YCIS Shanghai Campuses Ready to Welcome Back Students

At YCIS Shanghai, the health, safety, and well-being of all students, staff, and community members are always at the forefront of everything the school does. Consistent and stringent health and safety protocols are maintained across all our school campuses to ensure everyone can learn, work, and develop in the best possible environment. In response to the current COVID-19 epidemic, the school has further ramped up these measures to ensure we are meeting all government requirements, ready for school reopening. After the announcement on Thursday, April 9 by the Shanghai Epidemic Prevention and Control Group that schools are due to reopen soon, we are pleased to share the efforts that are already in place on our five campuses across the city.

Since they returned to campus, Cleaning and Security teams have been working tirelessly to ensure cleanliness and prevention while students and staff have been away. This means all visitors to campus during closure need to pass through the initial security screening.

Steps for Entering Campus 

All visitors must:

  • Present their city health QR code upon arrival at the campus (only those with ‘Green’ codes may enter);
  • Take a temperature test;
  • Have the soles of their shoes disinfected;
  • Show valid ID and register;
  • Complete a health declaration form;
  • Take all necessary personal health precautions, including wearing a mask, goggles or lenses, and disinfecting hands.
  • Any vehicles entering campus will also have their wheels sprayed with disinfectant, as well as their drivers checked as above.

While the campuses have been closed, the cleaning teams have worked to ensure all areas of the school for working, learning, eating, relaxing, and playing are spotless and ready for use again. This includes daily ventilation, deep cleaning, and disinfection of everything inside the campus from public areas, public walkways, classrooms, offices, cafeterias, kitchens, auditoriums, gyms, and specialist rooms (science labs, theatre, dance studios, etc.), to cushions and carpets, elevators, door handles, restroom facilities, stairs, and garbage rooms, as well as outside cleaning, including sandbox and equipment disinfection.

To prepare for this, all cleaning team members have completed trainings and tests, including site operation training, cleaning and epidemic prevention training (from basic knowledge of cleaning work to specific epidemic prevention knowledge), disinfection portion ratio, disinfection frequency, and more, as well as daily pre-job training before each shift starts.


Any staff who have needed to visit campuses while closed need to comply with strict regulations. Before returning to campus, all staff should report to the Head of Supporting Division and inform Security staff in advance, submitting and declaring their planned school hours. All staff returning to school must comply with the current outbreak prevention and control regulations of the campuses and truthfully provide information such as residence, recent travel, and quarantine and health status. Those returning to the city, whether local or otherwise, need to observe the 14-day quarantine. Anyone who fails to provide relevant certificates and health status information, or to sign the commitment letter of quarantine observation/health observation, will not be allowed to enter school’s campuses. All staff working from home have also been submitting daily health declarations, including twice-daily temperature readings.

Our campuses are ready for students and staff to return, and new equipment and spaces have been added in response to the virus. The school has added ozone disinfection cabinets to the five campus libraries, and each campus has added temporary quarantine rooms. Furthermore, all five campuses are equipped with thermal sensing temperature measuring equipment at their entrances. There is also an increased stock level of epidemic prevention materials and the school has prepared an epidemic protection kit for each staff member for when they are back at school. The following steps are the improved requirements for cleaning and disinfection:

Improved Cleaning Requirements 

  • Thorough disinfection three times a day, before additional comprehensive deep cleaning and disinfection in the evening;
  • Regular classroom disinfection and ventilation between classes;
  • Disinfection mats at the school gate and the entrance of the teaching buildings;
  • Disinfection of handles and elevators in public places every 2 hours. It is recommended not to directly touch elevator buttons;
  • Disinfection of air conditioning and fresh air system (no air conditioning during the epidemic);
  • Reduction of the density of seats in the dining area and increased spacing between the dining table to ensure the dining safety of students and staff.

From the very beginning of the outbreak back in January to now, YCIS has taken this situation with the utmost seriousness to make sure all of our students, staff, and community members are protected. We were so pleased to be informed this week that the Shanghai authorities have allowed us to open from next week for our Upper Secondary students.   We look forward to Year 5-9 students returning on May 18.

Receive Global University Acceptance Offers

Written by: Timothy Gartz,University and Guidance Counselor

It has been a joy to be in contact with our Year 13s over the past several weeks as both Early and Regular admission university acceptances have rolled in. To date, we are averaging over 4 acceptances per student which shows the quality of their caliber and recognition from top institutions in the world. Within our class, we have received acceptances to top universities in Canada, The United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, The United States and Hong Kong so far with future offers expected from Australia and Singapore.


