the little one are in fine shape, so that’s another relief for the mother (and all of us I must say). Karla didn’t like it much, because when they were called in, she was just eating. So she cried the whole way through…


I wanted to stay in the park until they would go to sleep. And indeed, when night fell around 6 pm mother and baby moved to the relative protection of the covered sidewalk lined with food stalls. That’s where they had been sleeping for the past two nights as well. But about half an hour later, I was again reminded of an agreement we had made before commencing the shoot. Social (street) worker Alejandro alerted that we were surrounded by about three or four thugs, who were hiding around corners checking us (and the equipment) out from various angles. They are known to observe for quite a while before going for the hit, so we had some time to call our driver and get out of there. Which brought me home by 7 pm instead of the expected 10 pm! Another downside of the park (or maybe a downside of this film?).

To make up for it we’re going very early tomorrow morning, to see them still sleeping and getting up. So here’s where we got today: Sujeylin is sitting and the baby is asleep. Tomorrow I expect to find them in the same place but on the floor on top of a cardboard sheet, just waking up.


Thanks for reading and sticking with it. I am doing my best to keep it interesting…

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