Maria Estrelita Nogueira Peixoto
"I leave my house at around 3:20 am...and I get to the Barra at 5:40 am"
Now living in
Maria Estrelita Nogueira Peixoto, 43, scrap merchant
[What was your house in Notre Dame like?]
I had a lot of friendships there, all the families lived close to each other. The beach was close by, work was close by. The guy from City Hall turned up at our house and said ‘you’re going to have to leave, as the BRT [bus rapid transit], the Transoeste line, is going to go through here. We had our doubts, as my mother had spent 65 years in the same place, and we didn’t think it would all happen so fast.
It took them two weeks. They turned up with a tractor, knocking everything down. We had to grab our things and wrap them in sheets, as we lost our wardrobe and kitchen cupboard, and our plates were stolen. It wasn’t just me, it happened to our whole family and our neighbours. There were so many things we lost on the way.
We went to City Hall, but they made a point of not receiving anyone. One wasn’t in, the other wasn’t in, yet another had gone out. That was how it was. Those of us who had been living in Recreio had to come down here. That’s wrong, totally wrong. As I had come down the week before to see the house, I told them I didn’t want to live here. They offered me 8,000 for where I was, and for my mother’s house, as it was home to two families, my grandmother lived there, and my husband at the time – we’ve since split up – had a carpentry shop there. They offered 20 – 10,000 for my mother’s house, and 10,000 for my husband’s carpentry shop.
There was no one here on the island when we arrived, but for the money they gave us we are all in debt today. It was thanks to God alone that we got this house built. It takes an hour and a half, two hours, to get here from Barra. It takes two hours to get to Petropolis from Rio. I leave my house at 3.20am and I get to Barra at 5.40am. In Recreio it wasn’t like that. I would get the bus, doze off and when I woke up I was already home. Nowadays, I have to get a whole set of different buses before I get home.
To be honest with you, there isn’t even any music left which reminds me of the place I left behind. Nothing’s left. It was such a disgrace on the day that I don’t make a point of remembering it, I make a point of forgetting.
Reporter: Lara Norgaard, Matheus Wenna
Photographer: Lara Norgaard