In Brazil, the vast majority of the condo buildings operate as housing co-operatives, where one of the residents is elected as the head of the administration for terms of up to two years, a role known as “síndico”. It’s a true pain in the neck to be a síndico in Brazil, as the problems of all your neighbours magically become your problem too. But at least for one day every year, their hard work gets some recognition: November 30 is “síndico‘s day” in Brazil.
Much to my surprise, a few years ago I learned that my sister, Ana Cristina, was elected síndica of her condo in Curitiba. And re-elected once or twice since, meaning that she’s doing something right (or wrong, depending on your perspective).
I remember that, as typical teenagers siblings, we spent most of our time finding ways to annoy each other: one day she threw away my whole comics collection, the other day I dismantled her study desk with a big hammer. When the Schürmann family made the news in the 80’s by spending 10 years on a sailboat around the globe, I used to think: these guys clearly don’t have the sister I have, otherwise that trip would not last a week.
But aging makes us wiser (or more amnesic), and we get along very well now. And I was very glad to see her in the regional newscast last week, described as “having the Asian traits of patience and organization” 😛 . (her part starts just before the 2-minute mark. Video is in Portuguese and not embedded, sorry…)