Turns out I did have to stay home and watch tv the whole day.
Since I asked my host dad to order the brazilian channel Globo, I spend most of my (tv shows orphan) nights watching it, not because I like it, but because I'm addicted and somehow it makes me feel closer to Brazil. And now my snow days. Lately I've been homesick, and I blame it on winter and the cold, making me want to enjoy a day at the beach, to feel the sun on my face and to relax in Fortaleza's warm sea, eating whatever food could not be found in the US.
Boy,maybe this week I'm glad I'm not there, it was my first thought when I heard that the summer rain were ruining my friends weekends. It was when I turned the channel on and saw that it had been raining for days and a lot more than 2days getaways had been ruined. In the meantime, it snowed again outside my window. If only the water there could freeze.
Watching the 'tsunami that felt from the sky', as one of the victims described it, I cried and cried, mostly out of remorse. How could I be mad about the snow when liquid water washed away towns, cars, houses and lives? How can I let winter make me sad ? Paradise turned into hell in minutes. Rivers turned into a sea of mud, destroying from the small weak favela houses to the three-floored mansions; dragging car, buses, houses, bridges, roads. I felt sick every time I saw the dead poll rise. Over 200, over 300, over 600,so far. So far.
All the pictures, the videos, the interviews shocked me and made me try to imagine what is like to lose everything. To lose everybody, like a woman that lost 11 relatives. And lose to nature. It's unthinkable and surreal, it's one of those things you cannot see it happening to you or anyone you know.Like the journalist Evaristo Costa said about going through a panic rush after some idiot spread a rumor that another flood was about to happen: "Just think of that nightmare you have that you're sunbathing at the beach and suddenly you see a huge wave in the horizon, coming in your direction, faster than you could ever run". I wonder if it's anything like the fear you feel when you can't find a kid in a mall for one minute, I add, and make that minute hours.
The time now it's not for blaming the old or new president, or the skies, or the accelerated and disordenated growth of the favelas - by the poor, or of the illegal occupation of the mountains in Teresopolis - by the rich. Or even the climate changes like global warming. Not when there are still thousands of people isolated. It's time for mutual support, and we brazilians can sure do that well.
It's surreal, it's sad, but I had to say something about it. I had to say let it snow here and let the sun shine there. My thoughts and prayers to you, Rio.