Monday, 26 May 2014

My landlord thought I was positive and asked me to leave

After a very long day in work, I went to the hospital, I couldn’t  do what I had to do because it was already too late in the afternoon. From the hospital I went home to try to get some rest and cooked my dinner . The plan was to eat, go to bed early and be fresh and ready early in the morning to go back to the hospital again to do what I had to do. It was my day off, even though I had all day off work, I wanted to be one of the first ones to be seen. 

Before I unravel what happened, I would like to mention that at this point in time, I kind of knew I was leaving Venezuela to come to Ireland as I had nearly everything set up for it.

As I did not have anything important to do after the hospital, I went to have a coffee with a friend. That meeting took me like 4 hours chatting, telling her about my intention of leaving Venezuela in the foreseeable future and we had nice chats about everything. It was a great meeting as my friend was so supportive and she was happy for me about being able to make my dream nearly come true, I left the coffee place and went home.

When I got to the neighborhood I saw my landlord talking to Oscar, a gay guy who lived in one of the buildings in the same complex. I saw them, went over and as usual I said a big hello and gave a kiss and a hug to both of them. I know I can be over affectionate, but I felt some sort of coldness in their response to my affectionate greeting. I am not a paranoid person at all, but in my head I thought “Oh, this is odd”. As I noticed they were having  a private chat, I said hello and went into the apartment. Half an hour later my landlord came to the apartment and said to me “I need to speak to you”, his facial expression was unfriendly and the tone of his voice was very serious. With a big smile, I said “Yes of course”.

He said bluntly “Marlon I need you to leave my apartment as soon as possible”.  I didn’t understand his request, I was in shock and said “What do you mean, what happened, what have I done”? The previous weekend he had a sister over with her son so he said that his nephew told him I was sticking my tongue out to him and he was very upset by it. This explanation seemed extremely stupid to me, nonsense and I said “That’s bullshit! You better find a more reasonable reason to ask me to vacate your apartment. Having to use your nephew as an explanation makes you look rather silly, you better say something more understandable” and his response was “That’s the reason and you have to leave” I said “OK no problem”

You all know the hassle we have to go through when it comes to moving accommodation. Painful! I just took it all in and left and started looking for another place to live in. Still the whole thing did not make any sense to me at all.

3 days before…

A family member, whom I have a very special and emotional connection with, was feeling unwell and said to me that they were worried about their sexual practices at the time with the partner they had. I honestly asked them “Why?” and they confided in me that they had been having unprotected sex whit their partner. I said to them that before making any uninformed assumptions, it was better to try to obtain some valuable information from the health sources instead of being worried about the “what if”. They said to me that they didn’t want to expose themselves like that (by going to a hospital and been seen, stigma can be attached if you are seen in a HIV clinic) and I said that I will go and try to find any type of “solution” for them. I did not give a continental shit if I was seen by anyone, anywhere.  I did not give a shit if you thought I was positive or negative. My purpose was to help – if I could – this family member who I have a special emotional connection with, so I did it for them.

The morning in the Hospital....

I was in the Doctor’s office, I explained to the Doctor the reason of my visit (informing myself on behalf of a family member on what to do if you’re having doubts of your HIV status  ) I gathered all the info I needed, said  A BIG THANK YOU and left the office. As I opened the door, the next person waiting to get in was my neighbor Oscar. When I saw him, I said hello, we exchanged a few words and I left. It never came to my mind that he was there because he was negative, positive, red or blue, because like me he could have been there for whatever reason. Was I being naïve? Maybe, yes! But that was my thought at the time. To this date, I still do not know why he was in the hospital.

Rumour has it… 

The rumours spread like wildfire, a close friend of mine started to receive text messages warning him of his association with me, because of my health status. He was informed that I had been seen at the hospital. He was also told that others on the gay scene would also be warned not to associate with me. I quickly found myself being subtly ignored and avoided by people I knew. The whole thing was just so bizarre.

I told my friend what was happening and how I had been unfairly evicted from my accommodation. He straight away said to me “Marlon you just said that you saw Oscar in the hospital, and then you saw him talking to your landlord” and it was then and there that everything became clear to me and I just went “Oh my god, the little fucker” how on earth  did I not make the connection from the start? I just could not believe that they thought I was something I was not. Oh my god my landlord thought I was positive and asked me to leave! For a moment I thought of approaching my landlord, but what was the point? And the fact that I knew I was going to leave Venezuela for good was much bigger than being falsely labelled as positive, I just thought “FUCK OFF”!

