UCLA to Manuel Antonio
First of all, I want to start this blog post by giving my 100% respect for all of the young generation going through 2020 so far.
Although as an adult, I do see lessons learned, as a young adult, it just feels like a bad dream! That said, this is where my side of the story starts and how amazed I am at what can actually be accomplished, considering the rapid changes that all of us are going through, one way or another. My daughter, Valerie, was in her Junior year at UCLA when the coronavirus hit the US. She was studying hard, taking classes, and having the time of her life, living the full college life experience. I of course was very worried and spoke to her often, watched the news and tried to figure out what the next move should be. I wanted her home, she wanted to stay!! She was angry, confused and hurt all at once.. She could not understand how I could want her home after all the hard work it took to reach her dream — UCLA.
I would listen to her and watch the news some more — worldwide. I had to keep an eye on Costa Rica and traveling — airports closing and stay at home lockdowns, and at the same time giving Valerie her freedom to figure it out. The day came that she had to move out of the dorm because COVID -19 was closing in. I was in a panic for her safety, she was in a panic because of her midterms. We had several serious talks…one was to come home, or to take a gap year and then come HOME. For some reason, none of those were options for her due to the hope that COVID was going to disappear. As it became more evident that COVID was a long term thing and the world was becoming more uncertain, I had to really push to get her to come back home to Manuel Antonio.
You may think, but why would she not want to go to paradise…..yes, me too!! But she then went into full swing with online classes, homework, testing and she went through a round of finals, and it all went incredibly well. She came out with flying colors. At that point, I knew she could come home and do spring and summer terms in Costa Rica. She also knew that things were getting worse in California and the planes were getting full to come back home and campus was definitely not opening. After two canceled flights and a few date changes she finally made it to Costa Rica and I was ecstatic.
There were conditions to be able to come and stay outside of San Jose and of course the main one was a good high-speed internet connection, or she could not do her classes in Manuel Antonio. Thankfully, it was not a hard requisite to fill, as the entire area has had incredible internet for several years now. So now we schedule our days, and we are both working (studying) from home. I find it so cool that I get to overhear some of the best professors in the world giving classes worlds away, and her world can semi go on. She continues to learn and grow right here in the middle of the most beautiful jungle in the world, overlooking the Pacific ocean and watching the monkeys and tucans in the trees, just a few thousand nautical miles south of UCLA .
That makes me happy!!