Home is Where the Heart Is

Authors: Go Chengdu


Hugo and Carl are old friends and colleagues. Before coming to Chengdu, they had been engaged in international education in Guangdong for eight years and fifteen years respectively.
Last July, they moved to Chengdu with their families. In September, Beanstalk International Bilingual School opened, with Hugo as Head of School and Carl as the Vice Principal and Academic Director. After work, they love to play some music with their rock band Jack & the Beanstalks or go for a drive. Different from those newcomers or passers-by who need certain time to be accustomed to a new life, even though Hugo and Carl just come to Chengdu for a short period, they seem to be very determined with their lives here and are able to deal with different problems with ease.
Land of Ease
Hugo comes from New Zealand and Carl is from Canada. Hugo's first job abroad was in Japan and the second was in China. Ten years ago, Carl got a job opportunity to come to China. Determined to go and to be prepared, Carl booked the ticket to China three weeks later.
The education industry has its own particularity and the international education system helps continuously bring in international talents. Hugo and Carl's school would form a social circle with a team composed of both foreign and Chinese staff. And the communication among students, parents and colleagues could also be a way to expand Hugo and Carl's connections with different communities. To some extent, their jobs have determined their daily routine. However, Hugo and Carl have adapted to the life in China quite quickly. To what extent can a foreign teacher achieve in China? Hugo and Carl give one impressive answer. Early on, they developed themselves step by step and achieved a stable career and life in Guangdong.
When looking back to those past years in China, Hugo and Carl don't think it's difficult to adapt to the lifestyle here. Being open-minded and flexible is the essential key. "People are different from you. But being different doesn't mean being wrong." It's important to learn some Chinese so that you can communicate with others when you buy things in the market or have dinner in a restaurant. With just a little bit Chinese and you can accomplish lots of things. Carl mentions another life tool – the car: with the assistance of GPS, it's convenient to go out, and more importantly you can familiarize yourself with many aspects of the city, which makes you more independent and your daily life more convenient.
After six years in Guangdong, Hugo and Carl became as familiar with the city where they lived as the natives are. They both married to Chinese wives and had children during that time. Career and family, the two most important things in life have been settled down. Hugo and Carl are no longer passers-by in China. "When you feel comfortable with your work, your family is settled and all you need is here, you'll feel a sense of home," said Carl. And Guangdong is not the only place in China that can offer this feeling, which makes them have the courage to start again in other places.
Start Again
In recent years, with the increase of international schools in Chengdu, more and more job opportunities have been created. Because of career development, Hugo and Carl left Guangdong, the place they had lived for many years, and moved to Chengdu with their families. This time Hugo and Carl have used their previous experience in Guangdong to adapt to the new life. Different from Guangdong, a province full of floating population, most residents in Chengdu, Sichuan are natives and are proud of their home city. Now Hugo and Carl's families have settled down, and they still like to drive out in leisure time to learn about the city, and seek delicious food and beautiful scenery.
Mentioning the preparations for their new jobs and new school, Hugo and Carl looked at each other with a long relieving sigh. Even though they were pretty experienced, it is still challenging to start a new school. Waiting for the completion of new school buildings, going through all legal procedures, and building a qualified team, all these are hard tasks and time consuming. Sometimes, Hugo would think "Oh my goodness! What a massive task!" Carl and Hugo would encourage each other by saying "It's ok, we have a great team!" Having being in China for many years, Hugo and Carl both have gone through their ups and downs. But they supported each other all the way.
It's even harder to fight alone. The significance of having a friend who can build a circle in life and foster good partnership in work with you is immeasurable. Hugo and Carl have the same background, shared opinions and do the same thing. "We often talk and work together for a long time. We discuss school affairs, and make plans together and carry out the plans together." Its easier to persist when someone stands together with you. Talking of a good partnership, Hugo and Carl both believe communication, trust, transparency and an open mind are the most important.
They love to welcome students at the gate and walk around the school. The classrooms that were empty in summer now are full of laughter. Hugo and Carl have used all their experience to develop their lives in Chengdu. And when encountering challenges, they would look to the future which is full of all kinds of possibilities. Just for that, everything is worth fighting for.

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