Was I outraged? No, Was I angry? No, Was I sad? No, Did I give a shit? No, Did it make me think and reflect? Yes. This is my message: It is true and sad that we can face discrimination, rejection, prejudices and all sort of neglecting feeling in our lives, yes it is, but it is even sadder when those feelings come from our own peers, our own community or even from our own family and raise the question of “What can we expect from the world when rejection starts at home”?  it’s exactly in those moments where we have to be self-reliant and try to count on those internal emotional resources we possess.

If we were more aware of the power of our internal emotional resources, we would not be so affected by the outside world. We would be aware that those rejecting feelings do exist, but we would not allow them to affect us, in any way at all. Also this is very important, always remember that those discriminating situations revel more about the source than the target. That’s why when my landlord thought I was positive and asked me to leave I felt very sorry for him because he was portraying how poor and miserable he felt inside and I bet you he is still there in his apartment being tormented by and still fighting with his own "positive" or "negative" demons!


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Reflecciones de mi intelectual infancia.

Recuerdo que cuando era pequeno siempre senti una profunda curiosidad por todo aquello que eran libros, letras, palabras, escritura. Recuerdo que lo que ahora llamo “Mundo Editorial”, era una dimensión que despertaba mis mas recónditas inquietudes infantiles como explorador de lo literario. ¡Y es extraño! Si tomo en consideración el hecho de que en mi familia no existe ningún literario o estudioso empírico de este arte. A la que si vi leer muchas veces fue a mi mama; y debo resaltar su gran poder de voluntad porque ella aprendio a leer y escribir después que cumplio los treinta anos. Pues, entonces, debo suponer que ese gusanito de leer ella me lo heredo. ¡Y sin que se percatara de eso!

Mis juegos infantiles nada tenían que ver con carros, pelotas y bates, futbol ni ningún otro juego que usualmente juegan los varoncitos. Mi juego predilecto era ser el Maestro. Ese era el juego mas apasionante y divertido que existiera para mi. Era como una experiencia orgásmica simular que yo era el maestro; y me pasaba dos o tres horas ensenando a unos alumnos que, por supuesto, no existían, sino solo en la profundidad mi de imaginación. A veces hasta ni comia por jugar a ser el maestro.

Mi primer pizarrón, que me lo hizo mi mama, consistía en una plana de zing plana y cuadrada; pintada con pintura de aceite color negro. ¡Todavia lo recuerdo tan vívidamente! Alli yo escribia, y escribia los temas que ensañaba a mis supuestos alumnos. Yo me sentía tan orgulloso de mi lata-pizarron porque todo lo que allí escribia se apreciaba tan blanquito en mi negra pizarra.

Todo eso me sirvió de mucho porque ese fue el inicio de mi amor por la enseñanza y escitura. Como también fue lo que contribuyo a desarrollar mi imaginación e inspiración para escribir; y mas aun, eso desarrollo la bonita ortografía que hoy poseo y la gran capacidad de redactar con la que cuento, y la que he ido optimizando a través de todos estos anos.

¡Que bonito es decir esto! ¡Pero ahora que hago este recuento fragmentario de mi intelectual infancia, he corroborado que muy bien se que en el fondo yo soy, básicamente, un escritor, y también se que pasara los últimos anos de mi vida escribiendo, en español y ahora en ingles también.

Yo pienso que escribir es, en si misma, o por lo menos en mi caso particular, una experiencia  organica. Donde todos los sentidos se activan para motorizar cada palabra u oración que se plasma en un papel. Parecieran que las letras cobran vida propia; dejando secuelas que, en la mayoría de las veces, son trascendental e imperecederas.

Escribir es como penetrar en un largo e interminable túnel; pero no oscuro, sino lleno de magia contagiante y adictiva. Momento en que solo importan le inspiración y todo aquello que uno desea pueda ser escrito para que, posteriormente, pueda ser leído.

Yo muchísimas veces me he introducido en ese túnel. Aunque confieso que en oportunidades lamento no contar con todo el tiempo necesario que se requeire para escribir. Pero he de decir que siento una constante necesidad física, emocional y espiritual de llevar mis ideas y pensamientos a un papel. Es decir; penetrar en ese túnel y pasarme días enteros, meses o anos escribiendo y dando mensajes que ayuden a engrandecer y solidificar, no solo la intelectualidad de los que leen sino también la calidad humana y el crecimiento personal que todos deberíamos poseer, ¡y que tanta falta hace! Escribir para que lean y leer para crecer. ¡Esa es parte de mi misión, parate de mi objetivo! Y lo continuare haciendo hasta el dia que me muera, en español y en ingles.