Our cohort of students plan to study in diverse fields including Pre-Medicine, Economics, Fashion and Management, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Music and the Creative Arts, Liberal and Political Studies, and Sports Management to name a few. They have done particularly well in gaining university entry and we are thrilled to see their success with a number of scholarship offers.

A few noteworthy acceptances include: (UK) University of Warwick, UCL, University of Manchester, University of the Arts London; (US) University of California, Boston University, Syracuse University, Pratt Institute (Canada) University of British Columbia, University of Victoria, University of Toronto and Simon Fraser University (Hong Kong) The University of Hong Kong and a full four-year scholarship to New York University Abu Dhabi in the (United Arab Emirates).

We wish our students the very best as they finish their international baccalaureate work, obtain their YCIS diplomas at graduation on May 28, 2020 and prepare for outstanding opportunities throughout the world in the year ahead.

The Silver-Lining in the ECE Online Learning Experience

Written by: Veronica Martin and Michelle Wang,ECE Coordinators

As Early Childhood Educators we all understand that face to face learning in a classroom that is purposely set for our youngest learners with hands on intentional teaching practices is best for students. Who could have foreseen the dramatic changes to learning that has taken place in 2020? However, these changes have allowed us to redefine our classroom from the physical to a virtual online space and while not the ideal environment for young children, this has allowed our youngest students to demonstrate, diversify and explore different learning traits and dispositions. These have included areas such as flexibility, problem solver, creativity, ICT savvy and even the ability to see the silver-lining in life.

All ECE Children have adapted to the online learning process, being flexible in how they seek their friends out over Zoom or Seesaw. They learnt about Zoom, Camera, White Boards, screen shots and other ICT tools. Using these new-found skills children have been able to share aspects of their home life and this has made this online learning platform a more meaningful experience, as pieces of their home life are communicated with each other and class teachers. Some of the K4s have been using ‘break-out’ rooms to allow small number of students to converse with each other. Talking about what is important and meaningful to children such as their toys and the people in their homes are valuable ways that we make connections with each other.

How does a tadpole become a frog? In K3C a co-teacher found some tadpoles in her compound and shared them with the children. They had a discussion around metamorphosis asking the 3-year-olds to understand what it means. Using our online platform, Seesaw as a way to support this learning at home cements children’s understanding of the natural world.

Children have been sharing all their creative endeavors as they have used the craft packages sent from school. Each co-teacher also had the same package so together over Zoom, the  children and teachers have been making items and using them in the learning process. With Spring is in the air in K2C & K4C classes, where the students created flowers using pipe cleaners and play dough, while having a discussion on how flowers grow.

These abilities and experiences would not have been possible without solid foundations; this structure has relied on the relationships built at school, with class teachers and the connections developed over time with our families. YCIS has always believed in supporting strong relationships with families and never have these been so important as they are now. Our youngest learners watch our families and see how they deal with this situation and they model their behavior from those closest. Each day teachers are greeted with the smiling happy faces of children who are happy to learn and eager to participate. This experience has allowed all, children, families & teachers to build resilience which is needed to keep our foundations strong and unified; our silver lining.

Earth Day – 50th Anniversary

Written by: Melissa Shaw, Primary Coordinator

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Week was a great way for us to explore how all of us can be responsible for looking after our Earth. It was another way that we could reiterate with our students that no matter how young or old, we can all make a positive change in our world! This certainly aligns with our Mission at YCIS to be ‘Globally competent and compassionate leaders, who aspire to, and act for, a better world’.

To start the day, our Earth Day celebrations began with a bang with nearly 200 Lower Primary students joining us for our opening assembly. We had a range of activities for all of our students to participate in through our Zoom sessions and blog activities! We explored our Helping Hands values, being responsible citizens and our UN Sustainable Global Goals.

The theme ‘Climate Action’ can be a challenging concept to understand for our Primary students and therefore we explored ideas that were developmentally appropriate for them. We were visited by Secondary student Kevin Du, who is part of the group ‘Stop Single Use Shanghai’. This group has done a lot of work within out YCIS community to promote the idea of using reusable items such as chop sticks, straws, bags and cups. He encouraged the children to think of an everyday item or action that is not very good for the Earth and how we could change that to make it more environmentally friendly.

