Friday, March 13, 2009


My focus has been on my younger daughter Maya and what school she will choose for our year in Ecuador. However I am far more concerned about my oldest daughter Tara, who studies theatre at NYU. At first I just presumed she would come with Eric, Maya and I and work or volunteer or attend university in Quito. I was very excited to see the students on the tropical ecology course on the boat in Galapagos and asked the professor about whether NYU would give her credit for studying biology for her year abroad. I enthuiastically told Tara that she should enroll in the course for a semester. But then I realized that I was the one who was excited about the course and not Tara, that I would be thrilled to be taking it, but that Tara may not be interested at all.

Tara has been ambivalent about joining us in Ecuador. I think she wants to get away from NYU and experience something different, but is not sure of what she would do there. There is no program that NYU would give her credit for, so if she did come, it would be a year off. I have suggested that she explore one of the many volunteer possibilities available in the country, and I believe she is looking into it, and she is taking a Spanish course once a week in preparation

My father objected to her suggestion that she take a year off, feeling that finishing her degree was her priority. Eric felt that she would feel restrained and frustrated living with us after being on her own for two years ( you cannot go home again). He too would like her to plan a volunteer job or university course of study, so that she is busy and active during a year away.

I do not want to leave her alone in New York. Of course, she is entirely capable of managing on her own there and in no way needs her mother, but Quito and Ecuador are very far away and not very accessible. I also believe it is such an incredible opportunity to be in Ecuador for a year. I remember each sabbatical that my father took as a professor was a marvelous adventure for the family. This is the chance that she has now, NYU will be there for her next year or the year after.

I know not to push it. I have learned with Tara that the more I push, the less effective I am. I have learned to make suggestions. Tara makes her own choices, follows her own path, will go her own way.

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