Walking home after work I have always been noticing “tudos as crianças em na rua brincando”. But not with regular toys that one would buy at Toys R’Us back in the States. Most of the kids I see playing around create games out of bottle caps. They have so much fun flicking the bottle caps mostly every night, that it becomes a huge game. Teams vs. teams of kids showing off their flicking skills. If one kid has a bike, everyone wants a turn to ride it.
There is also a popular toy that almost every kid has a “Bate Bate” toy. Which are basically two plastic balls on two strings that you hold together and move your hand forward or side by side that make this really annoying sound. But at the same time it is really fun, because it’s a toy that tests your speed of hand movement while annoying the whole street at 11 pm at night.
At the school I work at, the kids re-use Barbie’s with no heads, a ball made out of a sock and newspaper, and natural resources they find outside. It honestly fills my heart with joy to see these children smiling and laughing. The thing that I always question, is if they even know they are poor? They are always so happy because they come to school and play with their friends that the reality of their life does not really come into mind until they are older and understand society.
It does not matter if they don’t understand why they have to reuse the toys from the previous year and the previous year before that. Many people think that because one is poor they mustn’t be happy. But I have learned that you do not need all the nice things of the world to be happy. All you need is love, faith, and happiness. The poorest of the poor choose to be happy because it is a priceless option that anyone can have for a lifetime. Anyone can choose that, but there are different “happiness” paths that one can take.