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Sunday, 28 April 2013

Welcome to the Jungle - Page 2

Written by Danielle Ditzian
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      At around 3am, I was startled awake. As I opened my eyes and saw the image before me, I truly thought I was still dreaming. Pepito and I were quite close to the front of the bus, in the fifth row from the front. In front of the closed door that separated the passengers from the driver there stood a man. He wore a black mask covering his face, and he held a massive black gun that was pointed toward us all. He yelled out in Spanish, and I knew barely a word of this language at the time. 

      Everyone’s arms went up in the air, so I followed suit. Then a bunch of people stood up and began walking off of the bus. I stood up to follow Pepito, but he looked at me and said, “Only men.” I sat back down with my arms still in the air. 

      The first thought that passed through my mind was, “What are they about to do with the men?” which was quite rapidly followed by, “What are they about to do with us women?”

Then all of the warnings people had given me came to mind. I had disregarded them at the time. Guns? Kidnappings? These were things I didn’t have to worry about; the world was simply not as scary as my sheltered family and friends believed. In that moment, however, all that had been told to me rushed to my mind. I was a young, and very pale North American girl on a bus in the jungle surrounded by only locals. You could say I stood out just a bit. 

      “What are they about to do with me?”

      This question was quickly followed by the one that would define my life. “I might be about to die. Am I ok with that?”

      Though my answer came in a millisecond, it was as if time slowed. I thought about my life previous to my travels to Peru. I thought about how much I had learned in that short month and a half, and how I had seen more and gained more insight into myself and others in that time than in 20 years of life combined. I did not want to die by any means; my life had only just begun. But if my choices were having stayed home and carried on how I had been for many years to come, or having seen all that I had in that brief time, I would choose the latter, no matter the cost.

      “Am I ok with dying? Yes.”

(Page 2 of 4)
Last modified on Tuesday, 30 April 2013
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