Wednesday, July 14, 2010


We walked into this first grade classroom in the Xicheng District of Beijing to find Daniel teaching English to an exuberant group of six-year-olds.

After class was over, Daniel told me his fascinating story: He was born in Ghana and moved to England with his parents when he was a teenager. He got his law degree at Cambridge, much to the disappointment of his parents, who consider this a dishonorable profession (apparently a strong perception from Ghana).

This resulted in a family rift, so Daniel left England to see the world and cool down. His first day in Beijing -- just a few months ago -- he learned that English teachers are needed so he applied and got the job.

Now he's fluent in Chinese and has a contagiously enthusiastic teaching style. By the way, he's back in good graces with his family, and his mother is coming for a visit soon.

He says he's never been happier.


Kat said...

Wow! Go Daniel! And Chinese is a hard language to learn; my husband studied it in college and never progressed far beyond "where can I get a beer" and "Which way to the library."

sarah (Catch A Cub In Its Den) said...

Daniel must be one smart dude! Fluent in Chinese after only a few months? I lived in Beijing for three months studying Mandarin and reached about the same level as Kat's husband.

pasadenapio said...

He speaks English with a hybird Ghana/British accent, so I imagine the Chinese people find his accent similarly interesting when he speaks their language.

Daniel is a really interesting guy and it's obvious that teaching children is his true calling.

Paula L. Johnson said...

Glad his mom came around!