US Trip – Friday, 21 October

Tuesday, 25 October 2022

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By David Gray

My day started very early as I had to catch a flight from JFK to Cleveland.  My two days’ stay in New York was successful and interesting.  Cleveland is a very different kind of place altogether and a much smaller, quieter, but beautiful city.  I was met at the airport by Chadi Bou Serhal who is an Old Scholar and a physician in the city of Cleveland.  He has been very kind to me, took me to my hotel and then later in the day picked me up to go to a fundraising dinner at the Yacht club in Cleveland.  Most of the day was spent in administration and preparing for the events of tomorrow Sunday which will be an especially busy day.  The dinner in the Yacht club in the evening was wonderful.  There were 45 people  there almost all Lebanese and the vast majority in the medical profession.  One Old Scholar, a close friend of Chadi, had come from Chicago for the event and his father in law and his brother had flown from Montreal, by which I was very touched and humbled.  I gave my address and  most people there have pledged to support to the school in some way or another.  It was a lovely evening. The Yacht club looks out on lake Eyrie. Cleveland Ohio is in the Midwest, but if you did not know your geography and mine is not that good, then you might imagine that you were looking at the Atlantic Ocean; the lake is just enormous and stretches to Canada.

I am writing this on Saturday morning, I got up early as I have a lot to do today, shall have lunch with potential donors and then dinner in the evening with a group of Lebanese who are also interested in supporting the school. In the meantime, I was sent a video from Lebanon which made me very homesick, of the upper school driveway ready  for the Walkathon which I understand was attended and participated in by over 300 students and which was a great success.  I would like to thank Rabih Aouad and all his helpers, and members of the Parents’ Association for their contributions to making the day a successful one.  I just wish I had been there with you.  Everyone seems to have had fun, walked well and done much for a good cause at St. Jude’s Cancer centre.  

Being on the road  in some ways is a great privilege. I have met many people and seen many sites and been humbled by the great work that other people do in all walks of life.  However, it is hard as well living in a suitcase, and I miss Lebanon and look forward to being back with you in less than a week.