After we left, the friend who took us there told us the head of the household was desperate because a boat tore apart his only fishing net and he did not know what to do. Michael immediately asked if we could go back in order to give them money for a new net. When we handed him the equivalent of $ 50,- he said with tears in his eyes that it was far too much, half of it would be sufficient to buy a new net.
This was a fishermen’s dwelling along the São Francisco river, far outside the little town of Piaçabuçu in the State of Alagoas in Nordeast Brazil. It is one of the poorest regions of the country. Their mud house had been washed away by the rising river, the extended family lived under a shelter of palm leaves and they survived fishing a type of river shrimps which they dried in the sun and sold at the local markets. After our demonstration with the Solar Cooker , they asked me; “To cook what Senhora?” The only food they had was a mush from manioc flour and water with sometimes a little fish. When I told them they could warm some water to wash the baby we were told they washed the babies in the river.