Celebrating the Completion of Mandarin Language Training

In March, 36 weeks of Chinese language training seemed like such a huge endeavor – how could we possibly learn to speak basic Mandarin by November? Just yesterday we received our final test scores certifying that we not only passed, but passed with flying colors. I am incredibly proud of my husband who worked tirelessly for 8 months, spending extra hours on YouTube, Netflix, 美国之音 (Voice of America news), as well as utilizing all the supplemental material that was provided. Suffice it to say that my interest level was not nearly the same as his, so whatever “extra” I learned was by sheer luck. How lucky am I to be going to China with the best kid in class? 😉

Since completing language training, we have been in limbo waiting to see when we can actually go to Guangzhou. Flying into China has been tricky all year, as they (understandably) want to limit the risk of bringing active COVID cases into the country. Unfortunately for us, that means a lot of uncertainty and delays around our departure. We hear a lot about “resilience” in our jobs and this year has been such a test of that. However, right now I think the meme that best describes my attitude toward our life situation is this one:

Why 'This Is Fine' Is the Meme This Year Deserves - The New York Times

It’s funny how a few months ago, all I could think about was the flight. How was I going to entertain two small children over 24+ hours of flying? How could I get them to wear masks that whole time? In the past month, those worries have not even crossed my mind. I’ve been consumed with wondering how I will entertain two small children for two weeks of quarantine. Or what happens if one of us tests positive for COVID or is considered a “close contact” and has to be isolated? What should I pack to feed, clothe and entertain us all in quarantine?

Despite the stress of the unknown, everything really is fine. We will eventually get to China. We are healthy, we have family nearby, we are keeping up our Chinese, everything is going to work out. 2020 has been such a good year for us that we can’t help but feel so grateful.

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