If you are thinking of getting out of your comfort zone, Beijing is it! This experience is challenging me in every possible way in becoming the person I was meant to be.
I’ve been in Beijing, China since February 2015. Up to now, it has been a rollercoaster ride – which makes for a fun and thrilling experience. Everything is different, the food the culture and the language. After a while you learn to love your new environment and you get some insight on how things work around here.
I like to think of China as a parallel universe. It is nothing like things at home but that is part of the reason why I came – to experience something I am not used to. The food is tasty and unusual, the language hard and harsh, the people kind but bewildered at the sight of a westerner as if they are asking “What are you doing here?”. Your senses go into overdrive as if everything is clearer and more defined.
I have to make the decision everyday not to become frustrated but to embrace this new found universe. I learn to know myself better and I learn to take everything as a stepping stone to understanding more about life.
The children are amazing! They have a way to turn any “bad-China-day” around. I enjoy teaching here because the children are motivated and eager to learn. They are sometimes over-worked and tired but a positive attitude usually gets their spirits up.
I have amazing co-teachers that became much more than mere co-teachers. They became my friends. They are the ones I look to for advice and support. They motivate me and teach me about life and education. These women are angles in our classes!
I also found a wonderful church community, BICF, (Beijing International Christian Fellowship). Like most things, the church is an hour away but worth the travel! The Church is not government owned and as a result only allows International citizens. This community understands all the challenges of living in a foreign country like Beijing. BICF also creates a space for small groups and opportunities to serve. This way you meet amazing new people from over the world that has the same passion as you.
Beijing is a transitional place; everyone is on their way somewhere as am I.