It is such a scary time in Canada and the USA. Between the immigration ban in the USA and the horrible shooting at a muslim mosque in Quebec, it’s really hard to comprehend what’s going on. I can’t imagine how the people stranded in airports and fear of being deported must feel and how the families of the shooting victims feel that their loved ones were attacked in their place of prayer. Such hatred in an uncertain time.
I grew up in the biggest city in Newfoundland but in comparison to the world, a very small population. It was safe. I had a loving family with two happily married parents who offered me and my two sisters all the opportunities in the world. They taught us the value of hard work, to be independent, educated women and provided us a with a beautiful childhood. Simple pleasures. I am blessed and it is not lost on me. I am also blessed to have lived in England, Texas, and now China and have travelled to many countries around the world. These moves were always made to enhance my life by experiences, they were not made because I had to flee or I felt unsafe, as many immigrants do. I cannot begin to imagine the fear, desperation and courage people must feel to leave their home country in search of a safer life.
But I am an immigrant in China….although for some reason westerners in foreign countries are called “expats”. I understand what it is like to live in an entirely different culture. I do not speak the language (although I’m learning) and after 2.5 years, I am beginning to understand and appreciate the culture. With the exception of the odd taxi driver passing me by when it’s pouring rain outside, I have never felt discriminated against in China. I always feel safe and welcome here. Safe…..everyone deserves to feel safe. I tell you what, it’s not easy being surrounded by a completely foreign language but when I speak my “caveman chinese” to locals, they appreciate it and encourage it. Living here has definitely made me more aware and empathetic of people in similar situations around the world and I’m grateful for the kindness shown to me daily. What I do know is that a smile and simple kindness go a long way anywhere in the world.
In my next post, I’m going to share the experience of our family being welcomed into a Chinese family home to share a traditional meal. The world needs more people like the Zhus. Just a beautiful experience for my family.
Until next time.
Only joy, only love,