Ryan and China
Wow! I was just getting ready to type that this was my first ever blog from China and how exciting that is… but then I realized that this is my first blog ever… period, ha, which is just that much more exciting!
1st blog but actually my 6th （yep, 6th） time to China, so I guess it only makes sense to start blogging some. I think it should be quite obvious by the fact that this is my 6th time that I kind of like China : ). I first came here in the summer of 2009 and got to have a truly incredible time of living here for 1.5 month and getting to exchange culture with university students, teach young children English, and have an overall wonderful, new, exciting, and unique experience living in a new land and culture.
I was instantly attracted to the beautiful friendships and relationships that seemed to be so easily built here. I still consider some of my friends I met in Xi’an and my overall time there some of the best memories of my life. I can guarantee if you enjoy making friends, interacting with people, having fun, and experiencing new things then coming to China is a no-brainer, a must!
In fact my experience that summer in Xi’an was so incredible that I decided about half way through that I was truly called to China and would spend some years of my life here living, working, and serving.
Well, near the end of that first trip I just so happened to meet my “now fiancé”, named Lily, and couldn’t help but thinking it was definitely “one of those meant to be” meetings. I guess the fact that she is now my fiancé is somewhat proof of that : ).
So that was my first trip and this is my 6th – all the other trips have been for either 1.5 weeks-2 months and have been about spending time with Lily, studying Chinese, and working with University students.
The 5th time I came with my parents and it was during this time that I asked Lily– “Ni yuanyi jia gei wo ma?” “Will you marry me?” Her reply? A laugh and a “yuanyi” – yes : ).
A month later the doors we’re beautifully opened up for me to come to live and work in China, this time for at least a year : ) A blessing indeed.
Currently I am here through Early Bird Au Pair Company whose advertisement I “just so happened to see” on Beijing’s Craiglist (with no prior idea that there was such a thing). There were two families listed on Early Bird’s site – one looking for a female Au Pair and the other? Yep, looking for a male Au Pair. The ages of the children are 11, 6, and 4 – 2 boys and a girl. Perfect! From late-2009 to mid-2010 I lived with an incredible family in Denver, CO, where I was studying my master’s. The family had a 9 year old boy, 5 year old boy, and 4 year old girl. Awesome. The Chinese family also happens to share the same beliefs as me which I saw as just another pointer that this was the a great opportunity. That with the fact that they also said I could gain some internship experience working and helping out at the kindergarten that the mom runs too was perfect. The majority of my jobs and a great joy in my life is working with children so Early Bird and this opportunity were too right to pass up.
Well, I have been here for about exactly a month and a half now and I can honestly say I am having a great time and am gaining a lot, growing a lot, experiencing a lot, and learning a lot. What are some of my highlights after having been here for just a month and a half? –
I have an awesome and encouraging relationship/mentorship with the 11 year old boy here, have gotten to lead up a Halloween performance, dance to the song Macarena in the park in front of several grandparents and grandchildren, climb a beautiful and enjoyable mountain, ride a bicycle through the city with my fiancé to the Beijing Olympic Forest Park, and much more.
I am truly so thankful and happy for this opportunity and for my experiences thus far.
Well, if you read all the way to this point I feel very thankful and blessed indeed for your time and certainly hoped you enjoyed what you read so far. I have so much more to share and am looking forward to updating and writing my next post in the near future.
Finally if you’re reading this and have never been to China and/or are thinking/looking for a way to come – don’t hesitate. Just jump in and give it a chance and I highly recommend Early Bird for a fantastic opportunity here.