Still, after some days, the impression of empty yards and vandalism being seen everywhere dominates my thoughts. I was guided by a property manager through a troubled area in my hometown.
The visit was part of an initiative, with the aim to coordinate different communities, religious, non-governmental and governmental to make another effort of social cohesion.
It was not my first visit, but this time I came closer. Together with a friend and collegue we met people in the stairs and elevators where people piss and shit. The smell was unbearable. Tracks of urine was seen regardless of which floor we were on.
An elderly upset woman described how it is to live in the misery. She was on her way to her 94-year-old mother on the stairs where the drugdealers hangout. She cried when she told us about the threats against her old mother.
The fright keeps the inhabitants indoor. If they go out, it will be before the criminal world of brutality wakes up. It was around 2 PM. Only young men where seen. It was said that they waited for a drug dealer. Like many others these persons were on heavy drugs. A reality that is normal in the daily life of many children and families in this part of town.
An apartment we visited was recently emptied. Three rooms and a kitchen was inhabited by 9 persons, refugees. It was obvious that the were poor. It was a tough sight. Seeing the emptyness, the poverty.
Spring came late this year. The sun was shining. Children, close to their mothers, played in the yard. It was silent. I was looking up the high building. None was seen on the balcony. The window curtains were closed and the blinds folded. No one looked out and called out someone’s name.