Adjusting to Life Abroad
A week ago I had the honor of doing the wedding ceremony of a cousin (Nate) and his wife (Trisha) in a small New Jersey town near Paramus. Nate met his wife, whose parents were born in India, at Fordham University several years ago. Since then they have had very different careers?Nate is a lawyer, while Trisha is a CPA with a fine job with a good Manhattan firm?but love conquers all! For those who have never seen me wearing more than zoris, shorts, and a polo shirt, let me offer proof that life in New York calls for adaptation even from such as me. You can also see the newlyweds, by the way.
A few weeks ago the leaves were golden and scarlet and every color in between, but beautiful scenery is not the only thing autumn brings. The temperature this morning hit the 30s for the first time this season. This calls for a switch from running shorts to warmup pants for the little jogs around the campus that help keep me sane. Yesterday for the NY Marathon the streets were teeming with runners?34,000 of them (the equivalent of the entire population of Pohnpei), the papers reported. But these were just the ones who finished in 4 ? hours or less..
I?m beginning to do a few masses around campus, and the Jesuit director of campus ministry is offering me work to do (much like what Fr Cav was doing for the past couple of years). But to fill my idle hours, I?m trying to move ahead on the writing projects that I brought with me: a booklet commemorating German achievements in the islands?other than the Sokehs Rebellion, that is!?a century after German rule ended in the islands (1914); a look at education through the years with a ?map? illustrating how different schools fared at different times in the past; and a video on success stories of migrants in the US.
If any of you get to New York, let me know. It would be a pleasure to chat with you. So far I?ve located about five Micronesians who lived in the New York City area and perhaps another dozen Americans who have been closely tied to the islands at one time. If anyone ever tells you that the ties to the islands vanish in time, don?t believe it. I really don?t know how those migrants adjust as quickly and as easily to life in the US as they do. I?d like to learn the secret.