Whenever I come back from Calheta I get entangled in a whirl of mixed feelings as to what I may or not have "achieved" in terms of helping others, because if on one hand I have indirectly contributed towards providing some moments of happiness to some of the children of the community, there are hundreds of others who will not have that opportunity and irrespective of telling mothers who get in touch me that I don't have the capacity to look for "godparents" for all of the children they bring around I always end up photographing them just in case I do find people who want to help them.
The sense of helplessness is almost always counterbalanced by the lessons I learn from the community. What I receive seems to be a lot more than I give. How can these mothers who have sometimes very little still think of giving me little plastic bags with local cookies or treats to carry with me for the "godparents" of their children? Looking at all those letters written by the children re-using the envelopes in which they received their "godparents" letters makes me ponder on how much we waste in Europe ... and then there are the words they write ... the feelings they manage to convey on those small pieces of paper ... the wishes and dreams of children who believe they will be able to achieve some in their lifetime, whilst we have so many possibilities and fear we won't achieve many of the ones which are within reach ...
Many of the children looking for "godparents" came with other children (Sonia, Silvânio and Leiziny) who already have them and that touched me, particularly in regards to the concern they seemed to have for their friends.
Among the children are some who have recently become orphans and adolescents wanting to be helped in their studies. The choice as far as priorities are concerned is difficult but one thing I am sure I'll try to do my best.
1 year old Anilton (left). 1 year old Luana (right).
8 year old Felizberto
11 year old Heleno (left). 5 year old Brenilton (right).
7 year old Djeniffer (left) with Sonia (right).
15 year old Jassira (left) and 6 year old Elisângela (right).
4 year old Jussara (left) with Silvânio (right).
9 year old Silvia (left). 9 year old Isidora (right).
10 year old Carla, 8 year old Yolanda, 2 year old Tailson and 2 month old Carlos (from left to right).
3 year old Micael (left). 3 year old Lara (right).
4 year old Hérber (left). 4 year old Ismael (right).
2 month old Djevison
13 year old Jeane (left). 11 year old Andreia (right).
20 year old Conceição (right). 13 year old Keila (right).
I have not been going as often as I used to and yet children seem to know I will go back sometime ... they understand the difficulties I have and wait for me irrespective of the time it takes, apart from the fact that they always worry about my health which a lot of the people whom I share my daily life with don't (seem to) ...
It is always difficult for me to turn my back ... and leave them behind ... May my thoughtful blessings help them in some way (how naïve can I be ...) until we see one another again in the unknown near future ...