Sunday, June 13, 2010
Graduation and Feasting
A handful of the places they will be studying next year: Brown University, Indiana University, McGill University, Florida International University, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Virginia Tech.
Mr. Clay, the teacher who shepherded the seniors through their remaining English and Bible studies this semester. He also invested heavily in them in a more mentor-type way, teaching them extras like preparing international cuisine and even some "how to use a power tool" lessons. At one point in his speech he said something to the effect of "if you don't all come back after college and help Haiti, I will find you and beat you up", and everybody laughed.
But he was serious. We all are. I mean it. Those of us who come to Haiti to teach at an American-style private school don't do it so that we can facilitate a Brain Drain of Haiti's best and brightest young people. I, too, hope they come back to Haiti. I dream of Kreyol-speaking, Jesus-loving, college-educated young people back here, starting businesses and pastoring churches and running dental clinics and getting elected Senator and figuring out how to export Haitian mangos to Texas and planting 17 million trees. Helping.
But will they come back? Why should they?
Why won't they?
The same reason I'm home right now, spending my summer break from teaching in Dallas instead of in Port-au-Prince.
It's really, really nice here in the States.
It's really, really comfortable in Dallas. And Plano, and Portland, Garland, Milpitas, Alameda, Oklahoma City, Rutherford, Fayetteville, Chapel Hill, Waco, Harrisburg, Norman, Chicago, Houston, Bulverde, Ingleside, Mc Neil, Springfield, Humble, Webster, Brentwood, Palmer, Del Rio, Kenosha, East Peoria, Seattle, Lacey, New York, Toronto, Goderich, London, Rainhill, Queretaro, Freiburg Im Breisgau, Nice, Austin, Tyler, and all the other places Google Analytics tells me you are reading from (hello!).
We have Targets here. We have an app for that. We have school bus systems, school lunch menus, and no police man has ever asked me for a bribe. We have entire aisles of soap. I have had electricity 100% of the time since I've been in America.
I went to the dentist today for a teeth cleaning. There was a television, with satellite service, mounted to the ceiling for me to watch during my 15-minute cleaning. The dentist's gloves were mint-flavored. The gloves were flavored.
Last night I Google Maps'ed "pizza places near (name of my church)". The search found 26 places within 10 miles.
I went to get a bowl of cereal for breakfast this morning. In my mother's pantry there are 13 boxes of cereal. In my mother's fridge there are 3 different kinds of milk.
Why would any of those graduates not just stay in the States and start feasting (literally and figuratively).
One word and one word, over and over, flopping in my brain this last week in America- feasting.
Our life is a feast.
It's fun in the feast-land. It is so comfortable here, I am loving every minute. And it's not just a feast of physical comforts, but of love and encouragement and social occasions. It's a sweet, sweet, stuffed-full life. So why will our seniors leave the feast and go back to Haiti after college? There are very few earthly reasons to do so. It will have to be the Lord, I think.