Confronting the Colombian Cavalry - My Family Travels

Almost any person that travels outside the United States becomes a little frightened when traveling outside of their native country. In my case, I traveled to Colombia, a Republic in South America that has struggled for many years with national security due to the FARC (A Colombian terrorist group). My mom hails from Colombia, and she knew that it wasn’t always safe for Americans to travel down south. The FARC had a long history of kidnapping civilians in broad daylight, and at times some Americans.

For now I was safe as I resided in a Hotel in the capital city of Bogotá. We were all having a good time, when I overheard my uncle, my mother, and my father speaking of leaving to my grandmother’s house for a few days. She lived in a small village called Miraflores, which was about 8 hours away from the capital. My mind quickly started racing and imagining scenarios of what could go wrong.

Before the long drive to Miraflores, my mother assured me that everything would be alright because the FARC were usually in the mountainous area very far north, but she still warned me and my brother not to speak English loudly as it would gather attention. We drove and arrived safely at my Grandmothers house; I believe that I wasn’t as scared because I was asleep half the time.

So my family and I had a good time. We ate farm grown food, slept late, and learned to milk cows. But As usual, all good things come to an end and we were soon finding ourselves on the road again. My mind had wandered off of the subject of the FARC. But I spoke too soon.

Up ahead on the road I could see a station of armed infantry men. Were they FARC, Paramilitary, Colombian military? It was too far to see. My heart was racing, wondering what to do if it was the FARC. Would I run, or be taken prisoner? We finally arrived at the point and a great sigh of relief came over me as I saw the Colombian flag. What a relief! They were just performing a routine car check and asked for some ID. In the picture I am the one with the grin on my face and a brownish Quicksilver jacket. You can tell that I was still a bit in shock. I was ecstatic and the trip couldn’t have been better!

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