Andreía crochets while watching the news in her bedroom.
It was my last day with the Emboava family and it wasn’t easy to leave. It’s only been a week and half since we met, but I know I’ll miss every member of this family. With tears in her eyes, Andreía told me not to book a hotel if I ever return to São Paulo — she’d rather have me stay with them.
Arivaldo loads a van with recyclables from a public health center.
Andreía sorts a variety of materials, including plastic, paper and cardboard, among other items.
Workers throw bags of recyclable materials over Cooper Glicério’s front wall.
Agatha and Andreía laugh at a coworker’s joke. Sometimes Agatha helps at the cooperative, so Andreía and Arivaldo don’t have to work as long.
After everything they did for me, I wanted to give the Emboavas a proper goodbye. I printed photos and wrote a letter, which I’ll share with you here:
Andreía, Edinaldo, Arivaldo, Agatha, Ruan and Marjorye,
You’re an amazing family. I feel so blessed for the time I got to spend with you and everything you’ve taught me. My experience in São Paulo was incredible and I have your family to thank.
You’re each special in a different way and I’m so glad I’ve had the chance to see that. Andreía – your generosity and hospitality has inspired me to give more and be open with others, as you’ve been with me. Edinaldo – your smile lights up a room and makes me smile every time I see it. Arivaldo – you’re such a hard worker and you were always looking for ways to help me and make my project better. Agatha – your laugh is absolutely beautiful! I enjoyed spending time with you, your friends and your boyfriend because I got to see you take a break from all the hard work you do at home. Ruan – you’re silly and goofy, always joking around, and you’re pretty good with a camera too! Marjorye – you’re the cutest little girl I’ve ever met. I couldn’t stop taking photos of you, even when I knew I had too many for my story.
Again, I can’t say thank you enough. You represent your country well by showing me what a loving, caring Brazilian family looks like. And you’ve proven to me that you don’t need tons of extra money to be happy.
If I’m ever in São Paulo again, I’ll look you up. I’ll always be grateful for the time we spent together.
Edinaldo and Marjorye watch cartoons before starting their day.
Agatha loads a bin full of dirty dishes.
Andreía and Edinaldo have a conversation from separate rooms.
Andreía tries to convince Marjorye to brush her teeth in the shower.
Edinaldo listens while Andreía and Ruan have an argument.
Ruan and Marjorye play with blown up latex gloves.
Ruan and Agatha laugh at their uncle’s joke.