It’s funny how things go. Remember back when I got tagged to do that list of 7’s? Remember how I mentioned wanting to meet the guy I tried to help come and study here? Well, today I didn’t exactly meet him, but I actually got to here his voice. I know that sounds weird, but I’ll try and explain. I did warn you back then, this is a long story.
Back in 2001, I had a weird thing happen. A guy who usually helped me out with stuff like dealing with difficult professors and all that wanted my help with an unusual project. He’d been contacted by a young man in Pakistan who wanted to come to Canada and study. The reason he was contacting this guy was he was blind and didn’t know if he would be accepted in Canada because of his disability. So for some odd reason, the person who helps me thoughtI would be able to help him.
I had no idea where to begin with this one, and couldn’t figure out what to do. I started phoning everywhere, trying to find some way for him to come over.
You see, if someone has any kind of disability, it’s hard as hell to come to Canada, or any country, I’d imagine, unless you have family there. On top of that, organizations like the CNIB or anything like that are dedicated to helping people who already live here, understandably. So they won’t help him.
The poor guy was so confused by me. He thought I was the admissions officer. It broke my heart to have to explain to him that I was just a student. I was happy his English was as good as it was.
So after about a year of chasing down leads, going through a rollercoaster of hopes and disappointments, I told him it looked like it was not possible. So he went to France. But he was on my MSN Messenger list still and I would write messages to him from time to time. I have to admit that the number of exchanges went way down because I found it hard to talk to him. I don’t know how to explain it. He saw me as being in a position of power to change quote the western world unquote because I live in it. I don’t blame him. If I were in his shoes, I would probably expect the same. But it made me feel helpless and wonder if I should find a way to use what little power I had. It was also hard to digest the sheer amount of despair he saw in Pakistan. I tried to listen, but I noticed that sometimes I would dread seeing him online. Isn’t that selfish?
Today, out of the blue, he asked for my phone number. Finally, I’ve heard his voice! It wasn’t a long call, but it was sure weird to actually hear the voice of someone you’ve only known in emails and messages for five years.