We sat on the unknown, and still are. I talked with so many people around the world in similar situations as us. I weighed the pros and cons. Ultimately, who knows what the right decision is? We could have rode it out in Sarajevo and been fine. We could also ride it out in Idaho and be fine. So, at the very least I am considering this as some time back ‘home,’ in our house that we don’t get enough time in as it stands. Find some time on trails that make me feel more grounded than any other place on earth. Be in the Rockies. There are too many reasons to discuss in what became our decision, but here we are, headed back to Boise.
For the sake of clarity and for anyone curious, we are still doing our distance teaching, just with a few more kilometers between us and our students. We will return to Sarajevo to finish out the year if/when our school opens. We wouldn’t miss the opportunity to be there for our students. Let’s hope this COVID-19 gets itself kicked sooner than later so we can all regain the peace of mind that we took oh-so-for granted before this happened. Consider that for a moment. All those problems we though were problems, pale in comparison now. 2020. You win.
In the end, we left. Really, we had a day. I went back and forth so much on the decision that when I did make the decision, I had a day to pack. In that time our flight was canceled and rescheduled. I had half the house packed, half left on the street for Romas to take, all with a canceled flight. Not ideal. I dug deep to find the humor in the situation and accept what I couldn’t change. It worked out, at least this far. I am currently flying over the Atlantic from Istanbul to San Francisco as I type this. Last I heard San Francisco is in a little dilemma, shelter-in-place…sounds a little like lockdown. Interestingly, I’m sitting here next to some American Bosnians on the plane, commiserating the last few days. They have gone through the exact same situation of surprise leavings and canceled flights, extended layovers, all trying to get back to the same location, Boise. What are the odds?
The hardest part of this is not knowing if we are coming back. Like I said, we will if our school opens but looking at the possible trajectory of all this, I think it’s safe to say, no one knows. While I did manage to say some pretty substantial and meaningful goodbyes to a few, there are a vast many that I missed out on. I can say, without a doubt, some of the most important relationships have been made here for us, and it hurts deeply to not express that to all those people; students, friends, colleagues—our heart hurts to leave with the possibility of not returning. If we do, this is all a moot point. We will do it right if the world sorts itself out. Regardless, we feel cheated with time. We already had little left here and wanted to make the most of every last bit of it. It isn’t supposed to be like this.
I have to say, the last few weeks have been exceptionally amazing. Between trail races, parties with my favorites, barbecues at our house, gorgeous weather, long hikes in the mountains, the kids having ample activities with their friends, and some rather (albeit few) meaningful goodbyes, it’s been a high note to leave on. I will hold out on official goodbyes until we know more. I will admit I have certainly had something in my eyes the last few hours. If you know me at all, you know tears are hard-earned. Sarajevo, it goes without saying but I will anyway, you put in the work and love to make me miss you.
So, while we continue to sit on some uncertain futures, it’s okay. Ride it out. Roll the tide. Continue to appreciate the moment. Look around and find all that beauty (and bs). Life keeps on keeping on. We will keep being there for the ones that want and need us.