“When I was a little girl it was horrible here, because there was no electricity or water. I used to get up at four in the morning to fetch the water. It was from four to six. There was only water between four and six. So I had to be there at the tap at four o’clock, either in Central, or down on America Street. I’d fill five barrels of water and four buckets. You don’t know what a bucket is? It’s a big wooden tub they washed the laundry in. So to do the laundry I had to get all the water for the whole day, and the next day I had to go back at four o’clock and start all over again. It was hard but it was nice too. It’s not like that nowadays. Now there’s water, electricity, sewers. Before there was nothing like that. Houses weren’t made of brick; they were made of wood and had tin roofs. When it rained or was windy, it made a lot of noise and everything would start swaying, so we’d cover our ears because we were scared. It was fun. I like that childhood memory.” (Salête de Franca da Lima, Women Are Heroes 28mm/JR).

Dona Salête died earlier this year. She was one of the women featured in JR’s Women Are Heroes project and a popular member of the community in Providência, Rio de Janeiro. JR pasted this fitting tribute to her in Los Angeles last month. Salête was a buddhist and I’m sure that she would have enjoyed it. She was 70 years old.

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