The Official Writing Challenge
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How terrible it is that some must live this way, suffering so. It's good to remind thw world that we have some duty here.
I have a dear friend who lived in Sao Paulo for several years, and she has described it exactly this way! Very good writing, and I like the pen-pal approach.

I'd urge you to re-think your second sentence. Reading people's ages isn't always compelling reading, and it's rarely important to know exact ages at any rate. "Show" their ages by their activities, their speech, even their descriptions, and let the reader imply them.

I loved the bits of Portuguese sprinkled throughout this piece, which is very rich in atmosphere and setting. Nice job.
I really liked the culture that was infused in this piece. I can tell that the writer knows a lot about the culture based on what has been written here. Good job!
Nice. Ethnic stories are hot right now, and this one definately captures the weekly theme.
Lots of atmosphere in this piece and I enjoyed learning the Portugese as well. Good job!
Very good writing and a compelling story.
Very good and moving. Reminds me of how so many people live like that here in South Africa. Well done.
Very compelling read and brutally honest descriptions. Very engaging, I hope to hear more about this family, and the setting is made even more vivid by the MC voice.
Well done!
Your details of how you MC started her day put me in the story. I would like to read more of their stories, keep writing.
Congratulations on your Highly Commended. This is an excellent piece. The MC's voice is captivating, and the story is remarkable. Wonderful job.
Congratulations on your highly recommend. Your descriptions of the destitution was remarkable. The ending was sad yet that scene is played out in the same way in so many poverty stricken areas of the world.