There is something about going to an international school, particularly a unique little school in a somewhat remote Himalayan Kingdom, that creates lifetime bonds. I grew up in Nepal and spent most of my school years studying at Lincoln School. It was tiny. 250 students, kindergarten through 12th grade. 65 kids in the high school. Everyone knew everyone else--well.
As is typical with international schools, Lincoln's student body was transient. Parents moved to new diplomatic posts, contracts ended and families returned to their home countries, graduates went off to university in all different parts of the world. Nonetheless a bond was forged among the students that transcended that transience and brought us together in a shared love for Nepal and an appreciation of the freedom we had, the diversity we were exposed to, and the youthful hijinks that we could not have gotten away with anywhere else.
This past weekend, thanks to the amazing connective powers of Facebook and the initiative of one person in particular (thanks David!), a group of Lincolnites got together in New York City for a mini-reunion. We had some folks visiting from Nepal, some from Canada, and a number from the northeastern United States. Graduating classes ranging from 1995 through 2007 were represented. We tramped around chilly New York City together, seeing the sights and seeking out restaurants and coffee shops that could accommodate groups of 15 or more. We caught up on the last decade's worth of news. (He's a chef? She has 4 children? They moved to Indonesia? Who got married?!?) We reminisced about Nepal days and the things we missed. (Oh, for a Wai Wai, a cup of Nepali tea, and some tasty momos!)
Here is a photo of some of us that we took to document the occasion (or maybe for the alum newsletter, if there ever is one?):
People looked just the same for the most part, but as I sat there listening to someone who was in 7th grade when I graduated from high school tell me in detail about the long-term economic effects of the sub prime mortgage crisis--a conversation I could barely follow--I realised that we really are all grown ups now. Easy to forget sometimes. But that makes it all the more amazing to me that in spite of the 12 years that have passed since I graduated from Lincoln and the thousands of miles that separate me from most of the friends I had there (not to mention my terrible correspondence skills) I still think of the students at Lincoln School as my brothers and sisters, and I'd venture to guess that's a pretty common feeling among my schoolmates.
Now that's something special.