Sep 2, 2007

Learning to Fly: Farewell to Keisha

Keisha (aka "Bono Girl") and Me

One of the privileges of living here in Saipan as long as we have is that we literally get to see our students grow up. The first kids I taught here in Saipan are adults now, finished with college, entering the working world, some even serving our country in the armed forces. A little more than a week ago, I saw the latest of my "kids", Keisha Paez, spread her wings and fly.

I've known Keisha (formerly known as "Bono Girl" in these blog pages) since she was in third grade. I taught her in one capacity or another for four years and she was a member of REAL Christian Theater from fifth grade until she graduated from high school. We've experienced a lot of ups and downs. After all, Keisha is a bit like fire--she can burn you badly and she can warm your heart. I've experienced both with Keisha--the former being unavoidable what with me being a teacher and her being a teenager--but luckily I've experienced far more of the latter over the years. And I know, that like a fire, she'll light up the world wherever she goes.

On Friday, August 24, she boarded a plane bound for her new life, as college freshman at La Sierra University in Riverside, California. I know she'll do great in college and I can't wait to hear her stories of her adventures when she comes home at Christmas!

The oldest and youngest Paez share a moment of brotherly bonding.
A few days before Keisha left for the States we got together with her family at P.I.C. to celebrate a birthday and spend some time together.

The Paez tribe. Note Keisha is NOT wearing her shades. This is as rare as seeing a photo of. . .well, Bono, without his shades.

Babs and I at the airport with Keisha on the day of her departure.

As a take-along treat, I made Keisha a batch of her favorite dessert--my famous peach cobbler. You can see here she's pretty excited about making her fellow passengers jealous when she digs into her cobbler while they are contemplating their little square of institutional chocolate cake.

It's not just teachers that take The Long Walk. Here's Keisha's.

. . . .And with Keisha gone, the dwindling Paez tribe walk on, to the next chapter in their lives.

Well the good old days
may not return
And the rocks might melt
and the sea may burn

I'm learning to fly
but I ain't got wings
coming down
is the hardest thing

I'm learning to fly
around the clouds
--Tom Petty

Go with God, Keisha. And fly high.

No comments: