Friday, July 14, 2006

We were almost done with our 4th week when we heard the words that we had feared and expected but hoped to never encounter. Bro. Rajan approached us, "I have some terrible news..." Well, this was it. We had made it 4 weeks and now we would have to evacuate the country because of the war. How sad I would have been to have to leave this country in such a hurry. There were so many people that I would want to say goodbye to, so many last minute pictures I would want to pose for with people. And better yet, there were myriad skeptics who I wanted to show that Sri Lanka is really a peace filled country, yet now I realized that I was destined to fail in that endevour. What would my students think? How would they react when Bro. Vernon walks into the classroom and says that I had to leave? Really Sri Lanka had been great to us, we spent a marvelous weekend and Hikkaduwa and we were planning to go see elephants and leopards on a Safari at Udawalawe this weekend. But now the only elephants we would see would be on the souvineer t-shirts being sold at the airport. What a shame it would be to leave such a beautiful, hopsitable place. Then there are all the people who tell us that we are doing a great job, or a great deed, like Bro Rob who, in his twisted way, tells us that we are doing a good thing in e-mails to Melissa:

"You, Mike and Blair work with the poor and I'm off to the beach for the weekend starting today Thursday. Thank God we trained young people to do what we should be doing. Where will Blair go after Sri Lanka? Has anyone proposed to her? Better yet, has Mike proposed to anyone? It might be his last and only chance.

Be well!

Brother Robert
--Brother Robert C. Berger, F.S.C.
Vice President for Student Life
Manhattan College"

I'm not sure if I should be offended or scared by that comment. Anyway, what would those people say? Would they be dissapointed?

Then there are our adventures, well, they aren't so much adventures as much as they are our ignorant urban fears about the jungle. For instance last night Bro Naked found us trying to kill something in Blair's room. "A serpent!?" he assumed.
"No! It's a huge spider." He sprang into action hunting it down, but it was Blair that found it and killed it after it had ran away from us. Bro. Naked approaced the corpse. He burst out into laughter, "It's only very tiny! Harmless. I thought it must have been a serpent!" He laughed and giggled as he walked away.
"Serpent!?" We all asked in fright.
"Only a tiny spider" he forced out through his laughter as he closed his bedroom door behind him.

A pregnant pause between Bro Rajans sentences. We knew what was coming though. We were practically on our way to pack our bags. We could be outside in five minutes.

We stared at him awaiting the signal.

His mouth opened to finish his sentence. "We went to two grocery stores today and both were closed, so we couldn't buy any soda or anything like that." That was it? That was the terrible news? We didn't have to leave, but rather, we have to do without soda for a few days? We don't even drink soda! We all laughed and he just looked at us, partially insulted as he thought that we were laughing at his failed hospitality.
"That's fine Bro. Rajan. We will be okay, thank you very much."

Today Bro Naked spots me from across the quad, he hails me over. He bursts into laughter. "Only a tiny spider. Harmless! I thought it was a serpent. I'll call her Spider-Girl from now on!" He laughed his way into his office and I stood there, alone on the quad, watching my self pride melt on the hot black basketball court.

Oh yeah, today is July 14th! VIVE LA REPUBLIQUE!


Post a Comment

<< Home