It was a long drive to this village, and we got picked up at 5 in the morning. The UN ambassador who was in charge stopped to buy us breakfast on the way and we enjoyed eggs, dry cheese, hot chocolate and fresh squeezed strawberry juice. Most all of the citizens of this village have been effected by the drug wars in some way, many with the loss of loved ones and some with the loss of limbs from land mines.
There was an eight year old boy there, named Ricardo, who had the fingers on his right hand disfigured and a long scar down his arm, caused while chopping bamboo for his mother with a machete. He saw his father and brother murdered by drug lords and he has had to grow up and mature beyond his years. His serious face hid so much pain and when I made him laugh, I did not want the moment to end. He wanted to act like he was too grown up to play child’s games, or enjoy a magic trick but he wanted me to want him to. Sometimes he would just leave and sit up in the stands by himself, but by the time we were leaving, he ran up to me with tears in his eyes and told me he loved me and carried my back pack for me like a real gentleman.