Sucked in

Little by little, Sujeylin and Juan Carlos are getting sucked back in by the park. They live there now, but slowly also adopt the place’s lifestyle. The baby is being looked after less. They look after themselves less as well. We were with Sujeylin from 6 am to 1 pm and during all this time she didn’t wash since waking up, for instance. She usually does of course (she tends to take care of herself very well given the circumstances) but when they had their room, she was better at it. They tend to sleep in the previous day’s clothes, so an early wash and change is common (and recommended). Instead, she preferred to hang out with a few of her friends. Laughing, joking about each other, talking about their stuff.

Her relationship with Karla also seems to be changing. When she’s asleep in her maxi cosi, they put her in the shade somewhere and walk off to do their own thing. There are plenty of people around, so she’s never not looked after, but not everyone in the park’s community is fit to handle a newborn. I’d say very few actually.

A poignant example today was a moment where the baby was hungry. A friend, Tanya, and Juan Carlos were with her (she couldn’t stop crying) but Sujeylin was nowhere to be seen. They ended up asking us where she went. We had seen her leave the park with another young woman, but it was clearly indicated that our presence was not wanted – so we didn’t follow. Juan Carlos was outraged (well, he was all day actually, for some unknown reason) and started kicking their luggage around in the hope that their feeding bottle would fall out of it miraculously. It didn’t, as I think they threw it away on doctor’s orders.

And suddenly Sujeylin was back. Cool as ever, we hadn’t seen her come. She was just sitting around at a bench somewhere, and simply said: “Why don’t you bring her to me, so I can feed her?”

Here’s Tanya holding Karla while Juan Carlos is rummaging through his and Sujeylin’s luggage out of frame.


Something else: see how the ground is over-exposed? At this hour of the day getting the exposure balanced is impossible. The sun is so harsh during midday. And we’re getting to the hottest weeks of the year. They say here that Easter is the worst. That’s next week. The problem is not so much the heat (35+ degrees with humidity) but rather the fact that at night it doesn’t cool down. And considering I am not much for air conditioning, I don’t end up covering myself up while sleeping until 4-5 in the morning.

I also started thinking about my return today. I bought the first presents for the girls in a local crafts market. Get ready girls…

And finally, I was able to meet Dutch ambassador Lambert Grijns today. I want the embassy to be in touch with and support the project, so that they can be instrumental in the future if ever we need them. One example we discussed was if ever we’d have an important screening in Holland and we’d want to bring Sujeylin over to be present there – they could help with that (flight, visas, etc). Tomorrow I am also meeting the local office of the Spanish development agency, the ones who are funding part of the film. I think they’d wanna know their money is well spent 😉

We’ll do some shooting tomorrow, but also have a very special engagement in the evening involving classical music. Stay tuned! As you can see, I’m winding down…

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