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John Has Big Dreams Part 2

FeaturesJohn Has Big Dreams Part 2

CLINTON CANUL LUNA

In the underworld, in which John lived, he had several experiences. One of those was when he did errands for the man who had advised him to go to study. Every week, he sent him to buy an item at a specific store. That item cost $30, and John, every time, would give the receipt for that item to the man, but one of many times, when he went to the store, it was not in stock. So, John had to go to several different stores to get the item that had been entrusted to him. He was able to find it in a store, and they gave him a discount by charging him $29. So, they gave him a receipt, plus the item for $29. He went and gave it to the man and the man asked him,

  • Why did you bring a receipt for $29?”

John explained and handed over the dollar that was given to him as a discount.  The man told him,

  • You know John, go back to that store and get a receipt for $30. Give him the dollar, because I have to submit a report every month, and the report has to have a receipt for $30.”

John complied and went back to the store and asked them to please give him a receipt for $30. He also handed them the dollar. The store owner handed John the receipt for $30, but he gave him back the dollar, since it was a discount. John came back and gave the man the receipt for the $30 plus the dollar. The man was a fair person, so he told John,

  • John, that dollar is for you. It’s a discount they gave you, so take the dollar. It’s yours.”

John took it and continued going to that store, because there he earned the dollar discount they gave him. Another experience that John had was when he once went to buy a machete, since he used it to do his work when he went to chop a yard.  He sharpened the machete and when he used it, when he started chopping, it broke into half.  John went to the store and told the owner that the machete was useless and had broken. The owner told him that once an item was bought and left the store, he was not responsible. John, seeing that, realized that he had bought something that was useless and he had nowhere to go to report or take his complaint, because there was no place where there was consumer protection, so John automatically lost his money. He went with a friend and asked for a loan to buy a machete, because he needed it to work. The friend lent him the money, but told him that he was going to charge a commission. John agreed, because he needed it. He thought that in a month’s time he could pay the loan plus interest to his friend. But it turns out that it was not possible, and it took 3 months to pay him. Those 3 months of payment of what he borrowed plus interest, made him realize that he paid more interest than what he had borrowed, and he said to himself, “With that interest I could have bought two more machetes.” 

In short, he had another experience, since he also did errands for another person and that person did humanitarian activities such as cooking food for poor people who had nowhere to sleep or where to eat. They slept in the park or slept in some corner around there, and this person, since she was charitable, she fed them, but she didn’t have any money either. So she asked other people, mostly stores, to help her get the items to cook to feed several people. In that, John helped that person by running the errand of picking up the things she needed, but in one of those, the stores gave away things that were about to expire, which was a danger because if she used that, she could sicken people. But that happens when one asks, or is a beggar. They are given anything, since it is a donation. In one of those, they had given her a box of chocolate, and the lady told him,

  • John, that chocolate is useless. It’s already expired. Throw it in the trash.”

He felt saddened and said to himself, “How am I going to throw this away?” He didn’t understand. He put it in a backpack that he always carried and took it home.  He ate one of the chocolates and it tasted good and kept eating more, but got sick.  It gave him a stomach infection. John ended up at the clinic, where he was attended by a doctor who asked him what he had eaten. John explained, and thereafter the doctor told him that he could have been poisoned. The thing is, they gave him medicine so that he could be cured, but at the same time, John was so weak that he couldn’t work, and if he didn’t work he wouldn’t eat. The type of work he did was not entitled to social security, where he was paid for the days he did not work. So thanks to divine providence, he was cured. He ate whatever he always did, but he was cured.  That experience was going to help him in the future, but at that moment John did not understand. It was obvious that he was not going to understand at that moment; he was going to understand later, in the future. 

Since he was already working with the government, he was earning $100 an hour, which is $800 for 8 hours, but sometimes he had to work overtime and was compensated. This job required a lot of travelling from one place to the other, since he was supervising jobs from companies that had government contracts. Due to so much travelling, John had to spend his own money for doing such activities. One day, he decided to report to his boss the amount of money he had to spend from his pocket. The government then decided to buy him a 4×4 pickup truck, since he needed something strong to go to different areas such as villages, where the roads were full of dust and potholes, which during the rainy season would fill with water and become thick mud. In addition, they gave him a personal driver. In case something happened on the road, he had someone by his side who could help him out of any problem that happened on the trip. 

One day, his boss had called him to sign some documents. John did not understand why he had to sign those documents, but he signed them, since they were paying him a salary for his work. He realized that the document he was signing was for a large amount of money, and since he was of confidence, he was present during the signing of a cheque. However, that cheque was made for an amount which was less than what he had signed in the document. There, John realized that it was no longer a discount, but rather, it was a commission, and that commission was for his boss. He had several bosses. It was not just one, and he began to realize that those bosses earned a good commission on each contract or when they bought a certain amount of products, be it medicines, or anything else they needed. John became aware of the crafting of government finances. He didn’t know about that. But what he had learned in the underworld, he realised, that there was also up in the elite class; the big bosses also earned their share. 

On one occasion, John was passing by a court of law, where the judge was hearing a case. The courtroom was closed, but it was not sound-proof. However, people were outside sitting on rocks that were under the trees, where there was shade, waiting for their turns to testify or family members waiting for a verdict. Anyways, while John was walking by, he inadvertently wanted to sneeze, and he couldn’t hold it in, since it is human nature. John wasn’t the kind of person who knew how to sneeze quietly, so instead, a big sound came out.  “AAACCHHUUUUU!” And the authority had called his attention for making such noise in front of the courthouse. But over time, as John traveled from one place to another, he realized that in front of a court of justice, the same court where he had sneezed, there, gringos made lots of noise with their loudspeakers, preaching, while the judge was in session and the authorities did not say anything; nobody said anything. And John began to think, “Well, how is it that gringos can come here in Belize to do whatever they want, to cause scandals there in front of the court of justice? Who gave them such right or license? How can they do that? And I, as a Belizean, can’t sneeze; well, I  could, but I got my good scolding. But why? What kind of justice is this?”

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June 18, 2022

Finca Solana

Corozal Town

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