Category Archives: friends

My life has been a bit surreal the past three years – leaving a full time job to become a TEFL teacher, traveling around Europe while teaching and then moving to teach in China.  It’s been amazing, and yes also a bit selfish.  I will admit it.  It has been very nice to think about myself and my welfare.  I had not forgotten that my family has been back in Canada dealing with everyday stuff and yes I have been stressed out at times because of the family matters that I was away from, but it was so nice to really think of myself for a few years.

 

Well, I am now back in Canada, living with my elderly parents, who are not very healthy.  The real world for me has come crashing back.  I will start a new full time job next week and I will be staying with my parents until some time after Christmas once I have managed to get enough savings up to move out on my own.

 

Living with sick elderly parents is challenging.  They are both fiercely independent and, even though my dad had a heart attack in the summer, are not happy that I want to do as much as I can for them.  And I really do want to do as much as I can for them.  Making sure they take their medication.  Wanting to do things for them, and them basically saying sit down and we can do it. I want to do everything for them and I know I can’t.

 

It’s scary and a bit sad to see how much my parents have aged over the past three years.  But I am a realist.  No one lives forever, and I know that probably sooner than later, the time will come to have to say good bye, for now, to my parents.  I am incredibly grateful to have been given this chance to come back and live with them and be able to help out when I can.  And although I want to continue to travel, and I know I will, right now I am here for my parents and am back to the “real world”.

 

I am anxious to re-start my life here and see old friends and make some new ones.

Advertisements

Things I will miss about China

 

In three days, I will be on a plane heading to Chile.   It’s been an interesting year, with many ups and downs.  I am happy to say that I have come through all of the ups and downs as a stronger, more determined person.

 

Despite having things I won’t miss, there are definitely things I will miss about being here.

 

  1. The kids. The kids I have taught this past year have taught me so much – they taught me that I have more patience than I thought I did!  They have shown me that I am a good teacher and that they have learned confidence in themselves, which has made me more confident in return.  The hugs, the shouts of Louisa in the streets, running up to me to say hi – I am going to miss them so much!   Can I bring them with me?  Maybe a few?  haha32debf354b8bc33b992f971b40528ea552064386

    8a07a6ae63ad80ecdad4f5502a54d280af97a06e

  2. The food – I am definitely going to miss the food here!! Noodles, dumplings, beef and rice, chicken and rice, tofu, the produce – the list just goes on and on.  The food was delicious and cheap – my two favourite things!!   I will be on the lookout to try Chinese food wherever I go, just to compare.  I will be happy to compare it to what I have had here.
    b4c9606645d4787f96559e3a1e88c77634fe62d0
  3. The generous nature of the Chinese people – at least where I live. I don’t know what it is like in the southern part of China, but for the most part, the people I have met here have been so generous and so kind to me.   I have really been lucky with the people I have encountered.
    1f0e9d2aab734f2bdf0fa227efd8a7fb529b83c7

 

  1. The greenness of this area that I live in – such an odd thing to say but they really keep my area nice. There are lots of trees, a beautiful park area to walk in and have picnics, and of course the community garden.  I am sure I will find beautiful areas to walk in once I get to South America, but I will miss that about this area.
    7bf9fcd80f01addbdeb533c4bcd796c212ae40c7

 

  1. The friends that I have made here – Zero, Cinderella, Nancy, Cassie, Blaze, Michael and so many others – teachers and friends – they have made my time here very special.
    f5819b8dec4a007d1e4068d870f15ae3edc817e1

 

  1. Nanhu Park – Changchun does not have a lot of touristy places to see. Nanhu Park is a big and beautiful park and lake in the middle of the city – it was a nice escape and made the city almost seem like it was smog free.    It was a great place to walk.20170430131353_IMG_0288_1493542960445

 

  1. The school – Livon was a special place to teach. The school looked like a mall.  Lots of modern amenities.  The atmosphere was great.  I was very lucky to have been placed in the best school in Changchun!IMG_20161215_120321_HDR

 

 

I am sure that, as I continue on with this journey of mine, I will realize how much I miss other things about China.  It is inevitable to happen but these are the things that I know I will  miss the most.

People of Changchun 2

Pictures of new friends, colleagues, and people I have come across during the year of being here.

 

20170430131620_IMG_0289Playing at Nanhu Park

 

9012c1d53e3a78ea87d300c6f8ed2f7a8804854f

Lovely mothers and a grandmother of students

117d06a624cfab9c99c0fe69cedc26117dd3f2c5

Owner of my favourite cafe

b7cd6bb799d0d07327aa457bfaf5e32b2ca3451b

Owner’s wife of the cafe

fd73b2747b9faf2ed2b19582b22f594c68aa7261

Two sisters out for dinner

20170402182218_IMG_0175

The dancers at night

20170430133734_IMG_0296_1493543008041

Dancing at Nanhu Park, love the costumes!!

