10 August 2007
How do you spell brain drain?
[Dear Katy, All of Jean-Pierre Tomana’s life, Malagasy people have told him he’s too special – too gifted, too unique – for this country. The 50-year-old desperately wants to move to the U.S., where he says a friend has betrothed him to a Chicago real estate agent named Kathy, whom he’s never met. I told him that if that is his dream, he shouldn’t ever give up. He agrees. I can relate to this predicament – thinking you’re called to go far away from home to do something else, or being told that. The trouble with that mode of thinking is that you don’t appreciate where you are and where you’re from. Conversely, if you never chase your dreams, what kind of life are you living? Jean-Pierre is a tour guide, and is amazing at it. He knows everything about chameleons, the history of slavery, etc, and he speaks five languages. Makes me want to put my brain to better use. But it seems like he’s just doing it as filler work until he can find a way to get out, to bigger better things. It’s a strange spot to be in, but I’m sure he will be happy and successful no matter how his life turns out. He certainly got the wardrobe for America if he does make it: Kansas t-shirt, Nike hat, man-capri pants and boating loafers. Hope this card finds you back from Nepal safe and sound. – Sutter]