Camilo cleaned out the horses stalls each morning before anyone else was awake. He would wheelbarrow the waste out back to fertilize the 15 foot elephant grass. He then cut and piled the same grass for Ivan who would chip it. His sons and I would shovel it into buckets and distribute it among the horses.

Camilo lived on a leftover triangle cut out by the diagonal road and the back fields of the stables in a house cobbled together with old timbers, adobe and pieces of sheet metal. He was quiet and mostly kept to himself. He did not come around in the afternoons and tell and listen to stories. While I was there he foiled at least one robbery attempt. An acerbic woman calling down oaths upon him as he relieved her of Judas' lead rope.

Venezuela lives a culture of beauty. They have over seventy international pageant titles and of the big four (Miss Universe, World, International and Miss Earth) they hold twenty-two; more than any other country and more than all of South America combined. Even in the slums, where many times we went to bed hungry, children beauty pageants were common. In many places sweet fifteen girls celebrated with implants from dad.

Ivan took me in for four months while I waited for paperwork to enter Colombia. He gave me work, a place to sleep and he fed me. He helped me with Judas teaching me about shoes and injections. Before I left he and his family robbed me. Venezuela is a complicated place.

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