With only the slightest sense of hypocrisy we paid someone to go on a tour to look at poverty in one of the largest favelas surounding Rio. In many ways it wasn´t quite what i had expected, though my only point of reference being GCSE geography. As one of the other blokes there mentioned you have almost been taught to think that the houses will be of the tin roof and pallet wall variety and while none of the homes are particularly spacious they are all solidly built and most have running water and electricty (though not alot of it paid for, as illustrated).
Occationally you would glace through the window of a house and some times, contrasting the bare floors and the paint peeling from the walls would be a PC in one corner or a TV better than the one that I had at home. We must have passed 2 or 3 internet cafes.
The streets are tiny and everyone is crammed in one on top of the other though everyone seems to have their own, if cramped, space. On the down side the sewers are still open and houses at the bottom of the hill are cheaper than those at the top as this is where is all flows (yes, the do have estate agents for these places)
It is probably in indication of the way my mind works but I felt safer and more at home there than most of the rest Rio. It is still really poor, some of the conditions rough and generally dirty but there does seem to be a nice sense of community. If it wasn´t that the reason it felt so safe to be was that the drug dealers are protecting their turf (too much crime, who´ll buy your drugs?) I would almost recommend it as somewhere to live.