I am already feeling so welcomed here in Hong Kong, especially by everyone at KinderU. I am overwhelmed with the beauty of the school and the wonderful families here. I have especially been enjoying getting to know my students and spending time with the awesome teachers that make up our faculty. I have also spent lots of time experiencing the variety of dumplings Hong Kong has to offer (which the other teachers and Ms. Lan love to tease me about) and exploring the many different neighborhoods here.
Before moving to Hong Kong in August, I was living and teaching in Philadelphia, PA. Philadelphia is a wonderful city, which I still love very much, but is so different from Hong Kong. I used to think the pace of life was fast in Philly (after growing up in the southern US), but Hong Kong is an entirely new level of fast-paced for me!
This past summer, I taught in Philadelphia nearly up until the time I left for Hong Kong, but I also spent lots of time with my friends and family who I love all across the US. I kicked off my summer with a quick trip up to Boston to see friends, and followed that closely with my first ever trip to the Jersey shore! After spending every summer on the beach in South Carolina for my entire life I was excited to see how the shore compared to what I was accustomed to. My week at the shore was filled with all sorts of new experiences for me: the boardwalk, eating a local delicacy known as pork roll, and seeing the world’s largest elephant, Lucy! A few weeks later, I headed out to Colorado for my annual mountain climbing trip. Every summer I spend about 10 days climbing some of the highest peaks in the continental US, which are mountains over 14,000 feet tall in Colorado. I spent my time entirely in the backcountry, cut off from most phone connections, backpacking and climbing day in and day out. One of my favorite highlights from this trip was my first time summitting a mountain at sunset. It was so beautiful! After returning from Colorado, I spent a few last days in Philadelphia before driving to South Carolina to see my family. I was able to spend a few days with them in Columbia, SC before heading to the beach for my last week in the US. I spent the week surrounded by my family (including my 93 year old grandmother!) and boyfriend, Andrew, and enjoyed running on the beach, playing in the ocean, and being stung by a jellyfish twice!
Heading to Hong Kong after this adventure-filled summer was a whirlwind of emotions. I have felt so supported and welcomed by everyone here, that it has made the transition to life in Hong Kong wonderful! I am looking forward to continuing to get to know everyone at KSMA over the next few months as I also work to grow my Cantonese vocabulary and eat all the dumplings!