Is "Public" Transport- sustainable?
Ms. Maria and Mr. José did not like the city eventhough some times they had to go. Prior to my dad’s organization of some basic infrastructures for the people at Engenho da Boa Vista José, bearfooted as usual, had to walk, around 17 Km to reach a road where he could take a bus to Juiz de Fora city. The bus passed only twice a day and was never punctual. If José was lucky and the bus arrived - some times it had passed before scheduled, did not come or was delayed - he could get to a paved road where he had to take another bus that dropped him at the bus station at Juiz de Fora city. A third bus, and usually a forth one had to be taken and sometimes he could not reach his final destination. After such a long journey to the city, he had to come back home all the way back. On those days, he had to leave home at 4 am and arrived back, if feasible, at late night. Many times, those trips to the city were just to buy a medicine. When he could not get back he sometimes had to sleep under one of the trees in his way back home. To afford this trip the old couple had to work hard for more than a week.
How could we close our eyes to such a situation?, a 98 years old couple totally excluded from the minimum rights of citizenship.
The simple, but most functional solution we implemented was that to engage the few people in the area who had a car, to schedule the days we would drive them to the city, and to agree who would drive them and when. We always got to the city together, squeezed together in the car, breathing the smell of the croops they will sell and give to friends and relatives in the city, some times with alive chickens, pigs, and all kind of small animals. I enjoyed and loved that so much!, listening to their stories and learning from their priorities in life, their perceptions about our crazy life in the cities as the urbe was becoming closer and closer... I have never forgotten and will never forget how my daily urban life was seen through their eyes. It still pulsing deep inside me, a great learning were those journeys to me.
...So funny also for them when I was in the area for my school holidays that I used to punctually communicate any change in the schedule to ride my horse, Indio. It was almost every day that people invited me to step in their homes to eat something, to see a cow giving birth, they told me their stories... I really miss those days.
Sometimes in order to travel, locals used to get into the milk truck. But it was not very helpful because it had its own itinerary.