Special Friend Karen

There are several people who have made my stay in China a very special time, starting with my wife Grace, who fully supported my decision to spend 3 months in this faraway place. And, of course, there is Jessie Duanmu, whose company made this all possible. At the school, here on ChangXing island, I have had the good fortune to be assigned to work under the guidance of Karen Yin. Although Karen has been teaching only a couple of years, she is an extremely good teacher who works long hours and cares deeply about the children. Prior to her teaching career, she worked for a foreign company in Shanghai and that experience brought her English proficiency to a very high level.

Her experience and talents make her a logical choice to serve as an advisor for foreign teachers and the school is wise to use her in that capacity. But what makes her really special is her open-minded curiosity about other cultures and the way she genuinely cares for people. She has taken very good care of me, watching to be sure I understand what I need to, that I have everything I need, even cutting my class schedule back a bit when she noticed I was looking pretty tired 🙂 And, of course, she has reached out to me as a friend, inviting me to her home and to her parents home for dinner. The video below highlights some of the special times we have spent together.

Karen was born and raised on ChangXing Island and has watched it grow dramatically in recent years. She and husband Gu Chao, another island native who works for the ChangXing municipal government, have a lovely apartment in northern Shanghai, not far from where the ChangXing Island ferry docks. They live there on weekends and have a smaller place near the school where they stay during the work-week. Tao and Karen are lovely people and I feel fortunate to count them as my friends. I hope very much they can come and visit Grace and me at some future time.

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