Sunday, 18 May 2014

The 3 G’s: Gay, God and Guilt.

This fragment of my life is pre-therapy, but I thought it was not to be left untold because of the emotional, personal and even spiritual legacy I still treasure from it. Every episode in our lives has a reason, has a lesson, has a colourful testimony wrapped up like a present. Sometimes when we think back we are able to unwrap such testimony and realise how meaningful it was to our lives, and perhaps to other people’s too.

When I was going through my sexual identity crisis, finding it hard to come to terms with, it seemed logical to try to get any possible help I could, it didn’t matter which source that much needed help came from. By pure chance, I met a girl who lived in my neighbourhood. One day we got chatting and I was besotted by the beautiful way she spoke, well-mannered, intelligent and how sweet she was. She had an aura that made her looked different, interesting and why not? – let’s say fascinating.

She told me she belonged to a religious denomination called the Seventh Day Adventists. When she revealed that to me in my head I went ‘I knew it, there’s something very appealing on this girl that it’s not mundane’. She told me passionately about her church, she spoke with determination and conviction about the absolute and magnificent transformative power of God, and I felt enchanted and her devotion engaged me in a positive way. I gradually told her about my personal problems, however, I didn’t mention at once I was homosexual. I just told her that I felt guilty about having sexual thoughts and desires that were tormenting me. She was very empathetic and her ‘angelical’ demeanour was quite disarming – again, in a very constructive way. So I decided to cultivate a new friendship with this rather especial girl.

Her powerful message about God being the only one who could help me was miraculously promising. I thought that ‘God’ had the power to switch off my homosexual desires, and I started attending her church, she introduced me to the congregation who were warmly welcoming. I felt accepted and thought maybe this could be my road to ‘salvation’ and my homosexuality would be eradicated forever and on top of all that, I would be getting my ‘ticket’ straight to heaven. What else could I ask for?

 I was baptised in the Catholic church and attended mass weekly, but the ‘catholic god’ did not help me so maybe this god was more powerful and different. What a naive thought! Of course, all these thoughts were due to desperation.

I became actively involved with the Seventh Day Adventists Church. I started observing and venerating the Saturday as the saint day of the week, which is their main doctrine. They were good people – even I am still in touch with some of them. I had very fructiferous experiences in my involvement with the church. I was very passionate about this new discovery. However, as a solution to my ‘sexual problems’, I have to admit that it was actually counterproductive. 

My sexual guilt worsened and my sexual inclinations of course did not change, at this stage I was 3 years with the church, I sat down and again, scrutinized my religious and personal life reality and I felt I was being hypocrite. I started having sexual encounters with men, which created in me a great sense of guilt, feeling that I was betraying not only God, but also my fellow parishioners. In a way, I felt I went from hell into an even more flaming and hotter inferno. I had to admit that the religious experience was just not for me. One day I made the conscious decision of leaving and I have no regrets.

But looking back, what did I learn and what did I gain from that short path of my life? As I said at the beginning of this writing, every experience in life has a good side to it.

Within these three years I dedicated myself to church activities, trying to give the best of my talents and abilities. I was, at least officially, an outstanding parishioner. As always, my personality shined through and as a result I was appointed Director of the Youth Association and I co-ordinated activities with church members. I became a leader, yes I certainly did. I studied and learnt a lot about the Bible. My skills at public speaking polished greatly, I became a great vocal communicator, I became a ‘people’s organiser’ and in some many ways I gained admiration and respect from my fellow parishioners. I gained a lot and that’s my main pride from that experience.

Having said that, I must admit that to be gay, trying to please God and trying to avoid guilt was not a good amalgamation. These 3Gs realities do not go together at all. For me it was even worse because, as you may know by now, I am not into bullshit and there’s no way I would have been bullshitting ‘God’ and more so bullshitting myself. No way! I would have felt like a complete and utter hypocrite and believe that is not one of my traits.

In the 7th Day Adventists beliefs, or doctrines should I say, God does love you unconditionally unless the condition is ‘gay’, which I think it is an extreme paradox, you must clean yourself off sins in order to get your ticket straight to heaven. Purity is required for Jesus Christ to invite you to live in that celestial environment in his second coming.  These doctrines fuelled my guilt even more. How the hell you can be cleaned off sins (mistakes) when you are human?  So I refused to get that ticket, gave it back to them and left.

