Friday, May 14, 2010
Yesterday Axel was deported. Well, the process started a few weeks ago, but yesterday he boarded a plane for Germany with a one-way ticket.
Today he would find a way to strangle me if he knew I was writing this, with a photo that includes sheep, but that's just too bad.
Axel was born in Germany, or Austria, he is from right on the boarder somewhere. But for the entire story we need to go back in time even farther.
My grandparents got involved in an ag. exchange program based out of Chicago several decades ago because they knew the guy who started it. The program brought young men from Germany to the U.S. for one to two years to learn about American agriculture.
My family hosted several of these young men and some great friendships were formed. We have some amazing and hilarious stories about our experiences with them.
Axel is the son of one of these original exchange students. Several children of the original students have been to the U.S., either on vacation or to work for a couple years. One man (maybe Axel's father?) requires all of his children to visit America for a period of time.
So, about 10 years ago a young Axel (around 18 at the time) arrived at my grandma's house to work for our family and learn about America. You could barely understand him and as a 14 (or so) year old at the time he was unique, to say the least, to my cousins, siblings and I.
Since then he has become family, that's the easiest way to put it. He's one of us now. He's worked for my uncle for the majority of his time in America. But he also went to college, first in Sheridan, then at the University of Wyoming and has an associates and bachelors degree.
He's worked for a number of other people across the state and knows everyone. He is my grandmother's 5th grandchild and she fusses over him to the point of irritation.
He is everything you think a German would be. Tall, stout, blonde haired, blue eyed and argumentative. He likes to bark orders at people and would run right over you if you allowed it, but he also has a very nice side, so he would probably gruffly apologize afterward. He can also been seen carrying my grandmother's purse, baked goods and dog regularly (obviously he's all bark) Very sharp and opinionated with a face he almost always tries to keep scowling, but he often fails. He eats oatmeal with cold milk (as in uncooked) and yogurt and coffee when he isn't within distance of my grandmother's cooking.
He hates my horse, teases me about my dogs, complains that my grandmother and I are the most stubborn women on the planet and will never see reason. He also started a bible study group while we were in college together, loves his horses and dogs and truck (all of which he had to sell) and gets up at irrationally early hours.
He has always wanted to be a cowboy. This isn't an easy title to get in my family, but he is one today. Since day one he has been thrown into the mix of riding, doctoring, fencing, farming and everything else involved in ranching both in the Black Hills and on the eastern plains of the state. For the last year he has been in charge of several thousand yearlings on the Laramie plains. To me, a winter spent on the Laramie plains qualifies you as a cowboy in most cases. We often say it either qualifies you or cures you from wanting to be one.
He loves America, he pays taxes, is honest, believes in God and is, in my opinion, the perfect candidate for a Greencard.
But he can't get one, and this is at least in part his own fault for not pursuing some options to obtaining one. He made a couple mistakes there. But then I see that these car bombers from Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries that hate America seem to get their Greencards approved by the dozen and it ticks me off.
Here is the type of individual that can positively enhance our country and he is thrown out while at the same time individuals of obviously questionable character are welcomed with seemingly open arms.
I know God is in control and there is a reason for this, but I still find it frustrating.