Our Art sessions focused on upcycling and reusing old items for a new purpose rather than throwing them away. This was a wonderful way to introduce our Earth Day Upcycling Competition. Ms Anita Dai, our Upper Primary Art Specialist shared, “Students were excited to invent something using only discarded materials. They showed creativity and flexibility with their ideas and techniques.  It will be exciting to see what innovative projects they come up with”.

The excitement didn’t stop there! The Environment Committee invited guest speaker d’Arcy Lunn, founder of the NGO Teaspoons of Change, to carry out a series of workshops around the crucial notion that we can all take small but significant steps that added together have a great impact on our planet. These Zoom sessions were fun and engaging. We explored different examples of ‘teaspoons of change’ with our younger students and talked about what their teaspoon of change could be. He used examples from his ‘tiny house’ of little changes he has made to look after the Earth. We also introduced our ‘Teaspoons of Change Picture Project’ and look forward to receiving entries this week!

We hope Earth Day was a way to inspire and motivate our students to become more aware of their actions and what they can do to look after our planet. We hope that it was an opportunity to bring about discussion as a family and talk about what actions the whole family can do as their part to make the world a better place.

Student Leaders Working for Climate Action

Written by: Andy Clapperton, Head of Learning

At the very centre of our Mission at YCIS is the concept of aspiring and acting to make positive change in our world, and with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day last week it was wonderful to see our students at the forefront as change-makers.

Ann ’21 was at the heart of the development of a range of online and offline activities that took place on Friday, April 24 in order to get our community thinking about what we can and should do to move ourselves towards alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Cognisant that the idea of Climate Action can seem like an overwhelming concept for the individual, the Environmental Committee invited d’Arcy Lunn, founder of the NGO Teaspoons of Change, to carry out a series of workshops around the crucial notion that we can all take small but significant steps that added together have a great impact on our planet. These Zoom sessions were well attended and extremely engaging. In particular, he gave us a live tour of his tiny house – a purpose built sustainable dwelling that is completely self-sufficient – explaining how features such as the solar panels and the compost toilet help the accommodation achieve extremely minimal negative environmental impact.

Throughout the programme of activities, our students stepped up as globally competent and compassionate leaders, acting for a better world, and the activities Ann ’21 and team put together certainly made for a rich learning experience!

Quote from Ann: The climate crisis is becoming more and more severe, so change needs to happen. No question about it. I think taking action is our responsibility as citizens of the Earth; it is devastating to imagine that our future generations will have to live in a world where natural disasters are more and more frequent, resources are depleted, habitats are falling apart, and biodiversity is lost at an ever more frequent rate.

I hope that members of the YCIS community will continue participating in great initiatives such as The Million Tree Project, and also focus on the little things that can make a difference, such as switching off the lights and air-conditioner every time someone leaves a room, refusing single-use straws, forks and spoons, and gradually making those behavioural changes a natural habit.

Life is Sharing

Written by: Roseline Yang, Parent Relations Officer

Everyone is unique. Everyone has a unique way to perceive and interpret the world in which we live. No matter our age, gender, cultural and social background, we all have a special story to share regarding how we have lived and experienced this unprecedented worldwide pandemic situation.

Let me share with you what I have witnessed  about our school community and the spectacular way in which every member of our school community has come together to join forces and find creative ways to engage our children  in their learning.


Phase I: Beginnings

  • Unity is strength…when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved”- School leaders and teachers worked together to establish basic e-Learning structures, and class parents took the initiative to help each other by sharing e-Learning materials to overcome the technological challenges with downloading.
  • All things are difficult before they are easy by Thomas
    Fuller – Prompt and direct communication from parents to class teachers (and students to teachers) regarding e-Learning allowed the School to keep re-
    adjusting this new, unknown way of teaching and learning for all.
  • Remember upon the conduct of each depend the fate of all” by Alexander the Great – Using appropriate channels of communication to address questions to the school leadership team also allowed the School to quickly take appropriate action and recalibrate internal structures of communication to better serve parents & students.
  • Unity does not mean sameness. It means oneness of purpose by Priscilla
    Shirer – Trust in each others’ roles and abilities to do their job, as well as proactivity offering support and help, were key elements in the creation and continued development of this e-Learning programme.

