Jorge Serpa

’83, M.S. ’86

Mechanical engineering

As it turns out, COVID-19 has been affecting my life only somewhat marginally—so far! Just before last Christmas, my wife and I bought a house in South Kingstown, R.I. By sheer luck, I was able to move into our new place before all the troubles and limitations began. Yes, after a 35-year interregnum living around the world, I am now back in the neighborhood!!! Since then, I have been mostly home-bound, busy with a few upgrades to our new house.


So, yes, I miss the happy hours on Friday afternoons; I miss being able to go out for that great Rhode Island seafood; and I miss being able to go to see some movies, hear some music, or enjoy some of the Rhody Rams sport events.

Things are quite different for my daughter, Filipa Serpa ’17. She was in her second year as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mozambique, Eastern Africa. She—and all other PCVs around the world—were called back home. She ended up being “stuck” in Europe on her way here, so that’s where she still is today. But, then again, it could have been much worse!

Things are even a bit more complicated for my wife, Lucy Tamlyn. She is a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State, currently serving in the Central African Republic. Not being allowed to live there with her on a permanent basis (due to the in-country security situation), we have been meeting occasionally, here and there, whenever possible. This spring I was supposed to go to Europe to see her, but in March, her Embassy went into what they call “ordered departure,” meaning that all “non-essential” staff was evacuated back to the U.S. As a result, she is stuck in Bangui, C.A.R., with minimum staff—this in an era not very much conducive to international travel. So I am getting psychologically ready to not see her for a few months. That is not so great. Cheers.