I've described the language barrier in China before - and the linguistic babysteps we're making in an attempt to hopefully conquer it one day.
If I haven't given up on learning Chinese yet, I owe it to my amazing 同学们 - classmates. And to our one-of-a-kind teacher Xīn. My class mates and I spend six hours a week in the class room at Qiáo xuéxiào (the Bridge School) together - and a whole lot of time outside the classroom.
We laugh, share our frustrations, go out together, make fun of ourselves and talk about whatever life throws at us.
What's the secret to such a well-functioning group? I believe it comes down to what we have in common. To mention but a few, we are all mothers, we originally came to China as accompanying spouses (although some of us now work either full-time, part-time or freelance) and we all thought that learning Chinese would be beneficial to our stay in China or to our lives in general.
Want to meet my classmates and teacher and see what we're up to together?
Here we go...
(from left to right in the first picture):
Egle (Lithuania) : Our no-nonsense funny Baltic beauty.
Rebecca (UK): Super smart and lifts us up with her great sense of humor.
Elisabete (Portugal): Has a heart of gold and is super disciplined.
Lăoshī Xin: A truly special Beijing ren who is doing her very best to motivate us and transmit her love for Mandarin.
Amanda (US): Learns characters at an incredible pace and has been amazing at settling in with us crazy ladies as the latest addition to the group.