Friday, September 11, 2020

Away She Goes


Last Tuesday Kaefer started the next chapter in her life. She boarded a Lufthansa flight to Munich where she will pursue her Masters in epidemiology. 

After she had graduated from UC Davis in June she stayed the summer with us, which was a big gift since we had so much time to spend with her before she left for her next adventure. During those months she tried to sell a lot of her things, was looking for a flat in Munich online (and found one), applied for a student job at her faculty (and got it) and also did a lot of fun stuff like playing cards and Rummikub. She and I went to the beach and hiked in our regional parks and tried to make the most of these restricted Corona-times. I'm so glad that we have all these beautiful memories.

On Tuesday afternoon, after a last round of Rummikub, we put her luggage in the car and drove her down to San Francisco Airport. It was the first of the eerie days (but by far not the worst) when the fog and smoke were hanging low and the day presented itself in a mustard-yellow hue - not particularly appealing. Kaefer was very quiet during the drive, looking around and admitting that it felt a bit odd to see all these familiar sights for the last time.

The international terminal in San Francisco was eerily empty and when I asked I was told that there were 193 seats left open in the plane that Kaefer would soon board. I was quite relieved to know that the flight wasn't full, and indeed no one sat next to Kaefer and she had the row to herself.

One restaurant in the food court was open, so we had some dinner and took the last family photos afterwards.

Then it was time to say goodbye. It was hard and my heart was heavy. At the same time I am so excited for her - that she got into this program (they only accept 30-40 students worldwide), that she got the job and that she has the opportunity to live, work and study in another country - her native country.

She arrived safely in Munich, got tested within 10 minutes after departing the plane, took public transportation to Marienplatz where she met the cousin of a friend of ours who had the key to her flat (and had bought some groceries for her to survive the first few days of quarantine until she receives the result of the test) and then made her way to her flat which she said is cute (and tiny). Today we will Zoom with each other - I do look forward to that.



Elephant's Child said...

I so understand those mixed emotions. Emotions which are almost contradictory but very strong and very real.
I am raising a glass (of water it is early here) to exciting new starts and love filled home bases.
And to technology which allows you to see and hear your precious girl.

My name is Erika. said...

That is exciting for all but scary for a parent also. Good luck to Kaefer, to you with her gone, and to that teddy bear who is off on a big journey.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Good luck to Kaefer. May she do well in her studies and enjoy her time in the ancient city of Munich. And may you stay safe from the fires that seem to be burning the entire state of California, Carola.

Red Rose Alley said...

Your daughter is off in the world again. It's hard to see them go, but she sounds like she's independent and getting things done on her own. That's great that she found a student job and a place to live. And it's nice that you got to spend so much time together before she left. Wow, the airport is bare - that must have been a strange sight! That teddy bear photo is too cute, Carola. This family loves teddy bears, so I smiled right away. I wish your daughter much happiness and many good adventures along the way. : )


La Vie Quotidienne said...

She is so brave. I wish her the very best success but I know how you will miss her. You must be so proud.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

It surely was a bittersweet parting for all, but wonderful that your daughter will be able to pursue her education and that you will be able to keep in contact. It is wonderful that you were able to spend these past few months together sharing good times and making memories. Glad everything worked out for Kefer with the apt and the job and her safe flight.

Jeanie said...

I know you will miss her terribly. I think a farewell for a spot that far would be hard no matter what, but during the time of Covid all the more so. You must be terribly proud of her and it will be a marvelous experience. Hopefully you will be able to see her again sooner than we think. LOVE that she had a very un-full flight!

Willkommen auf meiner Kreativseite. said...

Hallo Carola,
ich kann deine Gefühle nachvollziehen! Meine Tochter war zwar nur in Wales, aber trotzdem war das weit weg für mich. Aber wir haben sie ein paarmal besucht und unseren Urlaub auch in Wales verbracht. Trotzdem war die Trennung immer mit Tränen verbunden.
Deine Tochter ist ja noch mal ein ganzes Stück weiter von euch weg! Aber auch diese Zeit geht vorbei. Sehr schnell sogar, wenn man das im Nachhinein betrachtet. Ich wünsche Kaefer alles Gute und dass sie nur gute Erinnerungen wieder mit nach Hause bringt! Viel Erfolg bei allem was sie anpackt!
Auf jeden Fall wird sie dadurch nochmal ein Stück erwachsener! Diese Erfahrungen nimmt ihr keiner mehr. Sie hat ja auch ihren Trost-Teddy dabei ;-)
Alles Liebe

Kokopelli said...

Sie wird bestimmt tolle Erfahrungen machen, auch wenn es hart ist, sie ziehen zu lassen. Wünsche euch alles Gute! :)

Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely selection of photographs.
I wish Kaefer good luck.

All the best Jan

Iris Flavia said...

Well, you can be very proud parents here!

Sue (this n that) said...

So lovely to read of your daughter's journey in life. Good for her.
I can imagine the sad/pride in your hearts as you waved goodbye to her but, hopefully, these modern ways off keeping in touch will make it a bit easier.

I have so much respect for epidemiologists... borne over these past times. Their knowledge is extremely valuable and downright sensible when all things are considered.

Best wishes to Kaefer!

Barb said...

Carola, I was wondering about Kaefer, so I scanned your posts until I came here. So happy she was accepted to her program and managed to get work and a place to live. Is she settled in and does she like her schooling so far? Are they allowed in-person learning in Munich? Three of my grandchildren are Seniors this year and next year's education plans are so up in the air for them. May I ask what Kaefer's major was at Davis? Amanda is heavy into Bio/Chem and would like to do some type of research, but I've read that Biology majors are not having luck finding jobs. Her twin brother is talking about a gap year, but we encourage him to apply for acceptance and then defer if that's what he decides. It's a strange new world for all of us and young people's lives are definitely put on hold.