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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Cuba Trip

David Younan
Dr. Datcher
ENGL 498
February 9, 2013
Cuba Trip
Before I had the privilege of attending Loyola Marymount University I attended Marymount College in Palos Verdes my first two years of college. My sophomore year I signed up for a mission’s trip through the school. The dean sent an email stating a great opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Cuba and work with kids with disabilities. I quickly took advantage of this and found myself packing for Cuba at the start of spring break. The trip was everything I expected and much more, as I found myself spoiled throughout my entire life.  I saw what the everyday life was for these children and it killed me inside. There was one child in particular who left an everlasting impression that will stick with me forever. 
Pablo, a seven-year-old boy, was born with one leg and was left at a foster home. He has been living in the foster home since birth with a prosthetic leg and has never met his real parents.  A translator was able to help me have a conversation with Pablo. I told the translator how excited I was to be able to enjoy a whole day with Pablo and how much fun we were going to have. To my surprise, Pablo’s reaction was drastically different from what I expected; Pablo asked the translator if he should hide the fact he has a fake leg so I wouldn’t see it and want to leave. Once the translator told me what this innocent seven-year-old boy said I walked up to him and hugged him. Holding back the tears, I told the translator to explain to Pablo that he is perfect. Once Pablo heard the translator, he immediately grabbed my hand and was pulling me to teach him how to play basketball. I showed him I could dunk the ball, taught him tricks, and even played with him one on one (which he won 11-4).  
After a fun filled afternoon I had lunch with Pablo and talked about anything he wanted to. He asked me questions any normal seven year old would; however, the last thing he told me was that I was his first friend who didn’t make him feel like he had a disability.  Once again holding back the tears, I told him to never let anyone tell him he can’t do anything. He thanked me for everything I had done for him and told me I needed to work on my jump shot some more before I left him. As my group was departing I gave him my sunglasses to remember me by and embraced one last time. This was the last time I would ever see Pablo again, but his memory burns inside me so I never forget how fortunate I am. Though I don’t have the latest and greatest, I still have my health; and if it wasn’t for Pablo I would have never realized how blessed I am for having a “normal” body. 


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