Blog 3 of 3: The Boys

Boys with nothing to lose: These boys had nothing to lose. They wanted to start a new life in Spain. They were orphaned or desperate or both. We sat on the tour bus waiting to depart for the drive to the ferry to Spain in Tangier. Our tour guide warned us not to be alarmed. He said the boys who were standing outside the bus cheerfully waving goodbye to us would try to hop on the bus with the hopes they could stay there and maybe crawl inside a luggage container. Here they would try to hide until the bus disembarked in Spain. He said they knew they wouldn’t make it that they were likely to get caught at the police checkpoint before the ferry. That is if they somehow managed to get onto the bus in the first place. I looked outside my window at the open smiling faces of young teenage boys. An older man was chastising one of them, arguing with him, pushing him toward the bus. I saw this boy dart out and under the bus in front of us. The tour tour buses began to pull away and flocks of boys grabbed onto the bus in front of ours. Trying to hold on as it began to merge onto the busy street. There were a few that succeeded. Holding onto the back of the bus in front of us. Opening the trunk to expose the engine and then holding onto the engine as it sped up into the flow of traffic.

Our bus was slowed down in an intersection by some locals crossing the street in front of it. One of them was a man carrying a large bus tire in his hands. He threw that tire under our bus’s wheels slowing us down as we collided with it, however we didn’t stop, or wreck. Our bus driver expertly maneuvered us on right over that obstacle. Our tour guide explained that the locals did that to slow us down so more boys could jump on our bus. Meanwhile the bus in front of us continued driving with the boys holding onto the engine. One of them, crawling like a stunt man from a Hollywood movie, into the under carriage of the bus.

As we neared the ferry. There was a police checkpoint. The buses stopped. The police guards came out and around the bus. The boys scurried off with the guards chasing them. One of the guards found the boy hidden under the bus and escorted him into the checkpoint with his hands behind his back.

Our tour guide said the boy would be back next time. The police would for a little while and then he would be released. He said the guards knew these boys by name.