Seeing we are the first Sisters at Our Lady of the Mountains Parish they did not have a convent so a house was rented for us. It is a new experience to have a "land lady". Our South Korean land lady invited Sr.Mary Gabriel, Fr. Ariel, our pastor and myself to dinner this week. As we were driving there our pastor said to me, "They probably will ask you to start the I-20 process." I groaned as I thought this was just going to be a social event. The I-20 is $2,400 and lots of paperwork.
We got to her beautiful home and had to take off our shoes. We sat at this elegant formal dining room table for the dinner which was the following: grilled round steak, rice, potato noodles (in all colors and shape), sliced and deep fried zucchini and sweet potatoes and shrimp, and a pickle dish. The whole meal was served cold. For dessert-good old fashioned blueberry cheesecake. I loved this. At the end of the meal is when they asked me to start the process for the I-20 form so that the students from South Korea could stay at our school till they graduated and not just the three month student visa they are able to get now. They were willing to pay the online filing fee of $1,700 and the $650 site visit fee. The process will take about six months and they want me to start it right away so the students we have now in 6th grade can return in August. I know I have my work cut out for me along with writing our accreditation self-study book this year.
As we sat talking about how they came to the U.S. and what is North Korea like I was in shock at what they shared. They told us that no one is allowed into North Korea so they have never crossed the border and they don't want to as they know they won't be allowed back. Also, the people in North Korea aren't allowed out of their country.
The 20 year old student from South Korea attending college in Sierra Vista said that a friend of hers escaped from North Korea via the river but when North Korea discovered he was gone they killed his mother as punishment. We were all in shock to think something like that was happening now in our world. But to think that a country could hold their people captive and keep them from knowing anything besides their country's boundaries. One forgets what communism is like. Perhaps we need to pray the rosary to free them from communism like Our Lady asked of the children at Fatima to defeat communism in Russia.