Saturday, April 11, 2020

Living in China

by Regin Reyno

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10
6 years ago today, was our first day in Beijing, China. It was also on this day when we signed our contract to work for 2013’s most reputable company according to Forbes magazine and one of the biggest and most famous companies in the world: The Walt Disney Company. 

April 11, 2014
1st day in Beijing
The Walt Disney Company Head Office Beijing
It was a life-changing event. Living in Beijing, China was one fo the best things that happened in our lives.

An apartment was provided for each one of us by the company.

We were really blessed living in China; a country that is very safe, comfortable, clean, economically sound, efficient, organized, convenient, and with kind locals. 

Living there for 5 years, I can say that China is the most misunderstood country in the world. You can’t really appreciate the country if your basis is just media, hearsay, Western propaganda, and gossip. You have to live there or at least stay there for more than a few days.

Working for a reputable company whose focus is its people is really rewarding and joyful. 

One of the many benefits that I am grateful for, is when they sent me to study University of Cambridge’s CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) at International House Chiang Mai in Thailand: a resort-like teacher training center-for a month, all-expenses paid. 

It was also on this day when our friendship started. The memories that we’ve made while living in Beijing: dinners, out of town trips, hanging out at tea houses and coffee shops, worshipping at each other’s apartments, visiting parks and historical sites, staycations, going for massages together, overnights, will be treasured for a lifetime.

weekend skiing
Wanlongbayi Ski Resort 
As of the moment, three are still in Beijing and one is already in Pyeongtaek, South Korea to join her husband.

Last year, I left the company and taught at The Family Learning House, a high-quality Montessori school in Beijing founded my Karyn Roberts. It was a different experience where I gained so much knowledge regarding childhood education. It is also a company where care and growth for its people, and contributing to the community are priorities.

Then I quit my job to fulfill my dream of an around-the-world trip.

We are so grateful for our experiences living in China that every year, we celebrate our Chinaversary. We are thankful to God for giving us this opportunity where we can experience life at its fullest and be a blessing to others, as well, while waiting for His soon return.

relaxing at a restaurant overlooking the Forbidden City in Beijing after joining a VoluntEARS activity on our day-off
VoluntEARs is a community program of The Walt Disney Company to make this world a better place

Let me share to you some quotes from my friends regarding their China living experience:

“Today I commemorate my sixth anniversary here in China. Yes! Six years ago, I moved here, and it is still one of the best decisions I have ever made. I thank the Lord God for everything! Some of you asked or even wondering how I am doing. I am doing well. I avoided updating people about what is going on in China, and I refused to comment on politics in the Philippines. For someone who has been living in China, and for someone who used to work as a nurse in the Philippines, allow me to express myself this time.

I came back to Beijing last January, after surviving the threats of Taal Volcano. All flights were canceled, and I could not leave Manila. I was able to fly a week after. I arrived in China when things are starting to get serious. Measures are being changed and implemented that same week. Beijing became a ghost town. People stayed at home, and you could only see them buying enough food and drinks at the supermarket. There was no panic. People obeyed, nobody asked or complained. Things looked and felt organized for the most part. There is a long list of things that this country did and is doing right to rise above this pandemic. I have also experienced some struggles, but I do not want to focus on them. After exactly 77 days, I can say today that things are beginning to feel and look normal. I am also grateful to our employer, The Walt Disney Company, for taking care of us during these hard times! It pays to work at a reputable company, literally and figuratively.”—Siggey 

“2014 and 2020 look so different! I will forever be grateful to Disney and China for making so many blessings flow to and through my life.”—Ruby

“Celebrating 6 years of friendship with these wonderful people! Missing you all!”—Summer

Here are some photos of our Chinaversary celebrations through the years:

The Opposite House Hotel Beijing

Grand Hyatt Hotel Beijing

Shangri-La Hotel Qinhuangdao
Radisson Blu Hotel Shanghai
Temple Restaurant Beijing (TRB)
Migas Mercado Beijing 
Covid-19 is engulfing the world as of this moment; personal plans were derailed. We don’t know what’s ahead, but looking back at how God had led us in the past, we are assured that He’ll continue to take care of us and guide us in the right direction.

Till we meet again.

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