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Dear Mr. Keillor, Studying at

March 31, 2006 |

Dear Mr. Keillor,
Studying at the American University of Cairo has been an incredible experience so far, and is sure to be even more fantastic as my adventure continues. Much to my surprise, little slices of home appear more regularly than not, and in varying forms: a chocolate milkshake, an arabic-dubbed episode of "Roseanne," the brilliantly lit Coke advertisement over Midan Tahrir, and my favorite, the weekly broadcast of PHC via the internet.

Two items for your attention:

First, I am planning a bike trip through the Levant for Spring Break, and have recently unveiled the idea to my mother. Suffice it to say, she isn't enthused, and I've chosen as of yet not to reveal the plans to my father, as he will need his own containment ward in the ICU when he spontaneously combusts. I have checked, double and triple times, with local embassies and travel advisaries, arranged for accomodations at all my stops, have travel buddies and great plans, and I feel comfortable with the language and the area that we will be able to travel without problem or hassle (aside from the occasional flat tire, skinned knee, etc.). How do I satiate my Catholic-turned-Lutheran parents, who would really rather me choose a standard Spring Break fare, bikini-clad on a beach somewhere, and my own desire to go on this trip?

Second: as a little girl, I distinctly recall riding in my father's car listening to a taped recording of the "Lutheran's Guide to the Orchestra." I must have listened to it, and equally quoted it, thousands of times over, and years later I would remember your description of each instrument as I chose what to play in my own junior high school orchestra. The tape is long since gone, but the sketch was my first recollection of your show, and it holds many memories for my father and I. Would you be able to tell me where I might going about getting a copy of it?

Thanks, as always,
Caitlin C
Cairo, Egypt

Caitlin, send us a mailing address and we'll send you a Young Lutheran CD. As for the bike trip to the Levant, I can't advise you. I'd just point out the obvious: sometimes, to spare our loved ones anxiety, we avoid doing things even if we know they're safe. If someone is afraid of flying, you don't try to browbeat them into it: you resign yourself to making a long car trip. If it makes a loved one worry to see you go out the door at 3 a.m., you find a way not to do it. The fact that you're going with friends and have researched the trip ought to reassure your father, but I'm afraid this is your call, dear. Just don't go gallivanting around the Levant in your bikini.

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