I Left the church and I was sad to leave, but I left. I made great friends, I met people with golden hearts, people I emotionally gained so much from, people that are still in my heart and whom I always remember dearly. I could not cope with guilt and my internal conflicts, and I was happy to leave. I informed them honestly about the reasons for my departure and they respected my decision. I felt a great sense of loss as I terminated my involvement with the church, but I knew deep down in me I was making the right decision, for my own psychological, spiritual and personal well-being and I have no regrets!


Thursday, 15 May 2014

Bienvenidos a 'Marlife'!

Me llena de entusiasmo poder gritarles, a todo pulmon, desde Dublin, "Bienvenidos a Marlife". Mi blog personal, ahora en Espanol e Ingles.

Mi vida siempre he estado llena de color, de excitantes y maravillosas aventuras. Tambien ha estado definida por la austeridad, sacrificios y dolor. He estado llena de suenos, emociones, sentimientos y circunstancias avasallantes que han hecho de mi la persona y el ser humano que soy hoy en dia.

Todos en este mundo tenemos una historia que contar. Una historia  de vida, una  jornada de vida  con increible significado. Si realmente nos detuvieramos, por un minuto, a contemplar la maravillosa contribucion que nuesta existencia le ha brindado a la vida misma, nos dariamos cuenta que dicha contribucion tiene un sentido real, magico y transformador. Todo ser humano ha hecho una contribucion especial esta maravillosa jornada que se llama vida.

Algunos de ustedes, o todos ustedes, me pregunataran cual es la contribucion? En que consiste dicha contribucion? Y para serles sinceros mi respuesta es "No lo se". Pero lo que si puedo asegurar con certeza es que todo aquel ser humano, vivo o no, es un ganador. Imaginen, por un momento, el milagro de la concepcion: De los miles y millones de espermazoides en el semen paterno, solo tu y yo tuvimos el descomunal privilegio de penetrar el ovulo receptor en el vientre materno. Esa fue nuestra primera batalla de vida. Y la ganamos! Y desde ese preciso momento nos podemos otorgar nuestra primera  medalla como triunfadores.

Siempre he tratado de acobijar ese increible momento biologico; y por tal razon es que siempre me he sentido un ganador. Y siempre he pensado y sentido que tengo una historia que contar. La historia de mi vida. Puede que suene narcisista, pero saben que? Asi lo siento y creo, con toda sinceridad lo digo. He tenido la oportunidad de quererme a mi mismo, soy y siempre he sido la primera persona a quien a amar. Razon suficiente para expresar que este blog, mi blog personal, es una celebracion a mi mismo. Puede que suene cursi, pero no hay mas verdera confesion que esta. Aunque tambien quiero aclarar que es una celebracion para ustedes, quienes me estan leyendo. Una celebracion dandoles las gracias por tomarse unos minutos de su tiempo para leerme. Por permitirme la oportunidad de transmitirles a todos ustedes mi candido mensaje..

Ese amor propio, mi amor propio, es lo que me ha ensenado a querer a las personas: familiares, amigos y, por que no, conocidos. Me parece fascinante poder contemplar y tratar de entender  que es lo que hay en ti que me hace especial cuando estoy contigo, o he estado contigo? Por que tu compania es tan relevante que hace de mi un ser especial? Tu simbolo de vida es, al menos para mi, mas que avasallante. Todas aquellas perosonas que conozco quiero que sepan que de una forma u otra, ustedes han dejado una huella en mi vida.

Aqui en mi blog ustedes van a encontrar, leer, de todo...como en botica. Alegrias, tristezas, tremenduras, experiencias de vida, lagrimitas, romanticismo, etc, cualidades que siempre me han caracterizado. Pero sobre todo encontraran sinceridad y, como siempre, la verdad, la pura verdad. Este blog, mi blog, sera, y ya lo es, como un libro abierto.

Espero que la pasemos bien, que nos divirtamos. Espero que este blog me brinde la oportunidad de reconectarme con familiares, amigos y conocidos, y tambien me de la oportunidad de recaudar nuevas experiencias de vida con todo aquel que tenga la oportunidad de leerme.

Para concluir esta introduccion, me encantaria otra vez gritar "Bienvenidos a 'Marlife'" Espero que disfruten ser parte de esta nueva aventura. Espero que me dan la oportunidad de transmitir mi mensaje de vida, amor, hermandad y solidaridad.

