Friday, August 19, 2011


A friend's son come by this morning for some advice (he must be pretty deperate if he is coming to me for advice, I feel so old). He is just about finishing the army where he works in a computer related field.  He seems good at what he does.  He told me he sort of feels like a fish out of water here in Israel.  He was born here and has lived here all his life, but feels he does not belong.  He thinks he belongs in the States.

I sort of identified with him.  I never really felt I belonged in SA and left as soon as I was able.  I never really had anything special against the country (well I didn't like apartheid). In fact, growing up in PE was very pleasant.  I just knew that I could not live there, my future was elsewhere.  Israel seemed the right choice at the time and, you know, it probably was.  So I understand his problem.  He has it tough though. There is no easy way for an Israeli without good connections to find work (and a visa) in the US and studying as a foreign student is very expensive. 

So I told him to make a plan.  Understand the goal and then plan what you need to do to get there. I truly believe one needs to go to college, there is just no alternative in this world. So see how much colleges cost, and figure out how much it would cost to live.  Look into various financial aid plans, look at scholarships, understand the visa and medical coverage issues. Do some research and when you know everything about what it takes to go to the US, work out how long you need to work here or sign on with the army to cover the money part. It clearly will not be easy, but if you want it, make it happen. The remarkable thing is he seemed to listen to me. He took it all quite seriously. He seems realistic and I think he might actually get a plan together and achieve his goal.

Now why can't my kids listen like that?


Georg said...

Hi Peter,

Rather strange to read, really. To be born in a country and feeling you don't belong there. How is this possible.

Normally, you go to school there, absorb the history of the land, share its misery and glory and all that makes that this is your country.


Limner said...

I am amazed by how much you have grown since my last visit. You give/gave good advice. I empathize about the not belonging part. Is probably why I lived so much across the US before deciding to ever step beyond its borders.

Tell the young man he will find his place here if this is where he is meant to be. He could live with us, but we have a recent addition to our family: a displaced nephew, who is trying to find himself. The vacant bedroom is now filled.

What a great read. Thank you.