30 Years Ago – by Wellington Student, Juan Carlos Fúnez

Crystal Palace Madrid El Retiro

It happened about thirty years ago, at some minutes past five, which was the time when we come out from the school. Most of my classmates were my neighbours and we lived in a complex of buildings surrounding a park, where we used to go to play. The park was rather small, but huge for children of ten years old. There were some trees where we got took refuge from the summer sun while we were sitting, eating sunflower seeds, candy or chocolate. In the centre of the park, was a typical drinking water fountain with a small water jet. Almost the entire floor was dirt; I still have a scar on my knee that can attest to how hard the floor was! There was also a lawn with seasonal flowers that gave a colourful touch to the park.

That afternoon I was playing with my friends with a ball that my uncle had just given me when another group of children came to play a football match. It was a really hot afternoon and we were continuously going to the fountain to drink. Once we went to the fountain and saw a boy of our age with an older gentleman who we guessed was his father. The boy seemed very strange and impressed with everything he was seeing: swings, slides, flowers… We were surprised by the attitude of the child and started laughing. I noticed that the face of the child had changed and that he was very sad. At that moment, his father approached us and explained that his son had been born blind and had just left the hospital and that he was seeing all those things for the first time.

All of us felt ashamed and we quickly headed over to the boy and invited him to play with us. The smile returned to Alvaro’s face, that was his name. At present Alvaro is one of my two closest friends, and since that day, whenever I see Alvaro I remember that you cannot judge a book by its cover.

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It happened about thirty years ago, at some minutes past five, which was the time when we come out from the school. Most of...
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