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Friday, March 31, 2006

Reflection -- two months in China

China. I see this vast country much differently than I did before my opportunity to live and teach in Wuhan.

Before, China was all about the place.

I thought of China as the Great Wall, the Three Gorges and the massive dam built to tame the Yangtze River, Beijing, Shanghai...all the locations most Westerners think about. While I've had the opportunity to visit all these sites during my time here, they no longer define China to me.

Today, China is all about its people.

When I think about China the images that flash through my mind are the faces of my Chinese friends: Min and her family, Cathy, Jessie, Shaw and Jane, Lily, Zhang Ping, Yun Aiqin, Britannia, David, my International Marketing students and the kind folks in Shanghai including Dr. Wang, Amelia AKA "Professor of Shopping", Alex, Rebecca, Helen and their incredibly wonderful driver.

I also think of my new Western friends with whom I have had the chance to share so many trials and triumphs of learning to live in a totally different culture. Their faces and the times we've experienced flash through my mind: Bob and Lorraine, Marilyn, the folks at Mr. Mai's, boy Tyler, Paul, Katie, and Serge.

As I step on the plane today in Beijing to head home, my thoughts are of all the people I'm leaving here in China. And while this fact makes me incredibly sad—more than I could have ever imagined—I am comforted by one thing. China's people have changed me...and I know I must return.


At 6:54 AM, Lorraine said...

You have been blessed! Getting to know China as well as you did in so short a time is phenomenal. Tasting foods of all sorts, bargaining, making friends, visiting people's homes, learning to be patient, and so much more...WOW!
You MUST return!

At 10:33 PM, GeniusFreddy said...

Miss Tyler,greetings from Mr. Personality. :)
miss you very much...

At 7:03 PM, cathy said...

Now what will you say about the cultural differences between your culture and ours. I am sure it is different from what you held before you came here. Please think about it. I would really like to know what you would say about it, especially after you visited Beijing.

At 9:19 AM, Tyler Magee said...

I am so excited to have three of my friends from China post a note on this! Miss you all.


At 7:12 AM, Jennifer said...

I share your sentiments! I was in China teaching ESL two years ago this month. It was the most incredible experience of my life and I, too, left many friends and faces behind. I especially remember fondly, memories of nights spent at Mr. Mai's. What an amazing country to visit, and even more amazing people! It was a real blessing to serve there.


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