Siobhan's Story | A long way back to China
From the past month, several old foreign teachers who were locked overseas have overcome many difficulties and returned to Haida family one after another. Their unforgettable experience deeply touched them. Among them, Siobhan, a foreign English teacher from Britain, exchanged and shared her feeling with us.
At first, when the outbreak started I was glad to be in England. However, as the situation quickly improved in China but worsened in England it became very stressful very quickly. When flights started getting canceled and the borders closed, I genuinely thought I would never be able to get back. As time stretched on returning seemed less and less likely. As schools reopened in China I worried that I may be replaced. I worried that no-one would be able to care for my pet. Thankfully, with assistance from Haida in communications, my friend there was able to collect my cat to look after. I missed my friends, my flat, my work, my independence and my cat. All in all, it was a sad and scary time.
The procedure to return was long and complicated, and provided little leeway time. It felt as though every time I got one step closer to getting back, another hurdle was thrown in front of me. My recruiter in Haida did as much as she could for me. I was very stressed, angry, and scared during the process. I know I was not always pleasant to talk to and often directed my stress towards my recruiter. She didn't deserve it and she is a credit to Haida for staying strong with me and helping me get back. I genuinely believe that she did everything in her power to get me here. I could not have managed it without her.
I am incredibly happy to be back in China and back to work. I love my life and my job here. When in China I am the happiest I have ever been. My school has always been lovely right from day one. The fact that they kept my position open for me makes me feel so valued and respected. I feel a full part of the staff in school, and being able to see all of the children and other teachers after so long is wonderful.
When times were difficult and looked as though they would never improve, Haida stayed by me and helped me to return to my life in China. It wasn't always easy. There were disagreements along the way. Not everything was handled perfectly by myself or by Haida. But I will forever be grateful that I had good people in China willing to work hard to get me home. So the main thing that I want to say is thank-you.