Poço Fundo, Minas Gerais. The next morning we woke at 4am to make sure that we made it out to the Pereiras by 5 in order to capture Ana Claudia’s complete day. Like Jose Elias, her day begins before the sun rises. She walks about 1km to catch the bus that will take her to the CEC School in Poço Fundo.After class, she catches the bus back home and quickly eats before heading to her afternoon job as a babysitter. Around 6:30-7 she returns home, eats dinner, studies, and heads to bed . Ana Claudia is one of the top students in her class. She uses small windows of time throughout the day to study (staying in the classroom during recess, for example).
It is clear that this dedication to learning is a family value, established by her parent’s support and sacrifice, and in their marveling of life that was evident in the short time we spent with them. The Pereiras have a created a small library in their house containing numerous literary classics including Machado de Assis, Guimarães Rosa, and others. They loan books out to neighbors, friends, etc. João Baptista collects mills and is working on creating a museum. João Paulo built a pick-up truck from scratch using the chassis of a VW bug. Jorgina is an artist and has passed on her skill and artistic genes to Ana Claudia. They have knitted and hand painted hand towels and many other items throughout their house. My role and Lisi’s was mainly to assist in the filming and stay out of the camera’s way. The shots below are some that I snapped throughout the day.
If you will afford me the hyperbole, spending a day with the Pereiras was an incredibly uplifting and liberating experience. Their love, simplicity, and knowledge framed the perspective that most of our daily problems are simply fabrications of our own mind, non-existent in any real sense. Even Erskine Caldwell would have skipped into the sunset with the lilt of flowery prose. As with the Severianos, I hope that we did them justice.