This I Believe

Daniel - West Palm Beach, Florida
Entered on July 9, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe that the world should make strive to provide better and more widespread health care to its people.

Within that year many undesired and highly discontenting events were endured by my family and I. Such events included the unplanned pregnancy of my first born son and my mother’s devastating breast cancer diagnosis. Faced with such problems I instantly became overwhelmed and needed a way to rid these thoughts for a while. Prior to the occurrence of all these mishaps my father and I had planned a trip to his birth place, Colombia. Shortly after everything occurred such a trip seemed like the perfect way to displace the thoughts that were literally eating me up inside.

As usual we departed from Miami and arrived at Barranquilla, Colombia within three hours. After we finished going through the chaos of customs and immigration, we were then taken to our hotel, El Prado. In this beautiful hotel I would reside with my father for the first two days without leaving. Soon though the beautiful white buildings of the 18th century Spanish colonial building began to seem like walls of a great fortress shielding me from the realities of the world, and promoting the very thoughts I wished to momentarily escape from. It was that night that my father and I decided to leave the hotel in the morings and visit the surrounding cities.

After visiting just about the whole northern coast of the country’s coastal region, our time in the country was due to expire and we were to return home the following day. So as usual, the day before we returned, we completed all our last minute shopping for souvenirs, and a couple things specified by my mother. All of this shopping we did in the city’s market, which resembles an extremely big flea market. Upon leaving this market, passing through one of Barranquilla’s worst neighborhoods was inevitable. It was through the passing of this neighborhood that I would soon be made to realize of an important issue at the hands of the world.

When we were leaving the market, my father and I were tried to be held up by a man with a small gun. Through sheer courage my father and I were able to disarm the man and with the help of a couple of strangers get him to the police station. The guy whom wished to take my father’s necklace was now sitting behind bars. The following day we returned to Florida, and continued our lives normally with just another experience.

About a month later an uncle of mine called us from Colombia giving us information on the thief’s case. It was found out that he testified to have done what he did in order to try and raise some money for his son’s respiratory tract surgery. His son’s medical condition did turn out to be true. Though not justifying him, this experience suddenly opened my eyes to a problem that is being faced world-wide.

Prior to the trip, I remember sitting in a government aide office with my mother whom sought help to pay for the multiple bills she had from three different surgeries. All of these surgeries she had performed after the diagnosis of her cancer. She was denied this help she truly needed, which was something I completely looked prior to knowing why the guy try to do what he did in Colombia. I then realized that the world’s governments are overlooking a major part of the well being of its citizens. That is the well being in the simplest term and most direct terms of physical health. I believe that the world needs to search for means of improving health care for everyone.