I’m Hannah. I’m 16 years old, a junior in high school, and live in a small town in western China. When I was one year old I lived in far western China for a year, then we moved back to Oklahoma (my home state in the US) and lived there until I was 13. Then we moved to a city in Northeast China and spent two years there, and now I’m at the end of my first year here.
What does a “normal” summer look like for you/your family?
I’ve actually only had 2 summers as a TCK. My first was spent in China (in our small town) and it was really boring. I pretty much just lazed around the whole time. Last summer we went back to the States. It was probably the busiest summer I’ve had in my whole life. The day after we got back, we spoke at our home fellowship. Then every weekend after that we traveled around our state speaking in a bazillion different places. In between those weekends, people threw barbecues and had us come and talk, or we were invited to some kind of dinner. I would say I was only actually in the place where my suitcase was 40% of the time. We would go somewhere, come back, unpack our backpacks, put in clean clothes, and head out to another place. When I didn’t have to be somewhere smiling, shaking hands, and answering questions about China, I was able to hang out with my friends there quite a bit, which was definitely a blessing! We were also very torn by family that summer. Both sides live on completely different ends of our state and were both very “grabby” I guess you would call it. They wanted to spend as much time with us as they could. All in all, it was a very frustrating, but rewarding summer. He taught me a lot about having grace towards people who don’t really understand my situation.
What would an ideal summer look like for you?
Ooo, good question! I guess that changes from year to year. This summer it would probably be to go back to America for like 3 weeks, see my friends, get my license, eat as much delicious American food as I could, then come back and stay in Beijing for the rest of the summer hanging out with my friends there. I love my American friends and definitely want to see them, but I’m a lot closer with my China friends and it would be awesome to get some extra time to hang out with them.
What will you be doing this summer? (And where will you be doing it)
This summer I will be going back to the States. I’m guessing it will be a lot like last summer–very busy. However, different from last summer, I will hopefully be able to get my license, and we will be going around checking out different possible colleges for next year.
What is your best summer memory?
I don’t know if I have a specific “best” or “favorite” summer memory, but I can tell one of the ones I really enjoyed! Last summer we got back to the States on July 3rd, so Independence Day was the next day. My best friend in the States invited me to a party thing at her house, just setting off firecrackers, having roman candle wars, eating a lot of junk food, all the stuff you do on the 4th. So, even though I was majorly jet-lagging, I decided to go and check it out. It was so much fun. It was a lot of my friends that I hadn’t seen in 2 years. We laid on the trampoline and looked at the stars, we burned each other with roman candles, we crammed like 10 people in one room for sleeping. They ended up keeping me up until like 2:30 and then I crashed. It was just a really fun night of like reconnection with my group of friends there and really awesome memories.