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Down And Destitute In Colombia

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It’s getting dark, and I head for the metro station in downtown Medellin as the rush hour begins to peak. It’s the first time I’ve been here at this time, so I had no idea on the volume of people heading home. I’m not worried, but I certainly don’t want to be hanging around as it’s well documented how dangerous the place gets at night.

As I approach the station, a group of youths catch my eye. They are hanging about a small kiosk which is selling some kind of confectionery or other. They are all young teenagers, perhaps 13 – 16, and it doesn’t take long to realise that they are all high on drugs.

The First Shock

Medellin Girl Sniffing GlueAs I approach the bottom of the stairs, a young girl approaches me with her hands held in front of her as if to ask for money. I immediately noticed that, in her tender years, she was pregnant and she was carrying a small plastic bag in her cupped hands. She gestured, asking me for “dinero” (cash) and I told her “disculple, perro no tengo” (sorry, but I do not have any).

As she walked away, she took an almightly great sniff from the bag in her hands and it was only then I realised that this pregnant, teenage girl, was addicted to sniffing glue.

As I climbed the stairs, I watched the rest of the gang with interest. There was a huge queue for train tickets anyway (as it was rush hour), and I had nothing else to do than absorb the sadness that unfolded in front of me.

Even Worse

In front of the kiosk, another young girl caught my eye, perhaps sixteen years old and looking like she was dressed to go to a nightclub. She squatted down in front of the kiosk, and I Initially thought she was in pain. As I watched the crowds, I realized that she was simply going to the toilet in front of the thousands in the rush hour crowds. Just like the pregnant girl, she too walked off taking a huge sniff from her brown bag.

…And Worst Of All

Medellin Girl Passed OutIn total, my guess was that there was about ten of these kids – maybe seven or eight girls, and four or five boys. The main bulk of them, let’s say five of six, had gathered together in a group close to the kiosk. As I passed the time waiting, I noticed that there was a central figure sat in the middle. As she sat there, she was feeding all the others what I can only assume as cocaine, just like children in a candy store.

Each of the other children would wait in line whilst the “mum” fed them rations up their noses. She had a tray of “candy” in her lap, and I dreaded to think what else she had in there.

Overcome With Emotion

As I moved my way forwards to the front of the queue, I pondered how sad this was. I thought that this wonderful city clearly definitely had it’s dark side, and I asked myself how bad it could get at night. I asked myself why the police didn’t get involved (and I also questioned what could they do if they did). Most of the people simply walked by without raising their heads.

What hope do these children have, what future? Most of them will be dead by the time they are twenty, and will never have a normal childhood. These images will remain with me forever. They won’t haunt me, but they will serve as a constant reminder that things aren’t nowhere near as bad as they seem.

As I sat on the metro reflecting on the experience, I realised how lucky I was, and how grateful I should be………

About Adrian Britton

Sometimes I will talk about things that are interesting, and sometimes I won’t. Sometimes it will be a bit of a laugh, and sometimes it will just be a downright rant about something going on in the world – I’m often accused at moaning a lot, and I consider myself quite good at it !!

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