It was the summer of '99 and, as usual, my mother sent me on vacation to Colombia so that I could spend the summer with my father's side of the family. I figured it would be fun as it had always been in the past, but it turned out to be the worst summer ever.
Ever since I was five years old, which was when my parents separated, I would go to Colombia and spend the whole summer there. I always had so much fun because I had many friends there and my father always took me places, such as amusement parks and pools. When I found out I was going in 1999, I was so eager to get there; I couldn't even sleep the night before the trip. I was twelve then; I was still only approaching my teenage stage, so I still wasn't able to understand many aspects about the "real" life.
The first two weeks were great because I was able to reunite with my family and the friends I had left from the summer before, but after that it was such a drag and a traumatizing experience. While in New York, I had always heard about how bad the situation was in Colombia, but I never really made anything of it, because I was still too young to understand. Once I got to Colombia, I was able to see how everything was and although I had heard about the situation, it's really nothing compared to how everything actually is when you're seeing it with your own two eyes. I remember walking down the streets and seeing eight year olds smoking marijuana and I would just ignore it because at twelve I was still too na'e to know what marijuana was, but as I grew and looked back on it I realized "Wow, they were smoking marijuana."
The latter mentioned wasn't even the worst of it, because I even saw somebody get shot to death: I was at my cousin's house, and we were looking out of her window when all of a sudden we see three motorcycles drive by and shoot five times at a guy walking by. We ran down the stairs and through the crowded streets where everybody was now standing...