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"She who laughs last,
laughs best!"

"Laughter is the
best medicine."

"Laugh and the world laughs with you, trip over a big bag of garbage and fall on the sidewalk breaking a bone or two and you fall alone!"

Strange News Story Number Six

"The Winning Prize - Clean Our Streets!"
This story is about people competing for a job as garbage collector in Brazil. It doesn't seem like such a great job to me, but for these people, it can give them a much better life. Enjoy!

Vocabulary Story

Daniele Nascimento ran 1.2 miles (1) barefoot on a (2) sun-scorched (3) asphalt (4) runway in the hope of getting a (5) coveted job as (6) municipal garbage collector in (7) Rio de Janeiro. The unemployed 19-year-old woman, who lives in (8) a shack in a hillside (9) slum, had lost her only pair of running shoes. But she chose to compete in the (10) endurance test along with thousands of other (11) contenders anyway. The job description is hardly enticing and the test is hard but it is their chance to outrun (12) poverty and unemployment in Latin America's largest country.

"I depend on getting this job very, very, very much," said Nascimento, who has a daughter of nearly two years. "I don't think it's fair to have such a (13) tough physical exam for this job, but I have to do it." Around 385,000 people had applied to compete in this year's municipal contest, which offers just 1,200 (14) openings with a monthly salary of about $210, (15) transport coupons, (16) food stamps, a healthcare plan -- and a (17) distinctive orange uniform.

With a third of Brazilians, or about 60 million people, living on $1 a day, that is a golden opportunity. Nearly 10 percent of Brazilians are unemployed. The job is one of the most (18) hotly disputed in Brazil's second-biggest city, where slums overlook (19) the dwellings of the rich and famous. The previous such contest two years ago caused (20) a stampede and police had to use (21) tear gas against eager applicants but this time (22) authorities managed to (23) avoid disorder.

New Words

(1) wearing no shoes
(2) made VERY hot from the sun
(3) hard material used for making roads
(4) a long road, such as airplanes use in an airport
(5) something many people want very much
(6) city
(7) a very big city in Brazil
(8) a very poorly-built house
(9) a place where only very poor people live
(10) the ability to work or exercise for a long time without stopping
(11) people who are fighting for the same prize
(12) being poor - the situation of people who are very poor
(13) very difficult
(14) actual jobs available
(15) tickets for buses or other forms of tranport
(16) stamps that can only be used to buy food
(17) very different (in this case, very easy to see!)
(18) fought for very hard, very seriously
(19) homes - places where people live
(20) a mad rush (usually used with thousands of wild animals)
(21) gas that makes people cry, so that the police can control them better
(22) leaders of the city
(23) not have a bad situation

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