Leaving the Mother Land
I have a friend who left Cuba as a young boy. As they were boarding the plane his mother told him to take a really good long look all around, “Because we will never return.”
In the post-Vietnam war era of the late seventies and early eighties, while the U.S. catapulted past a major oil embargo into flamboyant conspicuous consumption, hundreds of thousands of Indo-Chinese found themselves imprisoned in their own countries. Desperate to escape, many fled in ramshackle boats—entrusting themselves and their families to sea-faring folk who for exorbitant fees braved the waves and the pirates.
I have a friend who survived that desperate journey nearly forty years ago. She told me they used the map printed on the back of an old school notebook to navigate. This same friend persisted through a rigorous treatment regimen … and beat cancer as an adult, without chemo.
Saying goodbye to your whole life as you knew it is played out every decade by a new generation of refugees from the world’s latest hot spot. What lessons on survival could they teach?
The Cuban boy’s mother was right. You will never return. But, you might make something new.
Next: Graduated and Gone
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