[translation] One more day

Xady brings us a story straight from La Loma’s violent history. Where paramilitary groups are just as likely to stop what they are doing for a quick game of soccer, than to shoot over your head at their targets:

Son, wake up, it´s 5:20 a.m. if you don’t you’ll be late today….

-Mom, five more minutes…

No, get up now!

Ouch.. the water is really cold, but what gives, the cold will be gone in a bit now that I have to receive physical education classes.

Move it! God Bless you, take care and if things get rough you call me from school and keep me updated….. Yes Ma’am, love you, bye.

It was a cool and fresh morning, the sounds of nature could be heard everywhere, it was beautiful to hear the birds sing, the sound of the crickets, the air that was breathed in was so, so, so… strange.

Good morning, please take out your Natural Science notebooks and could someone please do me the favor and read the last topic we talked about the last class.

We have natural sciences the first 2 hours of the day, then a break so that later on we received Physical education and sports, that one was the one I liked the most, because I like to know about all sports.

When the teacher came into the room he called the roll and following he gave us the best possible news for us… You have free sport today! That meant that we could play any sport we liked.

We stood in line to walk to the sports field in which we played sports and played mini-soccer. In a few minutes we already had players for each team. After a bit of playing, one of the guys looked to the left of the field (where a little road connected the fields with the houses surrounding the school) and with him all of us turned our heads to see what he was looking at… we hadn’t looked for 3 seconds when down that path 7 paramilitary members (paracos) armed to the teeth appeared. I remember that the one in front carried a shotgun, grenades and a gun on his back…

Hey kids! How you doing?

-fine thanks, and you- we all answered with out of breath voices.

-well for the meantime, thanks to God – they answered.

Can we play with you? At that moment we all looked at each other and didn’t know what to say, when one of our classmates said yes.

Four of them dropped their weapons and started playing with us, we couldn’t even concentrate on what we were doing, we didn’t know what could happen if their enemies surrounded us, quite possibly we would die.

After approximately 15 minutes of game, one of those who weren’t playing whistled, they looked and immediately picked up their weapons, put on their shirts and thanked us;

-You, yes you, tell the principal to send you guys home because in half an hour this will heat up… move it!

I arrived at the Principal’s office with my heart in one hand and commented what had happened. He didn’t wait and told everyone over the P.A to leave immediately, in a calm and orderly fashion.

I always hung out with my best friends, Shory and Kid, we had been studying together since pre-kinder in the same classroom, one next to the other for everything.

When more or less 3 or 4 blocks were left to get to our homes, we heard something that sounded like firecrackers (they did this to scare the enemy) we reassured ourselves and continued walking. Five steps later a burst of bullets were let loose and immediately we ran as fast as our legs would let us, the bullets wheezed over us, we felt the shrapnel hit our backpacks as we ran, leaves fell from the sky with round holes in their centers… Tired of running we stopped a block away, suddenly a neighbor looked out the window and yelled at us “Do you want to get yourselves killed or what! Run to your homes! It took longer for her to finish saying that before the shooting started once again, each one of us ran into our homes…

Mom, I love you- was the first thing I said – Lets hide because they are just in front of our house…

One more day alive! Thank you God for this day…

5 Responses to “[translation] One more day”

  1. joan says:

    The more I read from your bloggers the more I see in them the most courageous and noble people I know. Each one of them are showing the human side of the wonderful city of Medellin through their stories and videos. i can’t wait for their mini blogging contest content to be published.
    Keep blogging safely friends!

  2. blueandtanit says:

    esto esta como abandonaooooooo
    saludos

  3. […] covered the violence that affected, and continues to affect, all of their lives; Deneiber Xady has written compellingly about growing up in a near warzone. However, the bloggers of HiperBarrio are also happy to point […]

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