Con sinceridad, desde el fondo de mi corazon ...

Marlon / Marlife

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Deportation - Part 2. I didn't get to live in London.

Years back, when I was working in the Hotel, I built up a close friendship with one of the owners. Even though she was one of my bosses, she had great admiration for me. She always said to me that she loved my outlook in life, my aspirations and the way I was always dreaming of pursuing a better life out of Venezuela. We were from completely different backgrounds – obviously. She was from a very affluent family. She was a very well-educated woman, who studied at the Miami University, she spoke 4 languages and has travelled the world. Someone who has never known economical sacrifices. I admired her so much. She admired me too, we just connected.

She was rather money orientated, with a very strong business head. I would not say she was frugal or “tight”, but I can honestly say that she had a solid sense of what money means and represents. In other words, she would not give or lend money so easily to anyone and it will take a lot for altruism to become part of her traits. She even said to me one day, literally “Marlon you’re so happy and you have no money”! And as always, I took her comment as a huge compliment.

 When I stopped working at the hotel, we stayed in contact and she knew of my struggles. She knew how difficult life was for me in my own country and in a way – I suppose – she was moved by my plight and kindly offered to afford the airplane ticket for me to go to London to pursue that better life I always strived for. Her kind gesture meant the world to me as I knew this is something she would not do for anybody. Of course, the condition was laid down that I’d have to pay her gesture back once I was financially settled in London.

We made the respective preparations, I was beyond static thinking that a better life was waiting for me across the pond, just a few hours away from where I was so deprived in many ways. An amazing feeling of relief possessed me. I was feeling that the world was mine. I couldn’t care less about my reality in Venezuela because I knew it was going to change in a matter of hours.  I could’ve screamed from excitement if I could. It was literally like a dream was about to become true and it was happening to me, but oh my god, when I faced what I did it was like the whole entire world collapsed, just for me.

I arrived in Heathrow airport with a wide, big smile. Speaking in English and feeling more British than the actual Queen…’Elton John’. Screaming inside of me “oh my god, I’m dying to be in front of Buckingham Palace, going to Harrod's, being in front of Tower Bridge”. I was dying to see all those London landmarks that I have seen in so many movies, postcards and TV programs.  I could not believe I was going to be living in Princess Diana's City, London. What a fantastic feeling!

When I approached customs/immigration counter they asked me the usual questions. I clearly stated I was coming for holidays. They asked me to show my financial status and in my head a red horn went off. All I had was $250, they asked how could I afford my holidays with that small amount of money? I crumbled. I tried to give reasons that they didn’t believe, of course. They asked me if I had any friends over in London, I didn’t, but I said yes! They asked me for their details and another loud red horn went off my head. The more I tried to unsuccessfully explain myself, the ruder the immigration officer became. He ran out of patience and I was ‘detained’. I was put aside in a room with all the other ‘suspects’. People from Nigeria, a guy from Lebanon, a Mexican guy, a girl from I don’t know where, all I know now is that she was blond, and then me. That room was a vivid representation of a Benetton ad, multinational. It came to my mind the question, what are we ‘suspects’ of?  So I asked the officer.

The answered was you’re a ‘suspect’ of entering the country and staying illegally – which I was. I asked, ‘is that a crime’ and he said ‘it is not, but you are not allowed in unless you can prove you are just on holidays and you will not be staying in the country permanently’. Yet again another red horn went off my head. Then I asked ‘why do you think I am going to stay’ and they confronted me with the evident facts of why they knew I was going to stay.

2 years prior that incident, I applied for an American visa which was denied to me and my passport was stamped at the very back with such indication, a big red cross from the American embassy. DENIED. Also they searched my suitcase and I had made the naively huge mistake of having a copy of my CV in it. A hundreds and thousands of red horns went off my head. Basically I was fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked.
My body was fully scanned, they were clearly making sure I was not smuggling drugs. They checked my criminal records and all was clear, but what it was not clear were my eyes. They were full of tears and sorrow. I had a knot in my throat and an emptiness in my chest. What it was going suppose to be a dream come true became a desperation come true: Back to my own country where all I had was the hope to try to do it all over again. Nightmare!

A few hours later it was confirmed! I was informed I was going to be ‘deported’ the next day and I just broke down. I cried like a bitch. In my head I made those nearly 8 hours flying back to Venezuela the slowest 8 hours ever, because I did not want to go back home.

