Welcome to Huai’an

  • Breanne Hominger
  • Friday, 09 May 2014 00:00
  • Published in Letters
  • Read 11079 times

Breanne Hominger, 22, has been living in Huai’an for 9 months. She is an English teacher in Huai’an District. Bre wrote a long letter to Huaihai Evening Paper to thank those Huaianers who have given her help.

Moving to a foreign country is difficult, especially if you can’t speak the local language. When I first arrived in China, I felt very alone, helpless, and confused. I didn’t know how to manage daily life, I was far away from family, and I didn’t have any local friends. Most people on the street were very curious about me and stared at me, but they were too shy to help me. There are people in this community who have helped to make foreigner’s lives easier and more pleasant. I would like to publically thank some of the brave locals who have helped to make my life here better. I also want everyone to know how he or she can help make foreigners feel welcomed in China.

I live alone in my school, and I often don’t know how to spend my free time or how to buy things I need. At the beginning of the school year there was a long holiday. I was going to spend 7 days alone in an empty school, but a teacher in my office invited me to come to her home and stay with her family. She was the first teacher to talk to me and make me feel welcomed. Another teacher helped me to buy warm clothes on TaoBao, when winter came. I will always remember these people.

The simple things really make a big difference for foreigners. It makes me feel happy when the students and teachers at my school say, “Hello,” to me in the halls. Strangers have invited me to meals, paid for my bus fee, and helped me read the menu in a restaurant. Some of those strangers have become my good friends. We spend time together enjoying Huaian’s beautiful parks, flying kites, and picking strawberries. My friend Zhou helped me in the post office so I could send a package home to my family.

Spending time with local Chinese people has made my time in Huai’an worthwhile. I came to China to experience Chinese culture and not to sit alone in my room. I am so thankful for the people who have met me and invited me to their homes. Anyone can help a foreigner feel welcomed in China. Smiling, saying hello, and inviting them to spend time with you can make their life better. Most foreigners really do want to be friends with locals, and we don’t care if your English is good or bad. We can use technology to communicate and have a good time.

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  • Last modified on Saturday, 10 May 2014 21:31
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