30 July 2010

The love of a parent

Yesterday my partner teacher received a phone call from her 20 year old daughter who was heading home after spending a week in Bulgaria. This lead to me asking more questions about her children because I realized I had been so caught up in work that I knew nothing about her. After asking a little about her daughter, I moved on to her 23 year old son. Because we are the same age, I was curious what he was up to; assuming he had recently finished at the University and was now either working or studying for a higher education. As I asked these questions she kept shaking her head, "no". She then told me he was at home and working as a taxi driver. He had tried to go to University but never made it through a semester for a variety of reasons: his parents were in Russia so he was needed at home to watch after his younger sister so they wouldn't need to hire someone, and he wasn't interested in paying the University. You see, I feel like he has a valid point. In college we are required to take many classes that we are not interested in, which also means we must pay for them. Instead of doing this at a time when money and jobs are scarce, he said he would rather study by himself those things of which are interesting to him. So, he began to study to be a taxi driver because he knew he could get a job and make money. While I think this is good thinking on his part, his mother began to cry. She said she knows he is smart and he knows he has potential, bug she feels that without a college degree he will not be able to do anything in his life. Funny enough, I have heard this many times in the USA. While I am not a mother, I felt the pain of this mother and I can now understand more clearly why my dad had such a hard time when I told him I wanted to drop out of college my sophomore year. Parents want the best for their children. They want their children to live a better life than they ever did. This becomes especially true in a developing country. Everyone here knows what it means to make sacrifices. Everyone here knows what itmeans to struggle. Parents don't want their children to struggle, or have to worry about their future.
It was really hard to hear her explain something she wants for her child that she feels he will never have. It's hard for me to sit back and watch all of these students (and people) with great potential, but as soon as they are done with school, they give up because they think there is no way they can et a job in America, or England, or somewhere else. But the problem isn't that they can't- it's that they don't know how. I don't want to sit back anymore. I want to do something about it. It's not that I want to encourage Moldovans to move out of Moldova and leave their families, traditions, and culture behind. Because I don't what that. I feel that by getting this generation out, they will be able to bring what they learned elsewhere back to Moldova to help. I know this is why the Peace Corps is here- to teach them within their own country. But when it comes down to it, there are only so many of us. We can do what we can- and we have done great things already, don't get me wrong. But more needs to be done. Now is the time to start.

What would you do to help? What would you suggest to do? What is your dream for your children?

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