Day 7

On the way to Volcano Pacaya I saw a rusty old pick up truck with a dozen piglets in the back clumsily slamming into each other. They were moving like sardines packed in the ocean, in confused circles. A kid younger than me was holding on to the truck with a grim expressionless face. A dirty T-shirt hung loosely on the his body, and his old shorts looked out of place. They were dirty, stained and scattered with holes. His eyes looked older, as if he had already seen more than me and suffered more in being half my age. It told me something, that a child, could have so much to them.
   When we got out of the bus we saw the volcano, standing tall in the distance. Little girls held big baskets over their heads selling cigarettes, gum, and candy. They held out packs of cigarette, pushing them at us like they were going to cry if we didn’t buy something. One of them looked particularly desperate. Tears lined her eyes, and through her orbs, I could tell that she looked like she had already seen the worst parts of life. It was like looking at a grandparent about to tell you a war story from their youth. I moved on, not particularly wanting to bear it all. Up ahead, there was another family, whose babies were cradled in the mother’s arms. The babies looked like they came straight out of a poster for world poverty. Their eyes looked like huge wells of sadness, despite their young age.
   Those thoughts pounded through my head for five hours, which was the whole hike up the volcano. By the time we were in the valley of the Pacaya, volcanic rock surrounded us for miles. Some of the rocks were so hot that we used the heat to roast marshmallows.

The looks of the villagers faces stayed on my mind even when a classmate was constantly trying to make me laugh, with no knowing consent of what was on my mind.

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