Forty something kilometers separate my home from Austin. Sounds like nothing. Except that very few people I know have ever been here, nor I know anyone from here or have I spent time here before this project started. I keep asking myself what brought me here. I was welcomed warmly by the family that will host me here for the next days. Madalena and Ivy, mother and daughter, invited me to their routine right away. On a Sunday, late afternoon, we watched a variety show on TV as they told me stories about Austin and their lives there. I know nothing about this place. As I settle in, I learn more about this place's history. Austin emerged where an orange farm, owned by Portuguese immigrants, used to be. The train station, that also gave name to the town, was originally built in the early twentieth century to take the oranges to Rio de Janeiro’s ports for further distribution. The Portuguese colonizers brought the first orange plants from Europe with the idea off supplying the people in the territory with Vitamin C, an antidote for an illness that killed most crews during the age of discoveries. Today Brazil is the second biggest oranges' exporter in the world, after the United States. During the first half of the twentieth century, with the industrialization of Brazil, the farm gave place to a new settlement. Rio de Janeiro, the capital of Brazil at the time, needed places where humble immigrants, migrants and former slaves, then recently freed, could live and commute to industrial parks, and the city, where the workforce was needed. At some point in the early 1900’s a group of sons of the orange farm owner, decided to sell the farm. The land was split in three families: the Tinoco’s, the Cunha’s and Dona Margarida’s father. I heard today that six years olds drive motorbikes here. There is a lot of accidents, motorcycle crashes, people ran over by the train and crimes of passion. Self medication seems common, no cable TV.

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