I walked to the opening and knelt down, crawling through a gap in the fence. The first thing I saw was a large trash pile. There were probably fifteen or twenty kids or more that were of different ages, several younger, and a few older than myself. They were sifting through the rubble trying to find something to eat. I noticed a little girl in rags as she squatted over a small food can, reaching her hand in and digging out its contents. I watched the dog trot around the trash pile until he was out of sight. I stood there for several minutes as I watched the scene unfold before me. These kids had been abandoned like myself and this was the only way of survival, to eat from a trash pile. I saw several rats the size of small cats scurrying around the refuse, oblivious to the children who were in competition for the few scraps of food that were left.
I stood leaning against the wooden fence that hid the garbage pile from the rest of the city. The lack of food and water had taken its toll on me and the world began spinning as I fell to the ground. Trying to keep pace with the mangy dog had taken the last bit of energy I had. I began to crawl toward the heap in front of me but the dizziness made me sick and I began to vomit, but there was nothing left for me to throw up. I saw something wrapped in paper as I crawled closer to the trash and as I reached out for the contents that were hidden by the paper a boy who looked about the age of eight stepped on my wrist and I turned loose of my prize.
“I’ll take that”, he said as he reached down and picked the package up. He grabbed me by my hair and turned me over. He then bent down, his face within inches of mine and said, “You don’t eat until the rest of us get what we want,” he paused. “Then you can eat.” I was too weak to offer any resistance. I crawled back toward the fence as the last of my energy began to fade.
Sometime during the night, I awoke, my mind clear as I lay facing the night sky. I tried to get up but didn’t have the energy to move, so I relaxed as I felt my heart began to beat faster and faster. I lay there wondering were my mommy was and what she must be doing. Questions clouded my mind as I lay there, then I must have fallen to sleep.
I woke the next morning and I felt much better, matter of fact, I wasn’t hungry anymore, or thirsty or weak, I felt fine. I stood up and noticed there were kids sleeping all around the dump. One of the kids stood there looking in my direction as I said, “Hi”, but he didn’t answer. I noticed he wasn’t looking at me but behind me. I turned and to my shock I saw myself lying on the ground. “How could this be?” I asked myself out loud. I turned and ran to the young boy who was now standing, looking at my dead body, but he couldn’t see me. I reached out to grab him by the shoulder, but my hand went through his shoulder. I shouted to him but he didn’t answer or acknowledge me. It could only be one thing, I was dead and the only thing on my mind . . . where is my mommy? Would I travel thought eternity searching for her, longing for her embrace?
“In 2004 there were over 143 million orphaned and abandoned children, in 93 developing countries, worldwide. This is 8.4 % off all children in the world.” All I can say is, that is way too many.