Phase II: Learn to re-adjust

  • It takes humility to seek feedback. It takes wisdom to understand it, analyze it and appropriately act on it.” by Stephen Covey – School leaders reached out to families of younger children to check-upon their wellbeing and learning adaptation.
  • Every cloud has a silver lining” by John Milton – Parents and teachers discovered children with a high capacity to adapt to a new situation and exhibit skills and qualities that had not been visible before.
  • “It’s encouraging to see that we’re not alone. We can learn from each other” by James Kim – School counsellors offered parent workshops and parent support group meetings for parents to connect and share about their tips to face and adapt to the situation.

Phase III: Share & Grow

By sharing and exchanging ideas, people will get to know each other and learn about their community” by Linda Ashcraft – Various opportunities for our students and parents to be part of the spirit of our community.

  • Design the Yearbook cover for this year on the theme of ‘YCIS Pudong Stories’ by Friday, May 15
  • Share your photos and experience about what you have learnt about yourself during your ‘Stay at Home’ & ‘E-Learning’ period, ‘Earth Day/Climate Action Day’ and soon ‘May the Fourth’

  • Get involved from now in our international school event ‘Global Community Day’ by:
    • Joining the virtual flag parade on May 15 (you will just need to prepare your traditional costume & do a Zoom rehearsal)
    • Teaching a special recipe from your region or country in the week of May 15
    • Contributing a song to the Global Community Playlist for the day of the event
    • Creating material related to your favorite myth, legend or hero by May 8.

No matter who you are: parent, teacher or student, when you take the time to share about your experience and vision, you will not only be able to help others learn & grow, you will also be able to deepen your knowledge, strengthen your relationship with your home culture and build a new relationship with other members of our school community.

We are looking forward to hearing from you! Please email us at: shareyourstorypd@sh.ycef.com

Staff Focus: Lucia Hu

Written by: John McEnhill, Primary Coordinator

Hello Lucia! I hope you have enjoyed what is coming towards the end of your first year here. Can you tell us a little about your background, and how you have come to be at YCIS Shanghai?

 I was born in Taiwan and moved to the United States when I was 5 years old.  I still remember going to school and EAL class, only knowing the words “yes,” “no,” and “ok.” My family had lived in South Dakota, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, and finally Southern California, so I know how it feels to be in transition.  I attended the University of California at Berkeley in Northern California and stayed in the San Francisco Bay Area until we moved to Beijing in 2013.  Although my undergraduate degree is in Mass Communications, after working for some years I returned to school for a Masters in Counselling Psychology.  My son was just turning 3 when we moved to Beijing for my husband’s work at United Family Hospital, and while there, I started to gain experience providing counselling for both the expat and local community.  Growing up I had retained my ability to speak Mandarin from watching soap operas, but there was still a period of working out the kinks of speaking smoothly while in Beijing.  After a year of having a personal tutor, I was finally able to read Chinese enough to use all the necessary apps by the time we moved to Shanghai.  After giving birth to our second son in Beijing, we moved to Shanghai in 2016 where I worked at the Community Center Shanghai, ELG, and then Raffles Clinic before coming to YCIS Pudong.

Tell us a little more about what your role as Regency Park Campus Counsellor involves?

Generally speaking, I work with students who may be experiencing challenges due to emotional or relational issues with students, teachers, or family.  This may mean meeting with parents and teachers, or observing a student in the classroom, in order to discuss what may be affecting a student’s behaviour or emotional reaction.  I could also provide limited individual counselling for students and families or refer them to professional counsellors in Shanghai.  I am also the Child Protection Officer for our campus and I work with our team of Child Protection Officers to update material, deliver and track trainings for staff, join regular committee meetings, follow through on child protections cases and documentation.

In the current situation, how do you feel the Counselling team has been able to support the students, and the wider community? 

