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Reflecting on the extraordinary journey of the past few years, I am filled with gratitude and a sense of accomplishment. As the 2020 -Chinese New Year of the Metal Rat heralded the unprecedented challenges brought forth by COVID-19, my routine of returning home to California for the Spring Festival took on a more profound significance.

In January 2020, as I embarked on what I thought would be a three-week vacation from my role as Senior Advisor on Internationalizing Chinese public school districts in Shenzhen, little did I know the twists and turns fate had in store. With nearly two decades of living and working in Shenzhen, the temporary respite was a cherished opportunity to reconnect with loved ones and recharge.

However, fate had a different plan. The global pandemic disrupted our lives and posed unforeseen hurdles for our business, InterLangua, LLC. My husband and I persevered for three long years, keeping our dreams alive with the unwavering support of our staff, friends, and family in China.

Amidst the uncertainty, a glimmer of hope emerged. In April of the following year, we received the news we anxiously awaited—the reopening of China’s doors to welcome back travelers. On May 1, 2023, my husband and I embarked on a journey filled with anticipation and excitement—the day that marked the end of our pandemic-induced seclusion.

As I pen down these words, I am humbled by the resilience of the human spirit and the power of perseverance. Our journey is a testament to the bonds of friendship, the strength of family, and the unwavering commitment to our vision. With a renewed sense of purpose, we look ahead to the opportunities on the horizon, grateful for the lessons learned and the experiences that have shaped us.