It seems like yesterday and very long ago at the same time. We visited Bay of Islands in New Zealand in January, with our son, over Chinese New Year.
Bay of Islands is the ultimate Cerulean Bay.
That was where I first heard about the corona virus, it wasn’t yet called COVID-19. We debated the wisdom of my son returning to China. The US State Department warning came to my email while he was in the air to Qingdao. We have been on an emotional roller coaster since then.
By the time he landed, the bus service between cities in China had been terminated and he had to take a taxi 130 miles to get to his home.
While he has been abroad most of his adult life, he turned 18 while he was an exchange student in Japan, this is the first time when we can’t get to him or get him home easily.
At times I wished that the State department had had its act together and the email had come out twelve hours earlier, so he could have come with us. At one point I was in contact with our congresswoman about how I could get him home. Then we talked and realized that he was probably safer in China (a very sad realization for me).
Bay of Islands is a magical place. When we said goodbye, I said “same place next year?” Now it seems so naive and arrogant to have thought about something 12 months out.