Teach in Yangshuo, Guilin, China -- Sara Seggie

To all those pondering over the brilliant idea of teaching in China,

Where do I begin? This year of teaching in Yangshuo, China has been one of the most mind opening, culturally educational, mellowing, strengthening experiences of my life. China has been a whirl wind of unusual opportunities, trips here and there, delicious food, drastically improving students, lazy days atop one karst hill or another, adrenalin pumped rock climbing, kayaking or bike trips, lampshade hats, swimming with water buffalo, smiling wrinkly old people, my expanding ability to speak Mandarin and the discovering of truths from within my own soul. Of course there have been difficult times as well, feeling lost, helpless and alone in huge cities just trying to find my way home from Hong Kong, or feeling tricked or unfairly treated (unlike how we are taught in the west, life is not always fair). Any problem was always short lived though and usually solved in my favor.

Jennifer and Owen, my school director and boss have always been at my side. They have always given me the better end of the stick, the classes I preferred, the choice to go on a promotional trip to a new school or not, the choice to axe text books and buy all new ones, they even lent me a CD player for my room when I said I was thinking of buying one. They have filled my life with brilliant experiences and opportunities; dining with government officials, being an national TV as a center piece in the HUGE New Years celebrations in Guilin, opening a running race, again being in the newspaper, experiencing and seeing rougher parts of China as well as sun tanning and crystal-blue clear water splashing in China's southern Island of Hainan on a paid holiday.

I find the Chinese people to be ceaselessly generous people who speak openly from the bottom of their hearts. Their innocent curiosity and drive to learn leaves me helpless against not getting emotionally involved with them. The pride that swells inside of me at the end of some of my classes occasionally explodes as my class and I break into cheers, claps and a huge sense of achievement, singing "thank-you" to each other and ourselves.

Life can be routine, typical and narrow if you so choose or it can be the greatest gift ever given to you. A gift of lessons, adventures, love and silliness. I support the latter.

All the good vibes and encouragement you are open to receive.



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