IMG_20170704_192741

Playground near my home – a wonderful family oriented area!

The teachers of Livon

I have written a lot about the students I have taught over the past year, but not much has been said about the teachers who have helped me.

The primary teachers at Livon have been incredible. They have been helpful, generous and so very sweet. From assisting me in my classes, to helping me translate Chinese, and so much more ~ they have made my teaching experience very memorable.  I will miss them but I know that I have made some lifelong friends.


George ~ my Saturday assistant

Michael ~ an amazing young man and a lifelong friend

Mark ~ grade 3 and 4 assistant

Summer ~ grade 3 and 4 English teacher

Cassie ~ grade 1 English teacher

Winnie ~ grade 1 English teacher

Emily ~ an occasional assistant

Peter ~ my official liaison

Pamela ~ an occasional assistant

Ariel ~ an occasional assistant

Emma ~ grade 2 assistant

Lily ~ the head teacher of primary and one of the sweetest women I have met here

Sherry ~ grade 1 English teacher

Tesia ~ grade 1 English teacher

Naomi ~ grade 2 English Teacher ~ she was like a daughter ~ same age as my daughter!  Note the teary eyes…

Nancy ~ grade 1 English teacher and an amazing young woman!

Rainbow~ grade 2 English teacher and so much fun!  She always was so involved in my lessons!

I will miss them all!!

Whatever you are, be a good one

An extraverted protagonist. Sounds interesting right??  I recently did a personality test and my results show that I am an extraverted protagonist. A diplomat People’s Master.  It all sounds very confusing. It was something a close friend thought I would find interesting. And I did!!

It showed me results that definitely resonated with me. All but one section definitely is my personality.  And it also showed me some ways to strengthen my weaknesses. Things I will definitely start to do!
So why am I writing about this here? Really, who cares about someone else’s results of a personality test?  

I am not writing about this to share my results.  No. I am writing about how personality traits can make us stronger or weaker as we grow older and explore our self-worth.  

When I was younger, I was very shy. I did well in school but kept to myself a lot. As I went through many struggles in my adult life, my self-esteem grew stronger, I became more assertive and my personality changed. I became the person I am today – in my eyes, I am a strong, self-assured woman who can do anything she wants and be a success at whatever comes my way.

Traveling has changed me.  Seeing different cultures and dealing with situations I never would have had to in Canada have made me humble. 

We take for granted so many things in life. So many of us want material things (and I am not saying anything against that – it’s just not for me), but living in northern China has made me aware of so many struggles these people have on a daily basis that are beyond their control.  Living in the conditions they do have made them stronger than any other culture I have seen so far.

While my complaints of China are many, the strength and perseverance of these people is truly admirable. 

So like the title says, whatever you are be a good one. If you are a neighbour, be a good one. A mother, a daughter, a teacher, whatever it is you are – strive to be a good one. The people here in Changchun have shown me that, despite the conditions they live in, they take it in stride and they are the best they can be. Their personalities shine through. I will take away from this chapter in my life the strength I have seen of the Chinese people. And I am now, and forever will be, a better person because of it.

Live without regrets


Regrets, I’ve had a few… words from a great and memorable song.  My way ~ the way I choose to live my life.
Do you have regrets in your life? Is there something that you wish you could go back in your life and change?

I have regrets. Less than I used to but I still have regrets.  There are times that I think maybe I would go back in time and change things, but then would I be where I am today? Not likely.

I truly believe that everything in our life happens for a reason, and that we meet certain people who are only in our life for a short time but have the biggest impact on us.  Do I regret that this person is no longer in my life? No because I know the time we had together helped me grow into the woman I am today.

So don’t go through life with too many regrets. Be grateful for everything you have. Life is too short to have too many regrets.

And remember what Frank said ~ I did it my way!!

Work to live

Which are you? Someone who works to live, or lives to work? Have you ever given this any thought? Maybe you were thinking of re-evaluating your life and started to question this. It causes great debates between people.

Many discussions have taken place between my friends and I about this. Some of these discussions have turned into lively debates.  I believe both sides have valid points. I was one of those people who lived to work for a very long time. But then the world opened up to me, and I discovered a whole new way of thinking and a new way of life.

We all know that life is short. And there is so much more to life than work. Of course, in order to live, most of us need to work. But when work takes over and you are no longer enjoying life because of work, is it really worth it?  There has to be a healthy balance. I find it hard to believe those people who say that they love to work 15 hours a day. 
Take the time to stop and smell the roses. Enjoy life – work to make enough so you can enjoy your life, but don’t forget to live.