5/13/10

Old Prom Dresses Live a Second Life in the Marshall Islands

Sarah Lipson, WorldTeach Marhsall Islands volunteer, has been collecting old prom dresses from friends back home to throw a memorable party for some of her students. Below she shares the touching story and beautiful photos as she prepares to wrap up her year of service.

The much anticipated Prom Dress Party, or PDP, was a huge success and a reminder of the remarkable, and for a brief time, connected worlds to which I belong.  Home in Boston.  Home in the Marshall Islands. Seeing Sarah B’s prom dress on a Marshall Islands High School senior was indescribable. My childhood friend sharing from a world away.  Seeing my own prom dress on a skinny, skinny MIHS girl was also indescribable (but in a very different sort of way).  In all seriousness, the evening was truly incredible.  There were over 130 dresses for the girls to choose from, in all styles, colors and sizes.  The event was scheduled to begin at 5pm but, in an outcome somehow both shocking and predictable, the students began showing up at 3pm.  I hope their smiles, the ones you see below, stay with me forever, inspire me forever and touch me, forever and ever.

The Prom Dress Party was the very beginning of my effort to complete an impossible task – saying ‘thank you’ to the students I have come to love so deeply. Oh, did I mention that I am planning the MIHS Senior Prom? One thing sort of led to another and the seniors ended up asking me to take the reigns.  May 28th – MIHS Senior Prom. Stay tuned...

Mona transformed the warehouse of her store into a fashion expo.  I love adjectives but there are very few that could really capture Mona’s combination of generosity, creativity and determination.







Working the red plyway (our version of the red carpet, made from 2x4s painted a lovely shade of crimson)…

Kommoltata jen tu mulal in buruo (thank you from the bottom of my heart).  The girls sang me a song with these lyrics at the end of the party.

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