As this Coronavirus situation expanded, one of the first things we all worried about was everyone’s level of possible stress and anxiety – whether for students, parents, or staff members.  I am thankful that there was a quick response from professionals in the community to create material on how to understand and respond to COVID-19 for families and how to communicate this situation to children.  For the age group of our primary students, mental and emotional health is intertwined and dependent on their parents’ and caretakers’ mental and emotional health.  Children usually develop anxiety because an adult in their daily environment is experiencing and displaying anxiety.  Therefore, when we first started e-Learning in February, I focused on getting information to parents about how to manage the e-Learning schedule, building in routines (ie. exercise, sleep, family time), managing our children’s behaviour with rewards and consequences.  We eventually focused on providing parent online support groups so that pressing concerns and struggles could be shared and discussed.  All of these efforts were to help the parent feel supported, feel more connected and less isolated, gain tips and ideas to help with a better sense of control or direction for their own unique challenges.  The focus to help reduce parental stress and anxiety also supports reducing our students’ possible anxiety.

How do you think pastoral care, and the role of Counsellors, supports students in their academic and wider life success?

 I think by now, most adults would agree that our life experience has plenty of rough and tough parts in relationships, feelings of inadequacy or failure, disappointments, making difficult decisions, and even physical challenges. Whether we can focus and perform to the best of our ability academically or pick ourselves up and keep going even in the face of loss or shame, oftentimes depends on our self-concept, emotional health and ability to cope.  This is precisely what pastoral care and school counsellors work to develop. Through various stories and activities, we try to guide how to frame concepts about self and of the world, success and failure, which helps to process and make choices in response to challenges.

Your son, Micah, is at YCIS Pudong, in Year 4 and Noah is in ECE. How are you finding YCIS Pudong from a parents’ point of view?

We are very thankful that Micah and Noah are able to attend YCIS Pudong.  They both enjoy the campus, their teachers and learning activities along with their classmates.  We, as parents, are super happy about the dual focus on English and Chinese, including Chinese studies, and the range of learning they have access to from computer to violin.  We have been excited for CCAs and access to IIIP on campus and during the school day.  We have also been impressed by the work and dedication of all the teachers and staff to coordinate and provide clear communication for all of these activities, holiday events and sports days.


What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like trying new restaurants, listening to music, singing and playing the guitar by myself – completely amateur so not for other ears J. Getting a massage and meeting for coffee with a friend is always rejuvenating.  I also love attending workshops and seminars as I feel excited about active learning in groups and being involved in group discussion. When I can schedule alone time, I sometimes enjoy practicing mindfulness in a walk outdoors focusing on the sights and sounds and my own movements.  I’m sure I look funny to a passer by.

As a family, we now love watching superhero movies to save the world vicariously while taking turns on the treadmill or being competitive while playing board games or foosball. We love travelling and nice hotels (who doesn’t?) and when the weather is nice, to go for a picnic in a park with a tent.

e-Learning is a YCIS Family Affair

Written by Janelle Garrett with contributions from the Samuel, Lucas, and Daniel Lewis and their mother, Kitty Potter

The Lewis family is a longtime YCIS family that joined our YCIS Pudong community four years ago after they moved from Beijing to Shanghai. During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lewis family traveled to be near family in Sydney, Australia and then returned to Shanghai to quarantine in their home in March. According to the Lewis brothers Samuel ’22, Lucas ’25 and Daniel ’30 (the number indicates their graduating year), e-Learning is necessarily a family affair. The three brothers all shared some of their experiences with e-Learning as they figured out new ways to share space and get along, become more independent and creative with their learning, get their work done, learn to do some household chores, engage in physical activity, and have fun as a family.

Here are a few of their take-aways:

The flexibility of e – Learning can be a powerful force for learning.

 “While some people miss the structure of school, I prefer some of the flexibility e-Learning. I find it easier to manage my time and get work done, and even go deeper with my learning, while feeling less pressure. I really miss socialization of school, my friends and my activities. But I’m really talkative and attention-seeking, and in a traditional classroom I often get distracted or am distracting. This has been a good lesson in time management practice for IB, for university and for life. Having more choice over when and how I do my work, and even some of the content, makes me more interested and willing to invest more time and more of myself into it, which makes it more meaningful.”   Samuel, Year 11

“e-Learning is more convenient for me in some ways, I’m able to set my own time, I just got a big piece of work done instead of having to follow a really rigid schedule and stop doing something to go to the next thing when I just got going. This makes the workday a lot more efficient and liberating.”  Lucas, Year 8

Connection Matters.

