Here I am, just over five weeks in Shanghai–I’ve virtually reached the halfway point. I can hardly believe it. In a way, it feels like I’ve been here forever, and yet it also just feels like arrived only yesterday. I approached these first few weeks of being here in Shanghai as if I was planning on making this my permanent home. I adjusted to cultural standards, I found networks to establish myself, I located service groups, places to study, places to pray, and even a local shop to fall back on for some staple food. My time here, in a way, has been an experiment to discover if it would be possible to live in a foreign country, ie China–it is.
The key to making a “place” feel like “home” is allowing yourself to feel entirely venerable and opening up to the possibility of new friendships. Kara, Natalie, Alison, Clay, and Tig, thank you for allowing me to feel venerable and accepting me as the crazy wacko that I am, each of you have helped to transform my stay here in Shanghai. I would not have fallen in love with Shanghai in the fashion that I have, if it hadn’t been for your companionship. True friendship and compassion warms the heart and comforts the soul. I thank each one of you for your time, your shared talent, and your openness. I felt deeply connected to each of you.