written by Kyle and Gigi….

It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks…and hence this blog is a bit late…   We decided to return to the US early and arrived last week.

It was a difficult decision since we had high hopes for the remainder of the Fulbright appointment. PolyU reopened back in January after the protests subsided and Naomi had a great start of the school year.  So, we were excited for a fresh start in Spring, but the coronavirus has made it very difficult to accomplish our goals of being in Hong Kong. 

We left voluntarily with an approved departure from the Fulbright program as is partially discussed in this article. Our decision is less about the epidemic of the disease, but more about the epidemic of fear where stress permeates through every day living.

At times, we second guessed moving back early, but we have become more and more content about our choice. The news that keeps coming out verifies our choice.  Kyle’s university in Hong Kong has been doing online classes and had very few meetings, so interactions with students are limited and research collaborations were stalled due to limited ability to meet in person.  Naomi’s school has been doing online only (no in-person) for about a month and we found out a few days ago that it will continue to be online until at least April 20th. This would be more than 3 months of online school without the ability to go outside due to the outbreak.

At this turbulent time, we are particularly thankful for all the love and support from our friends, coworkers, and family.  Kyle and Gigi are working on resuming their US work schedules.  Naomi continues her online classes and staying busy with visits to parks and libraries. Timothy is loving the outdoor space and time with grandparents.

As we were leaving, Naomi’s homeroom teacher assigned a poem writing project to the children. She gave us permission to share…

Good bye to my best friend
Our year together has come to an end
So disappointed and so sad
She say’s it’s not all that bad
Soon my other friends I will see
They will be thrilled to see me
My time here has been great
But I have to go back to my state

Some pictures from our Transatlantic flight. 8 maxed-out checked bags plus many carry-on items and a big boy who had his own seat!