February 8, 2013
At a very young age I was exposed to reading and I loved it. I can remember nights where I would beg my Granny to read me The Twits by Roald Dahl repeatedly. Even today, I could probably recite every word in that book back without fail. During summer, after my Granny got tired of reading me the same book, she introduced me to the library reading program. Basically, it was a reading competition and if you read more than 50 books you’d win a “super cool” prize. Usually, it would be some blow up thing like a space shuttle or a dolphin. Thinking back on it now the prizes were kind of lame, but in the eyes of a five year old they were the coolest prizes. I would make it my mission to win that prize every year.
When I was six, my dad’s job transferred my family and we had to move to Venezuela. If you’ve heard of Venezuela it most likely wasn’t for a good reason. Venezuela is run by military dictatorship; a man by the name Hugo Chávez leads the control. He made it his mission to control the country, but to also terrorize any Americans living in “his” country. Chávez encouraged Venezuelans to do whatever they could to get Americans out. On 9/11, while America was in mourning over the Twin Towers tragedy I can remember Venezuelans celebrating and throwing fireworks at our school. It was normal for mud, rotten food, even dog poop to get thrown over the cement walls of our school building by citizens. One time we even had to sneak out of the country because the death threats became worse.
During all of the chaos, my mom tried to distract me from the world I was living in so she would make me read and write all the time. After I would finish a chapter, she’d sit me down and make me write a summary about it. What I thought of it, how I felt the book would end, etc. On holidays our family would usually take trips to different places like Brazil, Curacao, the Oronoco Delta, etc. and she would make my...