Have you ever been to Venezuela? Did you live there? Do you live there?
Gloucester City, New Jersey
June 1, 2008 5:03pm CST
When I was a kid, my dad's job sent him to Venezuela to look into setting up a new department at the glass plant in Valencia. That was in 1962. Then, in 1964, they decided that he would be the one to actually set the department up, train the employees and get it running. In addition to making bottles and jars, they would also be making the caps and lids...aka "closures". They expected him to be there for at least two years, so if his family wanted to go, they've cover the cost and would also pay tuition for me to attend a private school for International students. Mom said yes and off we went! I was scared and excited at the same time. At the age of 9, I was so clueless about so many things, and here I was doing something no one else I knew had ever or would ever do! I had the BEST time down there. The funny thing is, I had more freedom to run and play and explore in a foreign country than I had ever had at home. I'm not sure I'll ever understand that one, but I sure do appreciate it. I roller-skated everywhere (remember the skates with keys??) That was my main means of transportation. I picked tropical fruits off trees in the neighborhood and feasted whenever I got hungry. I rode horses from the street vendor who would come around with his horses for the kids to ride. I'd buy helado and pan dulce from the other street vendors who rode their specially built tricycles from which they'd sell their wares. Believe it or not, the utility companies would come to collect payment instead of requiring people to mail payments in. The school I attended had grades K-12 and there were no more than 200 in the entire school. We knew EVERYONE and I was in AWE of all those upperclassmen going to the same school as me, a mere 4th grader!! I had kids from Canada, Cuba and the Netherlands in my class. It was the best time of my life!!! It saddens me, though, to see what is becoming of that beautiful country, my former home away from home, the place I never wanted to leave. I can only hope that a change takes place (I will not make any suggestions on what kind) that brings it back to the peace and tranquility it knew for that brief window of time during the 60s.