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Sunday, January 16, 2011

In the days after

A before photo taken from the top of the cable car.
It is obvious from my last post that I really was not tuned into the scope of the disaster in Nova Friburgo.  Only after arriving in Rio, talking with all our friends and family that had been looking for us, after reading news posts, reviewing photos, and watching international news coverage last night did I finally understand how devastated Friburgo is.  Conversations I have had this morning ranged from how to help now, to how will the city rebuild; replacing homes and businesses without using those areas that now show themselves as unsafe?  In this minute there seems to  be no answers.
As you can see from the before photo above  the city is built on steep hills along a river that runs right through its center.     On the outskirts of Friburgo - on the 116 between the new bus station and the city center is an old factory.  It is for sell, and could be converted to many small apartments.  The asking price last year was $R5,000,000.00 - to rich for my pocketbook, but have always thought it would make a great 'loft' apartment complex – Could the government buy this building now.  Now maybe it could house many of the homeless, temporary but stable, and much better than living in a school cafeteria.  And later turned into homes that could be sold to the poorer but strong middle class of Friburgo. 
More before shots, so we can all remember how beautiful it is up here in the mountains.
DSC08455 DSC_0016 DSC_0005
If people aren’t allowed to build on the steep hills, where will they live?  Does the government just say ‘sorry, the good building areas are full you have to move to a slum in Rio’?  Where, by the way, most are built on unsafe sides of mountains.


  1. Such devastation in a beautiful part of the world.
    I feel so sorry for the people who have lost everything.

  2. I heard about this on the news last night and I said to myself, "That's where Ginger lives!" I read your blog and I am very relieved to find you are safe for now. I'll pray you stay that way. I am sorry all this rain and horrible mud slides have come your way. Your pictures with the strips of mud where the forest used to be says so much. I hope the daughter's broken leg heals comfortably. Take care of yourself dear friend. I will keep checking in. Hopefully the worst is over. (HUGS)

  3. Ginger, I hadn't heard anything about this until I read your blog. Is your home affected? My thoughts are with you. Be safe.

  4. Dear Ginger,

    We are praying for your community to rebuild stronger than ever.
    I was reading an article that it is safer to built on hills that are under 45 degrees of inclination. I don't know if that is possible, if there are options for hills that are not so steep and also it is safer to keep constructions at least 30 feet away from the river bed.

    I am sure much will be done in terms of rebuilding safer after this tragedy.
    Hope you all recover soon.


  5. Gil and Ray, there is actually a law in place about not building on 45 degrees. from what I have seen here it is about being caught and about being able to pay the fine versus tearing down an illegal structure. we will see if this changes that cultural aspect of building in the mountains.