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Old 03-24-2014, 04:22 PM   #1
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I Need Help/Advice, Please?

Mamma and Papa have made it possible for DA, Carl, Carl's Mamma (CM) and me to be accompanied by Laki and her Mamma (LM) to Romania in July. LM is so very excited and wants to go, but Laki is very afraid and doesn't want to go.

One would think it would be the opposite, yes?

We have tried everything. I have stressed the importance of seeing other countries, as I have been to so many. It's important to see other places for to gain the necessary perspectives of one's own circumstances and situation. Not everyone has these opportunities, but when one is presented by this opportunity to learn and do and see, it's important to take the full advantages of it.

They don't have to bring any money. Mamma will give them plenty of money to spend how they wish, just as they are giving Carl and CM plenty. My family is very generous to guests and we treat them as family and with great respect.

Mamma and Papa are paying for our travel, of course, and Mamma has given me her nice used Volvo for to have for my own now. She has a nice new BMW and so I can drive everyone around in nice comfort. I still have Snot, because Carl wants to drive her just once, ha!

But last night, Laki started to cry when Carl and I were speaking to her gently of going with us. She said she was afraid Romanians might hate black people and she said she and her Mamma were not in the same class as my family.

Because Papa and Mamma did things for their home and all over the holidays, Laki feels as all she does is "Take, take, take. That's all we've done." (Her words.)

That isn't true! This makes me feel so sad! They give, give, give every day of their friendship and their love for DA and me! That is a gift which money can never buy! And skin color and class has nothing to do with loving people! I told her all this, but she feels afraid still.

What can I do? I want her with us! I told her I loved her and that had never occurred to me. There is no such thing of skin color or social class when there is a sweet friendship!

How can I get her around this? I may need to involve Mamma and Papa of this, but is there something I can do to make her understand that she deserves this because she is so kind to me? I am so confused!

Why does she feel this way? Have we done something wrong? I asked her, and she said, no we didn't do anything wrong, we did everything right. What does that mean?

She will never forgive herself later if she doesn't take this chance now, I am afraid.

What can we do?

With love,
~Cat

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Old 03-24-2014, 04:46 PM   #2
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Cat, first, you have done nothing wrong. In fact, you've demonstrated to Laki what true friendship and unconditional love really is.

Perhaps there's something else that she is fearful of but is afraid/ashamed to let you know. Has she ever flown? How far from home has she traveled in her young life?

With all the news of the missing Malaysian plane and possible terrorist speculation, she may be afraid of flying.

If she is concerned about race/skin color, maybe you could find examples in Romania of multicultural life. That might help to calm her apprehension a bit.

This is just what came off the top of my head and I'm sure I'll think of more later.

I can't imagine what a wonderful adventure that she'd experience if she'd let herself. Could be the chance of a lifetime.
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:32 PM   #3
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Cat, are there many blacks in Romania? If so try to point this out to her. Europe has a different attitude towards blacks than America does. So I can understand her fear. It is only since the early 60's that our attitudes toward blacks has been ever evolving. Living in the south, I am sure she has seen, heard or been a victim of some of the horrible things we as whites have done to people of her race.

If there are business that are owned by blacks, have your mother take pictures. Are there places that employ blacks? More pictures. Any black fishing folks? More pictures.

And for your part, I would suggest your head to the library and read up on the March on Selma. Ask Laki's mother to tell you some of the stories. It will help you understand Laki's fears. And possibly her mother's. That time in our history is not something we as Americans can be proud of. It all started with four black men sitting at a "white's only" counter at Woolworths. And from there became very violent for all. It is this violence that Laki fears.

Try to understand her fear by learning about it. She is not seeing this trip as an educational experience. She sees it as her safety being in jeopardy.
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:37 PM   #4
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Cat,

Two things come to mind, in addition to those already mentioned.

Your friend may have some issue, in the past, that would cause problems getting a passport.

The other thing is simply that the gift is too large for her to accept.

I think it is a wonderful offer that you and your family are making, but I personally would not accept it. I would go if I could afford to do it on my own, but I would not allow someone else to pay my way, your friend may feel the same way.

I would let her know the offer still stands, be an understanding friend and allow her to make up her own mind.

Good luck!
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:01 PM   #5
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Cat, the simple answer is that you cannot make someone understand that they should see things your way. I think Aunt Bea is probably right - Laki apparently feels that you and your family have done a lot for her financially and this is just too much.

And remember that, while you're thinking her friendship is enough in exchange for the financial help, she may feel that your relationship is unbalanced because she has your friendship in addition to the financial help. I think maybe that's what she meant when she said you've done everything right. You and your family have been very generous, which is wonderful (right), but the imbalance makes her feel bad. It can become difficult to have a good friendship when one person feels indebted to the other.
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:25 PM   #6
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They already have their passports, for they went to Ecuador with their church 3 years ago to witness.

Being in debt to others only applies to immigrants like me who deserve nothing.

I thank you all, and I shall try to talk with her. This was much larger than I realized!

With love,
~Cat
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:36 PM   #7
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Cat, you have Skype. Bring Laki and her mother to your home and make a call to your parents. See if they can address her fears directly. No holds barred. Let Laki and her mother bring up any issues they may have.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:16 PM   #8
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Hi, Cat.

I wouldn't push your friend to go. It's nice that your parents offered to finance her trip, but if she is uncomfortable with it, it will only continue to make her uncomfortable by having to say 'no, thank you', over and over again. Only speaking by how I would feel if I were in that position.

July is still a while away. Things could change before then, maybe she will change her mind on her own. Or not...
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatPat View Post
They already have their passports, for they went to Ecuador with their church 3 years ago to witness.

Being in debt to others only applies to immigrants like me who deserve nothing.

I thank you all, and I shall try to talk with her. This was much larger than I realized!

With love,
~Cat

Tsk! Tsk! Cat! There you go again thinking that you do not deserve what every other American takes for granted. I will reiterate what we have told you before my dear, being an immigrant does not make any difference in what you do or don't "deserve" :). Being "in debt" applies to anyone who feels that they have been given more than their fair share, and it is personal feeling, not anyone else's.
As far as Laki is concerned, she likely feels that she could never offer a similar gift to you, (even though that may not be true) I have a friend who was was very generous to me when I did not have the means to act in kind, as time went on I was able to be just as generous with her. It's all evened out in the end(not that, that should matter when you are very good friends)
Maybe give Laki some time to think things over. Good luck dear 💙
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Old 03-25-2014, 01:27 PM   #10
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There have been so very many good things said here, it is hard to see where to start.

There are black people in Romania. Most of them are from Africa and there is a thriving black neighborhood and community in Brasov. Maybe she would be interested to see how black Eastern Europeans live, yes? There is a store owned by a black family we are very close to, as they attend our church and we share dinners in each others' homes.

Maybe she feels uncomfortable, as in the "unbalanced" friendship. But that will change! She will get a good job after college. Laki is smart and tough, and we all know she'll be very successful! We could speak of this.

And her Mamma wants to go. Laki will be here after class and so we'll speak of this. I'll bring up your ideas and we shall see, yes?

With love,
~Cat
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