Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2016. 2:48 p.m. CST.
By Richard Harrison:I had just turned 18 when I graduated from Belize Technical College Sixth Form (junior college)…..where I had a great educational and life experience with highly motivated teachers and classmates with whom I made lifetime friendships….we worked hard and raised the level of our institution to compete at the same level with St. Johns College, which for many years was considered superior in quality of education…..I was hungry for more knowledge and I wanted to study more….there were very few scholarships available….my parents could hardly afford for me to go to Belize City for sixth form….but the Cuban government was offering scholarships….and one of my colleagues invited me to one of the meetings where information was being shared about these. In short time I was on the list of Cuban scholarship beneficiaries, to pursue a bachelors degree in pharmacy.
That weekend I went home to San Ignacio all excited to share the good news with my parents. My dad seemed happy, perhaps because he was always encouraging me to study pharmacy, as the market was “virgin”, he used to say….but my mom was very sad….she said that I would be going to the land of evil….that those people did not believe in God…and that she did not want me to go.
She called up all her friends from her prayer group of the Sacred Heart Parish….and they had a prayer meeting at our home….they prayed for me…and for all the sick and suffering…for those who had gone before us…and then they prayed for me again.
Sister Steven, a Pallotine nun, was at the meeting….she was the principal of Sacred Heart College at the time.
After the meeting was over….they shared snacks and juice….and the group slowly dispersed….but Sister Steven stayed until the end. She asked me what I had studied at sixth form, about my grades, and many more questions. I had studied Math, Chemistry and Biology as majors, and I was an above-average student.
Late evening, at the end of a long conversation, my mom told me to accompany Sister Steven on the way out….so I walked with her through the side door and unto the walkway….she held my hand….and she said to me that my mom would be very sad if I went to Cuba….that she believed there were better things in store for me….and that if I decided not to go….that I could work for her as a Math teacher at Sacred Heart College….because they needed a good math teacher and school would be reopening the following Monday, after the summer holidays.
I showed up to work bright and early the following Monday at Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio….and that is how I got my first job.
Honor thy father…..AND thy mother….their blessings are eternal…
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