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Photo by Sampor Burke, Mekong Semester.

Hello from Marcus!

Hello everyone!

In just a matter of weeks we will all be in China together–trying new foods and seeing new sights while forming heartfelt bonds with each other and the people and places we encounter on our journey along the Mekong.

I’m Marcus, one of your three instructors for this Fall, along with Jess Strong and Somsanid, and I can’t wait to meet each of you in just a matter of weeks.

I first joined the Dragons community this past summer as an instructor for a four-week Mandarin intensive course because of my background with China and the Chinese language. I started studying Chinese in fifth grade in my hometown of Brookline, Massachusetts, which later led me to China for the first time in 2007 for a high school semester abroad. Since first visiting China, I have travelled there and back many times, whether for studying Chinese, teaching in rural schools, working for a local Chinese NGO, or visiting friends and my Chinese host family.

More recently, however, I have been working on a Master’s degree in Chinese-English translation and interpretation on the other side of the Strait in Taipei, Taiwan, where I have been located for about four years now.

I’m looking forward to experiencing China through your eyes, and drawing upon my own experiences as a student in China to help make your time inside the “Middle Kingdom” the best that it can be. I am also incredibly excited to travel beyond my area of expertise into Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia, and to inquire deeper into the interrelationships of the communities that reside along the Mekong River. I hope to bring an inquisitive spirit and an eagerness to listen, learn and share, opening my heart to whatever comes our way.

Now that you know a bit more about me, I’m excited to learn about all of you in the coming weeks. We have many adventures in store for us, and plenty of opportunities to grow and learn together. I hope you’re as excited as I am!

Bye for now!
Marcus (or “Ma laoshi” 馬老師 if you prefer 🙂