They shoved us into the waters, shouting vulgarities as we crossed. I thought we were going to die, attacked and torn apart by the crocodiles who called the river home.
We are going to die; that is obvious. The certainty of death invites me to a task related to life; to live better. Death is a great advisor, calling us to live in the present.
With no other options, I took to the streets with a homemade sign, offering virtual English classes for 15 pesos (75 cents) an hour to generate some income. I couldn’t imagine where that act would lead me.
The guards mentally and physically tortured me. They called me a terrorist, rioter, traitor, jihadi. I wasn’t allowed to brush my teeth or read books, and I could barely sleep in my tiny, filthy, isolated cell.
My efforts bear fruit for these children, and their families by extension. At first, they came with empty stomachs and torn clothes. Today they come to learn, eager for knowledge and eager to grow.
The cops stripped me naked and beat me with sticks and belts. I'd cry, scream, beg — urinating was severely painful. They didn't give me water and food for five days. I had to chew my clothes. I was in so much pain I could have eaten grass.
In 2021, some of the most advanced and democratic nations on the planet appear to be emblazoned in political battles between neighbors, fed by an abundance of competing misinformation.
I want my son to know that his mother was a brave woman. I want him to grow up and know that even when she was in pain, she wanted to caution everyone against the infection.
I had little bandwidth to deliberate on my loss and what it meant. But I could feel abandoned, lonely and anxious.
The second wave of COVID-19 had devastated the country. It seemed to kill almost everyone who caught the virus. I was frightened and feared the worst.
His fight goes beyond the vaccine. He struggles to leave a legacy. He wants to show everybody that they must treat people with diseases like his.