I have been told that I was not 'deported', but 'sent back', but for me at the time it felt the same thing.  I still think it’s the same thing. By definition, in a dictionary, they might literally mean different things, but for me because of the massive significance in my life that travel meant to me, ‘deportation’ or ‘sent back’ was the same thing: My dreams shattered by that experience.

Before finishing, I’d like to say that around 5 or 6 years later, I contacted my ex-boss from the Hotel and I paid back the flight money in full, plus 10% interest for every year passed (these were her terms which I agreed with. Needless to say, I’m still very grateful to her)

My heart was in bits, I felt broken inside. In the middle of my crying a thought came to mind “Marlon you have faced the most difficult experience in your life: Your Mother’s death, being sent back to your country is far less insignificant in comparison to your mum’s death. This is not the end, you can try it all over again” That promising thought was like a rain of solace poured onto the plant of my dreams. I was defeated that time, yes, but I knew I will try again and I did. I never got to live in London, but I’m extremely happy now when I see, every day, my Irish reality. A few years later I came to beautiful Ireland and here I am, living in Dublin and feeling more green and Irish than James Joyce. 11 years later I can honestly say I feel I am half Paddy and I love it!


Sunday, 4 May 2014

Deportation - Part 1

As you might have realized by now, I am pretty sure that some of you, if not all of you, will agree with me if I say that I always knew my future was not in my own country, Venezuela. A dark-skinned, skinny gay man is not the most sought after prototype in South-American countries. My physical attributes never were my main assets as a gay man and on top of all that, all the difficulties and sacrifices I had to face to survive. One day, I sat down and I sincerely told myself, with that honesty which has always been one of my traits “Marlon you must leave this country, your future is not here, so you must try somewhere else”.

I think I was around 26 years old. It was good that I made that conscious, clear decision, but then my financial reality hit me and I was there going “OK, I must emigrate, but how? I literally had no money” and even though a wave of frustration and desperation tried to drown me, I did not allow that to dissipate my aspirations, but deep down in me I knew it was going to be very difficult.

To survive, I was cleaning houses and ironing to have some cash, but there was no way I could save for a plane ticket. Not in a million years, I could have saved those financial resources from cleaning houses and ironing. If that was the case, I would have been still there cleaning and ironing and not writing this blog. I remember that the ticket I needed was over $650, that was  a lot of our Venezuelan currency, which was – and still is – very devalued. The Venezuelan currency worth nothing in compare let’s say to the American dollars and/or euro. Nothing!

For one reason or another, in my desperation, by pure chance I came across this guy who was an “organiser” for human drug mules. In South-America they are usually young people who are working in the drug trafficking industry, they bring drugs into the USA and Europe which are the main markets, they get paid for the airplane ticket and all other small expenses, at the time, they were paid $2000 for the delivery. The offer can be tempting if you’re living in poverty and want or need easy, dirty money, but let me tell you, the procedure is supremely dangerous. Your life is highly compromised, you don’t even know if you’re going to get there, because anything could happen. Having said this, there are some people that practice this as a profession and it is their only way of making a living.

Let me explain why is so dangerous. You have to swallow certain amount of latex, usually condoms, packed with cocaine, but before doing so, you must go through a process of cleaning your insides with laxative so your stomach and bowels would be cleaned or clear and ready to allow the packages to travel through your digestive system. This is done, well-planned and in proportion to how long your flight might be, but things could go very wrong and you could die like a homeless dog.

I remember at the time there was a case of a girl from a wealthy family who was working as a “mule” – I know it sounds ironic that someone with no financial constrains was practicing such an activity – she went through the process I have just explained above. A flight from Maracaibo, the city I’m from in Venezuela, to Miami is 3 hours. She was on a flight smuggling the drugs, but unexpectedly there was a hurricane somewhere in the Caribbean and the flight had to be diverted and therefore delayed. The content she had swallowed burst inside her and she died instantly. This case was a huge scandal and it was one of the main reasons the Police Department for drug trafficking had to reinforce their tactics to tackle such horrific problem.

For a person like me, who loves life so much and who is so terrified of dying, this was not a viable option in any way for me. There was no way I would put my life in danger that way. But I’d love to outline something, you know when you hear people saying “there is an angel in heaven looking down on you”, well I genuinely believe – from the bottom of my heart- that in those moments of despair, the spirit of my mum was always with me and I do feel she is in heaven watching over  me.

So I did not put myself through something like that.

I got an airplane ticket to England, next step, London here I come, but my dreams were shattered...