I was born in the humblest of circumstances in a country that was engulfed in a civil war. The streets, markets, and churches were decorated with stacked sand bags at every corner to assist the carnage that happened on a daily basis. I can recollect the exact moment in my life that ended my sense of being a child. The onslaught that ensued on that clammy and sweltering evening gave me a window to what humanity is really like. After that evening, I made a conclusion that I was malicious and must behave, speak, and learn accordingly.
Before that night, play time with my friends revolved around the patrols and plundering in our vicinity by the soldiers or the guerrillas. On a daily basis, I would see soldiers scurrying around and setting hasty fighting positions throughout my neighborhood and in the cotton fields that were visible from my house. As the soldiers would depart, the guerrillas would come and take apart the positions and threaten anyone who would attempt to help the soldiers. Many of my friends and their parents learned that any attempt to help the soldiers would be with the knowledge that they could be giving up their homes and worse even, their lives. My attitude about life and people was being shaped by what I assumed was normal in every place on earth. On the occasions that I was confronted with any type of problem with playmates and experienced any type of bullying, I would make sure that I was the victor no matter how forceful, hateful, and vengeful I had to be. .
On that frightful evening I had finished dinner with my family when I saw the glimpse of a parachute gracefully falling from a picturesque sky. As I stared at the red and orange hues of the evening sky, it became clouded with silhouettes of hundreds of paratroopers. I started to panic and ran to my mother to ask why the soldiers were there. My mother was being hauled into the kitchen by my father and was screaming at me and my brothers to come inside.