On the road to the future, missing home


Hello HIVE world, under the prompt for this week 4 "The way home." for the ink well.
I share this story has elements of truth fused into fiction, taken from the lives of my father and father-in-law, who sought their destiny fair from home, where they always returned sharing their anecdotes.


Victor Efigenio, a native of somewhere between Puerto Santo and the portachuelo of Canchunchú, are towns in the state of Sucre, connected by rural roads, surrounded by green tropical forests and scattered houses. All of them nestled in a paradise of mountains, coasts lined with coconut groves and sea.

Victor Efigenio, was born during the first third of the last century, in Venezuela, a rural country, which was timidly looking forward to a more industrial and commercial future, with the growing exploitation of oil.

The dream of "prosperity" was alien to those people tied to the subsistence economy, based on handmade sowing in plots or conucos; where barter, the word of man, respect for others, or closing a deal with a handshake had value.

With these principles, Victor Efigenio, at the age of 15, would get up at the sound of the rooster crowing, even under the dark sky, to fetch water from the river in barrels tied to the sides of his donkey Manso.

He worked quickly, on each trip he filled his house, his grandparents' house and a last load he would sell, thus earning a few cents for his home.

A daily routine that followed an endless cycle; after work he went to school, where his distracted imagination took all his attention despite his teacher's effort to focus him on the day's class.

The teacher's voice used to take him out of his world, and crash him with the harsh reality:

-Victor! What were we talking about? -Tell me!

The startled student had not been paying attention, but he noticed the diagram on the blackboard and deduced that it was about the sun, so he answered:

-You were saying that the sun rises in the morning.

The teacher, with the sternest tone of voice, asked him:

-Victor, where does the sun rise?

Victor Efigenio, thought without speaking, "I know that, I see it every day," he answered with an air of confidence:

-Teacher, the sun rises behind my uncle Juancho's conuco, over there

All the students laughed, even the teacher, who disapproved of the witty Victor.

But that was Victor Efigenio, intelligent, shrewd with the argument, but slows to follow an academic program, that bored him. In him was growing the idea of looking for a better destiny than the one that awaited him, together with the hoe and so many hours of forced work, just to survive.

The yearning to progress, to look for a different life, perhaps to find a job in a company, grew stronger as he listened to the stories that amazed him.

José (Cheo) had a cousin who went to work for the oil company and he said:

-Compadre, my cousin works in the company, they gave him car, house, the food is very cheap, and they earn a lot of money, they have medicine for them and their families, that is life!

Jesús Manuel (Chumani), surprised, commented:

-Don't tell lies Cheo, because if that is so, we have to leave to look for work there. How do we go there?

Carlos refuted with distrust:

-Look, and what do we know about oil, how is that job? Do you think they are going to hire us, just like that? To some peasants, I see it difficult.

Victor Efigenio complained:

-Yes, as if working all day with a hoe or carrying water is easier, and how much is left for you? NOTHING! You don't see it, progress is not here, money is not here . . . here what we have is work with no future.

Thus ended the conversation, but the conviction remained, at least in Victor Efigenio, that it was time to leave to look for his future in other lands. One day he decided to put his few belongings in a box, next to the photo of his parents and with the blessing of his parents he set off on the adventure of becoming prosperous.

It was a long journey as he had never undertaken before, on the platform of a rail truck, along with other fellow countrymen, plus some who were picked up on the road. The journey began on gravel and dirt roads, raising behind him a dust that did not let him see the road he had already traveled.

The inclement sun of the tropical east, interrupted only by a few brief rains, plus the multitude of potholes, jolts, in addition to the numerous checkpoints, made the heavy trip endless.

So much hustle and bustle did not allow time for nostalgia to invade Victor Efigenio's thoughts, he could not even think about his future. After almost ten hours of rough roads, they entered an asphalt road, straight, wide in some areas and very narrow in others, which made them go faster.

Behind them was the silhouette of the blue-gray mountains, dwarfed by the distance, the signs of progress appeared on the road, there were oil derricks, more and more of them.

On the road they met trucks carrying long pipes, rustic vehicles with people dressed in blue uniforms and white helmets, which passed the old truck carrying Victor Efigenio.

He could no longer see any conuco only a plain with an extension of wire fences that limited huge plots of land and some herds of white cattle.

By nightfall, they arrived at their destination, a fast-growing town with businesses and many foreigners, Arabs, Lebanese, Syrians and Italians. On the main street of the town, waiting for him was his older brother with his compadre, a local doctor, who picked up Victor Efigenio to take him to his new home.

Now, as if he were coming from behind the truck where he had traveled for so many hours, nostalgia for his town and his old folks came over him with force, as he ate a piece of sweet bread with half a liter of pasteurized milk, which he took from the carton.

Now he missed eating his portion of boiled yucca with salted fish and freshly brewed coffee, even the aroma of the wood stove.

That night, neither the fatigue of the long trip, nor the fear of an uncertain future, not even dreaming of the longed for progress, took his thoughts away from the memories of his town, and in silent tears he let himself fall asleep, pressing against his chest the portrait of his elders.

Sometimes what we miss is exactly what we ran away from, only now we notice the happiness hidden behind it.

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As in many cases, migrating from the known, to make way for a prosperous future, implied sacrifices, leaving behind the beloved, to build a new life, that is the story of many heroes, to whom I pay homage, even though some are no longer with us.

Keep on rowing, Vitico!


Thanks for reading me

"On the road to the future, missing home" is a short story of my creation.

Ramses O Perez G, Doctor, occasional writer of light narrative

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