Mr. Joe Doggett
I am pleased to be writing my October Headmaster’s letter with feet (finally!) back on the ground in China!
Returning parents are aware that it has been 8 long months of separation between me and the Daxing campus. I was stranded first in New Zealand, and then in California, New York and Vermont when the virus made its surge in Wuhan and then beyond. During that time I was, like the rest of the world, biding my time in voluntary isolation and anxiously following news reports for hints about when China might reopen her boarder and allow foreigners back into the country. To be honest, a recently as September I was doubtful that a return anytime soon was likely. With Covid19 still raging in the US, and the frosty climate that Donald Trump’s rhetoric has created with China, getting back to Daxing seemed a long way off.
It was a September magic trick performed by Dr. Li that got the job done. By way of the guanxi that he shares with his former colleagues in the Chinese government, I was officially designated as a “special category foreign expert” which allowed me to renew my visa and gain approval for reentry. So, here I am, well rested (thanks to my 14-day quarantine in Guangzhou), in good health, in good spirits, and VERY pleased to be back at school. It has been a long 8 months!
The students’ return to campus yesterday from the Mid-Autumn Festival coincided with my own arrival in Beijing from Guangzhou. It was energizing to see the familiar faces of return students and exciting to get my first look at the new students who have joined us this fall. Already I am feeling welcomed and beginning to comfortably settle back into the familiar routines of school.
I would be remiss if I did not recognize and thank ALL of the faculty and staff members who have worked so hard, under challenging and unpredictable circumstances, to keep the EduChina program intact. Mr. Wu, in particular, has earned my gratitude for his steady hand and above-and-beyond efforts toward keeping the daily operations of the Daxing campus running so smoothly. And, of course, thanks also goes to Dr. Li for his leadership and his unwavering commitment throughout the past 8 months to the EduChina mission.
Finally, I share my thanks to YOU as parents. Your faith in EduChina – underscored by allowing us the privilege of teaching your son or daughter – is deeply appreciated and never taken for granted. Indeed, we strive each day to present a program that demonstrates to you that your faith in us is well placed.
I look forward to seeing you in person in the near future. In the interim, please know that Lucky Joe is feeling especially lucky to be back in The Middle Kingdom!
October 10, 2020