Monday, July 14, 2008

Looking for One Pass Mileage Donations

The Daily Yapper has a great post this morning. A must read. It got me thinking, and thinking is such a luxury when you're on leave. I postpone the vacuuming to write this post.

Yesterday's text message from Texas
Kumaire: I wish I were there to help. Please send my condolences. It's times like this that I think about going home. Especially since my parents left.
Me: OMG, OMG, OMG. If you came home I would be the happiest person alive! Come home, please come home. When can I book you?
Kumaire: When I can stomach the thought of supporting my family on what I used to make when I was there. Why don't you come to Texas? We know lots of schools you could teach at. We don't have much room, but we have space for you.
Me: Can't. Home feels right, right now.
Kumaire: Then we're in the same boat, aren't we?
Me: I miss you.
Kumaire: I miss you more.

In the CNMI Schools of Education and in our own PSS we talk about building local capacity ad nauseam. I went to the NMC SOE when it was still under the University of Guam umbrella. Many of the teachers at GES are NMC grads. There is less and less need to look elsewhere for qualified teachers, and we are grateful for those who come to us, yes from elsewhere, who make the CNMI their home. Point? Point is.

There' s a brain drain, there always has been. It isn't isolated to the teaching field, we need qualified locals in every niche, private and public. By locals, I mean individuals invested in the well being of our islands, engaged in activities privately or publicly that promote the well being of our people and committed to getting their hands dirty. Yes, I also mean indigenous people who are able to keep the beautiful culture we continue to cherish alive.

A few of the people we need to lead the future are packing their families up and trying to find a way to survive without the humiliation of the outrageous cost of living despite every effort to conserve on their parts. Our government has failed us by being irresponsible with our resources. We failed ourselves by neglecting to take conservation measures earlier. Now everyone watches to see who stays and who leaves.

Would I leave? To make a little less than I make as a greeter at Target I am tempted. To leave the home I love and the family I have, no. If I absolutely had to though, I would. If it meant my children's safety were at risk, or that I could no longer provide for them? I would have to muster every bit of courage within, but yes. Yes, maybe. As long as there is a way and a reason to stay, I am here.

Some who leave cause me to mourn their potential to change the state of things here, but who am I to say what is best for their families? Even the protective familial blanket Yapper speaks of is being stretched beyond it's ability to cover. I know that as they board that plane away from their extended families, their hearts are breaking. There is no worse feeling, because I've felt it in others areas of my own life, than to wonder if you could have changed things if you tried harder, stayed longer, didn't "give up". In case you wonder, I am merely referring to being a productive and contributing member of society; being a blessing to this community.

Others who leave are a welcomed farewell, local or not. For every able minded person that relocates, there are just as many idiots who never want to leave. They enjoy the blame game and find every opportunity to belittle others when they themselves do not lift a finger to change things here. The only finger they lift is the one that continues to feed off the ignorance of others who are taken by their seemingly charismatic indignation. They are picnic table politicians who drink the very beer from the people they secretly despise.

For these folks, I propose a mileage bank. Kindly donate your unused One Pass miles to www.ifyou'resodisgustedwithitthenhere' Oh, my! No more Red Bull before noon for me. LOL.


Shazam said...

Glad you are staying. Your children add so much to the arts and culture on the island with their music and acting (not to mention they are absolutely darling). You have done such a great job promoting forensics and being involved in community theater over the years. Keep caring and bringing to the table what you bring. You help make this community such a fantastic place to raise a family despite the rising prices. We love it here. My only complaint is I miss my far a way family. Everyday I wake up, I still can't believe we get to open our eyes to such a beautiful place where every day is summer. What shall we do today? Go for a hike or go to the beach. Our children get to grow up in a diverse atmosphere and learn the value of tolerance as well as appreciating differences. These are skills they will need in a global world. Our children get to grow up on an island where children are valued and invited to dinner. Our children get to grow up learning how to be conservative with resources and see how to use less of everything. There are much worse places to be. Keep writing Boni. You make us think.

Boni said...

Thanks Shazam. My kids have enjoyed all these things that Saipan offers. They deserve the accolades. Your family is a blessing.