Have you ever come to feel the body without a soul? I have felt it lately. The organism becomes an inert entity that you only feel that it lives because it breathes. I know it must be complicated to understand, and even more so when before I tended to boast as a positive person, full of spiritual and emotional peace. But when all those characteristics vanish, you begin to feel as if nothing is hurting or you care.
Out of ideological, political or contextual aspects, just to respond to Golgi's request, I count this. Everyone can interpret what the media tells him, especially at the international level. Here, I hardly leave you as it was my odyssey to leave Venezuela for Colombia.
As it was everything for me in Venezuela, before this crisis.
My peace was over when everything began to change in Venezuela, although I could not determine when it came to collapse, with this invasion of problems that I never imagined would happen. I do not know how it was evolving in my mind like an epiphany, the decision to leave my country and my family; what, until the sun of today, has been the hardest thing that I have lived.
I will tell you how it was my journey to leave Venezuela, but first, I will begin by describing how I lived in my country. It was like any normal country; You could feel free to do whatever it takes, earn your bread working hard, live your land and your spaces. I was raised on the basis of a united family, where even your friends are your brothers and you understand that the bonds of friendship become practically blood ties.
My grandmother was the one who commanded, she was the pillar of the family, for it is that we all become productive men, as they say in my land echaos pa 'lante. My four uncles are my source of admiration, and my cousins brothers -who are more brothers than cousins- and my mother, my reason for living. I woke up grateful every day to belong to that family. The decision to leave, came to my mind, not only because of the need to progress, but also the future of my son. In Venezuela, although my back was busting every day and I did a thousand things to be better, everything was worse than before, I felt that I was in a Survivor competition, where only the live, the abuser and the bachaquero was the winner.
The decision to leave Venezuela
I understood the blows that in Venezuela, the opportunities do not exist, even the most basic has faults: lack of electric service, potable water, transportation and food. The crisis came to the loss of values in people, you could see people who only lived thinking how to harm others. Sometimes, I would sit and think if everything that happened was because God abandoned us.
I had some months planning the trip in my head, little by little I was able to gather around 200 dollars. Nobody knew it, nor were they expected to give them that surprise. Two days before leaving, I called my mother and told her I would go to Peru with some friends, and that I would be in the terminal that day buying the bus ticket that would arrive at my first stop, Colombia.
Here began the torture, there as many will know, nothing works as in other countries, it is impossible to buy a ticket or travel ticket at the time you want. I spent the two days sleeping in the terminal, waiting for one of the buses to arrive, since the fleet only had two cars due to the shortage of spare parts. The owners of the line passed a list every 4 hours for people to secure the post, with their phrase:
"He who is not here when he passes list, loses his seat"
The departure from Venezuela
It was amazing to be in a sea of people who were going to take the same path as me, men, women and children in that terminal; which I certainly have to highlight, it was horrible, it smelled bad and that crowd of people made you feel claustrophobic.
I waited my two days there, making my line to be able to buy the ticket. I had not started and that feeling of pessimism that brought us the crisis brought my mind wanting to give up, but I did not. It helped that I had friends next to me and we all supported each other to make us feel better; between jokes and calls from my relatives. Then it was time to finally board the bus to San Cristóbal - Táchira State. The price of the ticket was 1.000.000 of Bolívares Fuertes, almost the 70% of a minimum salary at that time.
They spent hours sitting in the bus, the good thing is that at least I had wifi to connect, I saw how in several sections there were alcabalas of the national guard, and the driver went to a very brief stop, where he gave money to continue. When I arrived in San Cristóbal, it was already 8 in the morning, I had to find another transport to get to Cúcuta. We waited and waited, there was no transportation, we saw people walking with suitcases, however, we did not take any chances and decided to stay there. The wait took two days, all sleeping in a square, until we could take a shared taxi, each one paid 100.000 Bolívares Fuertes.
We left for 8 in the morning on this stretch to Cúcuta, which was the most dangerous, we had to go through 3 alcabalas, one from the CICPC, another from the Bolivarian National Police and the last from the National Guard. In each alcabala, they searched us as if we were delinquents; looking for what they could take away, I only had few belongings, nothing of value and the 200 $; that I kept in a practically inaccessible place
When you arrived, it was 10 in the morning, and you could see people calling themselves consultants. These -supposedly- expedited the exit stamping process charging between 30 and 50 $, but I did not pay attention to any, we stopped at the bridge to make the queue and finally enter Cúcuta. It was until the next day at the 9 of the night that we were able to seal the exit passport.
They told us that in order to stamp the passport in immigration from Colombia we had to have the ticket for the next destination, and since there were 9 at night, there were no lockers open to buy the ticket to my next destination. People shouted.
they are going to close the border, those who do not have a ticket have to stay here, they will not be able to go to the next control point.
The situation became more intense and worrisome, we saw frightened people picking up informal positions, and they told us:
They have to decide quickly what to do, after the 10 of the night the paramilitary guerrillas pass asking for money and taking everything from everyone.
Miraculously, in my despair for not knowing what to do, an adviser appeared who turned out to be a friend from where I lived in Caracas, took me and my friends to the office of the owner of one of the bus lines, they sold us each passage in 105 $ and they resolved us a space to sleep, until the next day.
That night I could not rest, I think that the moments that I spent all those days had me in nervous alert state, when the morning arrived, we made the queue to seal the passport in immigration from Colombia, and finally we were able to enter.
Not everyone has the happiness to pass, like me. Those who are thinking of emigrating should take precautions; This journey is short, but it is not easy to go through any of the situations that I experienced and that I also saw. There are things that I prefer just to forget.
One would like to say the best of their country, because patriotism is carried by everyone, love for the land where we were born, by a flag that makes you cry when you see it on someone's shirt asking for coins in a corner of Bogotá.
This feeling is hard, for wanting to be close to your family. I was always optimistic, even in difficulties; and although I have faith, all this takes away hope in the short term. The only thing that is not lost is the love for the family. For now, I just want my son to have a better future.