Mr. José & Ms. Maria, a 82 years couple!
A good example of the mentioned memories and experiences I have lived is that of José from Engenho da Boa Vista, with the piece of land he lived in and with what he liked to call “its children”, referring to the vegetables, trees, forests, animals and nature therein. He was 98 years, no shoes he wore, always bearfooted. José married Maria when they were both 16; they lived for their whole life in a mud house.
When speaking, Maria and José looked at each other and to every single humanbeing profoundly, deep inside and straight into the eyes, as they also did with me. That look was always, soft, penetrating as a peaceful gaze. They told me about their more than hard but happy life croping their small piece of land. Their 2 sons were living in a favela in Juiz de Fora suburb and worked in the city, earning more money than in the countryside. They used to send some money home monthly and spent their holidays home helping their parents with the harvesting. Their parents could hardly afford to buy anything, medicines for instance.
Such amazing couple did not need nor want many things, no heat or anyother energetical resources in the region were available. But what the old couple really needed was a basic health assistance and transport. My dad moved there to help to improve local people living conditions using agriculture and livestock development and José and María became very close to my family.
I remember for example, that we needed to sell at least 12 liters of fresh milk to buy a single cup of water in the city.