Heart ache

The latest bit of news I got today colored the entire day – I am heartbroken. Wali, one of Axel’s very earnest young students got his US visa request denied, in two minutes flat. He was going to go with one other SOLA student, who did get his visa, to a private school on the East Coast on a full scholarship.

This is the second kid, the other one of my students, also with a full scholarship lined up. She had a similar experience with the same officer. I have seen both returning with heads drooped and hopes dashed after a very short and extremely unpleasant interview at the US consulate. As if they were criminals. Imagine!

I would have vouched for both with my life – they would both come back and help to rebuild this country, starting schools, teaching others what they learned. I guess that consular officers operate from a very different script, probably have to, when they interview people. They probably assume that people are lying, not revealing their true intent. Yet both of these kids could have lied, about all sorts of things (in this country you can lie about anything and have it backed up by official papers that can be obtained in the bazaar for a price). Both chose not to lie and got whacked over the head. Would they lie next time?

Things appear to be working out OK for the girl as a British school stepped into the void produced by the US visa denial and she is now on her way to Delhi to get a visa for the UK. If she gets it she will be back on track. I keep my fingers crossed. But we have nothing lined up for Wali and the school year is just about to start in the western world.

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