Last night I sat down to watch Oprah, expecting something entertaining and mindless to pass the time.
Wow was I wrong.
Oprah was interviewing Ingrid Betancourt’s the Franco-Colombian politician who survived six and a half horrific years in captivity in the Amazon jungle at the hands of Farc guerrillas.
I was absolutely shocked at this woman’s will to survive. If it had been me I’d have died within the first few months. Either by contracting some sort of disease or allergy, or just giving up my will to live. But this woman put up with 6 and a half years of it. I was completely blown away and actually haven’t been able to get it off my mind since watching the interview.
As I woke up this morning and got dressed I couldn’t help but think of the contract of how life was like for those hostages for all that time. To be captured in the middle of the jungle! I’d definitely not have lasted long.
Besides the filth and dismal living conditions, what Ingrid experienced was just plain soul-destroying. Earlier pictures and video clips of her show a confident self assured woman. The last ‘proof of life’ clip that was shown shows a broken woman, frail and an empty shell of what she once was.
She lived under the most painful and cruel conditions physically and physiologically – she was shackled in chains, starved, beaten and attacked by all kinds of bugs, insects, spiders, bees, not to mention the tarantulas, “shiny-backed beetles”, anacondas, bears, jaguars and wild boar that lurked outside the various camps where she was held.
The scariest thing is that this is still going on. All the chaos happening all over the world as we speak means that people are still being subjected to this kind of treatment. What happened to Ingrid wasn’t years ago – it’s recent and I think that scares me the most. I’ll definitely NEVER be visiting that part of the world. Not for all billions!
I was really moved by her story and if hell on earth existed I think this must have been it.
I really want to read her book ‘Even Silence Has an End’ and suggest many you read it too.
I cannot imagine living through this horror and have utmost respect and admiration for Ingrid.