When I was fifteen years old and still living in Ontario, my parents would not let me go to a boarding school in Michigan that I oh-so-much wanted to attend. I begged and pleaded and presented all of the convincing reasons (they knew, of course, that it was mostly about a boy), and they would not relent.
So I asked them to let me to go to school in Finland. Naturally.*
After a week of discussion, they said yes. No to Michigan, yes to Finland. Youppi!!!
Two weeks after that, I was flying in the smoking section of a KLM aircraft to Helsinki via Amsterdam. (This was 1994, friends; there were smoking and non-smoking sections on transatlantic flights).
All of that to say, there was something comforting about being welcomed into the bosom of another Adventist institution. I’m sure if felt safe to my folks, though they had never been there themselves. They knew the people cared about being loving and Christ-like, they knew the food in the cafeteria would be vegetarian (no Finnish blood pudding for me), they expected the kids would probably come from stable homes.
So, of course, for our foray into Spain, it was natural we would seek the same comforting setting for our kids. There would be plenty of cultural change as it was; at least to find a familiar worldview would be helpful, given our short twelve-month stay.
But it’s a no! A big fat closed door–and it’s not that we didn’t try. The second (and final) school list has come and gone and our names are not on it.
So, where will be living in a week? We know this much: In Spain! In Spain! Where it rains! On the plains!
*I had always dreamed of traveling the world, egged on by stories and slides from my parents’ two-year honeymoon around the globe…and my Finnish grandparents had just returned from Finland with a brochure from the Adventist boarding school–who wouldn’t have come up with that idea?