Being in Beijing, by Helene Ramage

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.

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