“I love the Zoom sessions because I get to see my teachers and it is easier to know what you need to do later, I also love to see my friends and at the end of the session we get to chat. But I still can’t wait to go back to school and play football with my friends.”  Daniel, Year 3

“I miss people—my friends, even teachers. Zoom is better than nothing—it is really nice to get on a Homeroom call on Zoom and see everyone! But it’s nowhere near as engaging. It’s important to feel that connection. Being in person makes a huge difference”

“…I miss eating lunch with my friends. I’m a bit disappointed some people didn’t make it back before the borders in China closed, I hope things open up and they can come back soon. I’ve tried to stay connected with many of my friends calling them on Teams, and chatting on WeChat, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. Recently, I’ve also had friends coming over to my compound and hanging out, which is the best!”  Lucas, Year 8

“I really miss my friends and can’t wait to get back to school. The last few weeks as things are opening up in Shanghai have been so good because I’ve gone over to people’s houses and been able to recharge socially… I also realized I know a lot of people beyond just my classmates, from participating in activities like Model United Nations, World Scholars Cup, and various camps—and one of the best parts of COVID-19 has been connecting online with all of these friends around the world.”  Samuel, Year 11

Motivation is hard to master—and you can’t do it alone.

“Surprisingly I’ve been pretty motivated and disciplined, but motivation is dwindling. When the IGCSE Exams that we’d been preparing for over the past two years were cancelled, that was like a kick in the head, and it became a lot harder to stay motivated and not feel like we had wasted valuable time. I’ve appreciated Mr. Lee and my teachers reminding us about the important things we’ve learned along the way, that exceed what any exam can show. For example, I’m really enjoying the research I am currently doing in Science on the body’s immune system response to COVID-19. I learned a lot about myself during this time—I’m more capable of taking care of myself than I thought. But I’ve also discovered some things I can’t do on my own…and I’ve been very grateful for teachers, friends, and family that have helped me through it.”      Samuel, Year 11

“I can do more on my own now than when e-Learning started. But doing work on my own can get very frustrating. Sometimes I’m trying to think hard and my brain just wanders and I have to think what subject is this? And I wish I had my teacher, and it is hard because my parents can’t always help if they are working.”    Daniel, Year 3

You can have fun…even with your family.

“It hasn’t been easy, we’ve had a few fights since we are brothers, but actually we’ve had some really good family time. Being trapped with your family for several months has been a good bonding experience and we’ve had a lot of fun together and laughed a lot.”    Samuel, Year 11

“Our family sometimes plays cards after dinner, like Go Fish. We like basketball, especially my brother Lucas. My brother Sam plays Risk with his friend a lot too. I like playing videogames. My brothers play a lot of Nintendo.”  Daniel Year 3

“e-Learning in Australia was special and fun because I got to hang out with my family and play with other kids after classes were done and do things outdoors I can’t do in Shanghai.”    Lucas, Year 8

Their mother Kitty, has been busy juggling parenting responsibilities and e-Learning for three kids with her job at Apple leading the Asia division for Human Rights and Stakeholder Engagement as part of the Supplier Responsibility Team. Her husband Mathew shares parenting and e-Learning supervision duties whilst he negotiates working from home and meetings for the Morgan Lewis law firm.

“When Sam started in the K3 Panda Class at YCIS in Beijing, I had no idea 13 years later we would find ourselves still here in China with three boys all at YCIS Pudong. YCIS has been very important to our family and one of the constants in our busy lives and the many changes we have seen moving to different places around Greater China. At the start of the COVID-19 epidemic, Mathew and I felt like it was back-to-the-future, having lived through SARS back in Beijing. But this has been a wholly different experience.

I am so grateful we were able to spend the first part of the transition to eLearning in Sydney with family, close to beaches and parks where the boys could get their energy out. I thought constantly (and guiltily) about friends and school families back in China stuck inside apartments. It has been both impressive and touching observing the commitment to learning by the boys’ teachers, knowing that they are experiencing many of the same challenges and stresses balancing their personal and professional lives under the most extreme circumstances.

We were so excited and relieved to get home to Shanghai. Even though China is “getting back to normal,” this journey is far from over and there will be plenty of opportunities to consider what we’ve all been through and how this will change our world. My hope is that the boys, years from now, will be able to reflect on what they learned: how we have always taken for granted our ability to travel the world and visit family in the US and Australia; how much other people usually do for them (Thank You Cao Ayi and all the women who have helped our family function over the years); how important friendships and community are, and that relationships need to be nurtured.

The boys can’t wait to get back to school. Mat and I can’t wait either.